Investigating the Effect of Personality and Behavioral Traits on the Ethical Decision-Making Process of Professional Accountants

Document Type : Original Article


1 Msc.Student of Auditting, Islamic Azad University of North Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Accounting, Islamic Azad University of North Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The need to pay attention to ethics in the accounting and auditing profession is vital for society; So that the observance of behavior and ethical standards can be the core of the existence of the profession and if the personality traits related to ethics are not considered, the profession faces ethical failure and, ultimately, significant economic consequences. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of personality traits on the ethical decision-making process of professional accountants. In this study, a questionnaire was obtained from 226 senior auditors (internal and independent) and senior financial managers of companies listed on the Tehran Stock Exchange by purposive sampling method and the information was analyzed using cross-sectional regression. Findings showed that the personality traits of economic status, education, ethical idealism have a positive and significant effect on the ethical decision-making process and ethical relativism has a negative and significant effect on the ethical decision-making process. Therefore, the first main hypothesis of the study on the effect of personality traits on the ethical decision-making process was confirmed. Behavioral characteristics of “the result of an immoral decision” and “social consensus for an immoral decision” also have a significant positive effect on the ethical decision-making process. The second hypothesis was confirmed. Finally, it was found that the demographic characteristics of economic status, education and age have a positive and significant effect on the ethical decision-making process and gender has a negative and significant effect on the ethical decision-making process. The results of this study can help to develop theoretical foundations in the field of ethical behavior in accountants and increase their level of awareness and ethical development.


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