Attitudes towards Business Ethics Held by Accountancy and Finance Students in the University of Botswana

Percy M. D. Phatshwane, Mogotsinyana Mapharing, Elang J. Basuhi


The current study is borne out of an interest on the ethical views of accounting majors, as well as evaluatingtheir perceptions on certain ethical behaviour. The study is timely since it was undertaken at a time when theUniversity of Botswana’s Accountancy degree curriculum had been reviewed and a course in ethics inaccounting was introduced. The Attitudes Towards Business Ethics Questionnaire (ATBEQ) was distributed tostudents who had completed the ethics and auditing courses. Willing respondents were invited for focus groupdiscussions in order to gain additional insight on respondents’ views and ethical perceptions.

The results of the current study were compared to the results of similar studies carried out in South Africa andTurkey. The findings of the study revealed that the mean average of the Botswana study was approximated bythe South African results for some variables, and that there were isolated similarities with the Turkey findings.The results also indicated that an overwhelming number of respondents belief that business ethics can be taught,an encouraging result for a course in its infancy. It was however the qualitative results which, though limited,provided insight into the perceptions and thoughts of respondents on various aspects of ethical behaviour.Subsequently the study concluded that more concerted qualitative studies could provide further insight on thephenomenon and augment what has been learnt from the many quantitative studies.

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