Business schools are under scrutiny today as accreditation agencies, professional organizations, and employers hold them accountable for the ethical training of future professionals. This literature review explores how the understanding of Kohlberg’s moral development theory can help accounting educators in their commitment to develop the ethical competencies of students. Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral cognition are explained as well as James Rest’s contributions to the field of moral psychology. This paper synthesizes research findings specifically related to the moral development of accounting students and proposes possible explanations for these results. While the potential to morally develop students of higher education has been established through prior research, today’s accounting educators are challenged to implement research and pedagogical strategies that will enable them to actualize this potential.
Becker, Lana L.. 2008. Moral Development of Accounting Students: Opportunities and Challenges. Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of the Academic Business World International Conference & International Conference on Learning and Administration in Higher Education, Nashville, TN. 361-370.