Date of Award

2-27-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Leadership

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Ralph Norcio

Second Advisor

Jim Miller

Third Advisor

Karen Casey-Acevedo

Abstract

The growth of inappropriate accounting transactions, corporate scandals, and fraudulent financial reporting has created an environment of mistrust of corporations and the people who manage them. There is a need to understand the underlying factors associated with these trends, and to apply that knowledge to the education of the future generation of managers--students in pursuit of a business degree. Academic cheating has been found to correlate with fraudulent financial activity (Chen & Teng, 2006; Rod & Richardson, 1994). Understanding the attitudes and intentions of college students, when faced with a difficult decision, is vital (Peppas & Diskin, 2001).

From an accessible population of approximately 805 community college business students enrolled in core business classes, 485 students participated in this exploratory (comparative) and explanatory (correlational) study. Multiple regression analyses tested hypothesized relationships between student characteristics, personality dimensions, attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and intention to fraudulently report financial information using the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) developed by Gosling, Rentfrow, and Swan (2003), and a scenario based on the constructs related to the theory of planned behavior (TPB) developed by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980).

Results of psychometric analyses indicated estimates of TIP1 reliability were lower among this sample compared to previous samples, while TPB estimates were consistent with previous studies. Results of factor analyses found that although the attitude and intent items formed one, rather than two, factors, the factor structure of the subjective norm and perceived behavioral control constructs were supported. The TIP1 analyses produced four, rather than five dimensions.

Female students were more conscientious, while male students were more open to experiences. Results of hypotheses testing indicated two of the five personality dimensions, conscientiousness and agreeableness, followed the hypothesized order of importance in explaining the intention to fraudulently report financial information. TPB constructs, attitude and subjective norm, were positive explanatory variables of intent. A more extensive personality inventory instrument may offer a better understanding of the relationship between personality dimension and intention. The use of a national sample may provide insight into trends occurring in the college classroom, and improve the generalizability of future results.

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