The Effects of Auditors' Ethical Orientation on Commitment and Ethical Sensitivity. Academic Article uri icon


  • A significant body of research has demonstrated that ethical judgments are a function of individuals' ethical perceptions, or sensitivity. Little research, however, has been conducted to examine ethical sensitivity, and none has examined this sensitivity among auditors. This study used a path analytic approach to examine the ethical orientation, commitment, and ethical sensitivity of 207 auditors in a Big Six firm. Auditors' ethical orientations were found to influence not only their ethical sensitivity, but also their organizational and professional commitment. The results indicate that relativistic auditors were less likely to recognize ethical issues in an auditing scenario and were less committed to the firm and the profession than nonrelativists. Idealism was associated with a higher level of professional commitment, but with a reduced level of ethical sensitivity. Higher levels of commitment, however, did not result in more ethically sensitive auditors. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

author list (cited authors)

  • Shaub, M. K., Finn, D. W., & Munter, P

complete list of authors

  • Shaub, MK||Finn, DW||Munter, P

publication date

  • January 1993