During the years since Ethics and the Internal Auditor was published, much has transpired. The widespread evidence of chicanery and fraud on the part of corporate officers and the instances of a lack of ethics and professional conduct on the part of external auditors bring the subject of ethics to immediate attention and interest.
The conclusion of the second survey (1994) of the field of internal auditing was that there was, "...considerable change in the attitudes of internal auditors," and that, "Generally it appears that the change is pointed toward a more strict approach and a tendency on the part of more auditors to believe that more drastic actions should be taken." Also, there continued to be a "modest variance" between the auditors' positions and the positions they perceived their organizations would take.
We believed there would be a further change in the attitude of internal auditors toward the ethics concepts as a result of the tumultuous conditions of recent years and the implied attitude changes that pervaded the field in the mid-1990s. We were hopeful on the part of internal auditors that the change would be for the better. Thus, the reiteration of the study.
This third survey uses the same vignettes of the prior two studies, the same scaling of reactions, the same instructions, and the same analytical approach. The only difference was that electronic contact was used in place of mail.