Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


School of Business


Agency theory is the theoretical foundation upon which to explain the practice of accounting and the behavior of individual CPAs. Recent accounting scandals, however, cast doubt on agency theory's adequacy for that purpose. This research explored the impact of individual characteristics of CPAs, primarily creativity, had relative to explaining their ethical orientation. The data generated herein from a sample of Oregon CPAs was not persuasive with respect to the study hypotheses, however, it did suggest a statistically significant inverse relationship between creativity and ethical idealism. It also suggested an alarming level of CPAs whose self-assessed creativity measure did not include the notion of honesty, a primary pillar upon which the agency theory framework of practice rests. Other observations and recommendations for future research were identified.

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