Developing an ethics education framework for accounting

Steven Dellaportas, Beverley Jackling, Philomena Leung, Barry J. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework of ethics education that promotes the structured learning of ethics in the accounting discipline. The Ethics Education Framework (EEF) is based on three key inter-related components that include: Rest’s (1986) Four-Component Model of ethical decision-making and behaviour; the key cognitive and behavioural objectives of ethics education; and the discrete and pervasive approaches to delivering content. The EEF provides university students and professional accountants a structure to learn to identify, analyse and resolve ethical issues, to the point of action. The EEF is a four-stage learning continuum represented as a set of building blocks which introduces ethical concepts and then reinforces and develops new levels of understanding with progressive stages. This paper describes the EEF, and includes a discussion of how it compares with other ethics education models, and an analysis of the support through responses by professional organisations (based on an Exposure Draft issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), as the initial International Education Practice Statement). The IFAC has now revised its International Education Standard (IES 4) in relation to ethics, with a commentary period till July 2011.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-82
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of business ethics education
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • ethics
  • education
  • decision-making
  • cognitive processes
  • theoretical model
  • teaching models

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