Cultural and socioeconomic constraints on international codes of ethics: Lessons from accounting
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- Cohen, J.R., Pant, L.W. & Sharp, D.J. J Bus Ethics (1992) 11: 687. doi:10.1007/BF01686349
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This paper provides a framework for the examination of cultural and socioeconomic factors that could impede the acceptance and implementation of a profession's international code of conduct. We apply it to the “Guidelines on Ethics for Professional Accountants” issued by the International Federation of Accountants (1990). To examine the cultural effects, we use Hofstede's (1980a) four work-related values: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and masculinity. The socioeconomic factors are the level of development of the profession and the availability of economic resources. We evaluate the applicability and relevance of the accounting guideline, and discuss the implications for accounting and other professions.