Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Accountancy

First Advisor

Odom, Marcus

Abstract

From an accounting standpoint, the concept of social responsibility has gained a lot of momentum with both academicians and practitioners. Many of the top public accounting firms' offer social responsibility reporting services. Also, many CPA firms, most of which tend to be private partnerships and sole proprietorships, are engaged in social responsibility initiatives. CPA Social Responsibility at the level of a business owner is a concept that is largely unexplored in the academic literature. The overwhelming majority of academic papers have looked at social responsibility from the standpoint of a corporation, that is, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The lack of adequate development of social responsibility at the level of a business owner has led to a gap in the research in terms of methodology and of the causal relationships that social responsibility may have on variety of outcomes. This study conducts a thorough literature review on the concept of social responsibility, and then in conjunction with a qualitative analysis consisting of interviews with CPAs (who own their business - that is, sole proprietors and partners), this paper defines social responsibility. Using the definitions generated by the literature review and the expert panel, this paper uses the grounding of Nicomachean Ethics to derive the definitions and elucidate the underlying dimensions of CPA Social Responsibility. Further, the study uses power analysis, factor analysis, scree plots, multidimensional scaling, perceptual maps, and a sequential process to develop and validate an instrument to measure the concept of CPA Social Responsibility at the level of a business owner.

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