This article by Lampe and Garcia (2008) discusses the framework of internal auditing, a Code of Ethics, Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, Practice Advisories and Development and Practice Aids. The frameworks scope also covers both auditing and consulting activities by internal auditors. At times the process seems unmanageable with no clear guidance on how to make the decision. The purpose of this article is to provide a structured approach to an ethical decision-making process that ensures proper focus on the issues of each unique problem and careful consideration of ethical principles. The persons or groups who will be affected by ethical decisions and actions come from within or outside the firm or organization that employs the internal auditor who is the decision maker. Rationalizations are common and do not make unethical behavior ethical (Kohlberg, 1969).
Common examples include:
– basing a decision on the belief that others perhaps many others are doing the same or similar thing.
– thinking it is not your responsibility.
Kohlberg, L. 1969. Stage and Sequence. The Cognitive-development approach to Socialization. In D.A. Goslin (Ed) Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research. Chicago: Rand McNally
Lampe, J. & Garcia, A (2008). Principles of ethics for internal auditors made manageable, Internal Auditing: Boston Vol. 23, Iss. 3, 10, 12, 14-24.