The Effect of Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibilities on Moral Sensitivity

Document Type : Research Article


Faculty of Social Sciences, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran


Considering the importance of moral considerations in the accounting profession and significant effect of accountant decisions on interests of users of financial statements and other stakeholders, the need to examine moral considerations in this profession is increasing. In this regard, this study evaluates the "moral sensitivity" of accountants who face a complex decision about earnings management and effect of non-financial elements of organizational goals such as social and environmental responsibilities, experience, and religious beliefs on "moral sensitivity" of accountants and then examine the relationship between moral sensitivity and moral judgment. The information obtained from 102 questionnaires completed by professional accountants and accounting students indicates that the presence of non-financial elements in organizational goals such as social and environmental responsibilities increases moral sensitivity of accountants. Based on the results of this study, companies are encouraged to consider non-financial elements including social and environmental responsibilities as well as financials issues in setting goals. Moreover, moral sensitivity of professional accountants is significantly lower than the accounting students, and those who have higher levels of religious beliefs have a higher moral sensitivity. Meanwhile, it was found that moral sensitivity has a direct relationship with negative moral assessments of earnings management. In other words, when the moral sensitivity is higher, the earnings management practice is judged more unethical.


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