Behavioral Ethics
There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

This course discusses the different theories of how people deal with ethical dilemmas and goes on to cover a number of issues that can impact these decisions. Examples of these issues are contextual factors, the ethical infrastructure of a business, the role of leaders, and employee interactions with management. The course also addresses the fraud triangle, fraud addiction, whistleblowing, and several similar topics.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Behavioral Ethics
Oct 8, 2019
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

IRS Provider #: 0MYXB
IRS Course ID: 0MYXB-E-01391-19-S
CTEC Provider #: 2071
CTEC Course ID: 2071-CE-1337
CTEC Ethics Credit: 2
Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the categories of ethical positions that a person may hold.
  • Note the different types of core virtues.
  • Recognize the different types of ethical weaknesses in a business environment.
  • Recall the impact on ethics of the different types of organizational structures.
  • Note the theories associated with catching improper employee behavior.
  • Identify the components of a fair decision making process.
  • Recall the characteristics of a leader who is more likely to be followed by employees.
  • Identify phrases that may be considered euphemisms.
  • Note the effects of blanketing an organization with too many rules.
  • Recall some of the rationalizations used when someone commits fraud.

Table of Contents

Behavioral Ethics

Learning Objectives


Ethical Positions

Setting the Baseline

The Normative Approach

The Intuitive Approach

Virtue Ethics

The Descriptive Approach

Contextual Factors

Imposed Pressure

Interpersonal Interactions

Dislike of Managers

Peer Impacts

Social Bonding Effects

Organizational Structure

Perceived Fairness

Working Conditions

Wealth Effects


Ethical Infrastructure

Detection Theory

Punishment of Unethical Behavior

Letting off Steam

Fairness of the Decision Making Process

The Role of Leaders

The Effect of Unethical Leaders

Signs of an Unethical Leader

Employee Interaction with Management

Why Employees Violate Their Own Ethical Standards


Antisocial Behavior

Time Pressure

The Crowding-Out Effect

Goal Sickness

The Waterbed Effect

Group Effects


Fraud Triggers

Perceived Pressure



Fraud Addiction

Lying during Negotiations


Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Qualified Assessment

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation

Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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