Participant Information Sheet and Consent

Researcher: Zack Nickson
Ethics Number: 40154

Please read this information carefully before deciding to take part in this research.

What is this study about?
This questionnaire contains information regarding the acceptability of earnings management. Earnings management is a discretionary practice undertaken by managers and accountants in order to mislead shareholders on the actual financial situation of the company or to reveal insider information to shareholders, depending on the view taken. In order to further understand this topic we will be researching the acceptability of earnings management practices.

Why have I been chosen?
You have been invited to take part in this study because:
 You are a student undertaking an Accounting and Finance degree
 You are school leaver attending an accounting trainee programme

Do I have to take part?
No. You can choose whether or not to take part in this study. If you decide to take part you may stop at any time. If you wish not to take part you do not need to do anything more.

What is required from you?
This questionnaire includes 13 short questions on a variety of management decisions. The Divisions referred to in the Question are part of a £1 Billion corporate, which has a financial year between January – December. Each division has annual sales of £100 Million, with an annual pre-tax operating profit of £12 Million. You are to assume the events are independent.
For each question select the option in that best reflects your assessment of the ethical nature of the action as supervisor of the General Manager of the division:
1 = Ethical
2 = Questionable
3 = Moderate
4 = Serious
5 = Totally Unethical

How long will the questionnaire take?
This questionnaire will take approximately 10 minutes of your time. The data used will be for statistical analysis only and your personal details will remain strictly confidential.

How will the information be used?
The information provided by you in this questionnaire will be used for research purposes. It will not be used in a matter which would allow identification of your individual responses.
In completing this questionnaire you are providing implied consent to allow us to use your responses as part of our dissertation study. Your responses will only be used within this study for analysis purposes.

Will my information be confidential?
The data obtained will be used for analysis and subsequent publication; but individuals supplying the responses will remain anonymous. Your IP address will remain anonymous.

Are there any risk involved?
We do not anticipate any potential harm to be caused.

What are the advantages of taking part?
By participating in this study you will be contributing to accounting ethics research. Ethics is a growing issue within accounting and business and in order to understand it more further research is required.

Ethical Approval
This study has been approved by the University of Southampton Ethics Committee. This committee makes sure that the study is conducted ethically and in accordance with the requirements set by the University of Southampton.

Where can I get more information?

Name: Mr Zack Nickson
Email: Zn3g15@soton.ac.uk
Implied Consent
By proceeding with this questionnaire you are confirming you have read and understood the purpose of the study and agree to take part in this research project. Any data collected will be anonymous and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
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