Auditor perceptions of prior involvement and reputation threats as antecedents of quality threatening audit behavior
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate practicing auditors' beliefs regarding the effect of prior involvement on the occurrence of quality threatening behaviour (QTB) during an audit. The authors examine the extent to which auditors' beliefs about QTB are consistent with the theoretical framework of Kanodia et al., according to which prior involvement in audit work would increase the likelihood of auditors suppressing evidence inconsistent with earlier audit decisions. Design/methodology/approach – The authors conduct an experiment in which auditors assess the likelihood of perceived reputation threats associated with encountering disconfirming evidence late in the audit, and the likelihood that such evidence will be suppressed. Findings – Auditors participating in the study believe that prior involvement will induce a perception of personal reputation threats in an auditor encountering evidence inconsistent with the conclusions of earlier audit work. Participants perceive an auditor with prior involvement in the audit work to be more likely to suppress audit evidence than an auditor with no prior involvement; this effect is largely explained by the personal reputation threats believed to be induced by prior involvement. Research limitations/implications – The findings provide important information, from the perspective of practicing auditors, about a situational antecedent of QTB that is present on most audit engagements. Prior involvement is perceived by auditors to induce a conflict of interest in reporting troublesome evidence uncovered late in the audit. These perceptions suggest it is important to raise reviewers' awareness of the possibility of undesirable behavior in such situations. Potential limitations of the study relate to generalizability of the results under different levels of misstatement risk and under different environments in audit practice. Also, the authors do not measure auditors' actual behaviour, but their assessment of hypothetical situations and beliefs about others' actions. Future research can examine actual auditor behaviour in the presence of prior involvement. Originality/value – The paper provides evidence on auditors' beliefs about the effects on QTB of prior involvement, a factor that has not been previously studied in this line of research. The authors show that auditors' beliefs about QTB are consistent with Kanodia et al.'s theoretical framework. The study is the first to measure auditors' assessments of perceived reputation threats and to show their mediating effect on the predicted behavior of audit professionals.
Volume (Year): 27 (2012)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=maj Email:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-34, December.
- Fisher, Robert J, 1993. " Social Desirability Bias and the Validity of Indirect Questioning," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 303-15, September.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
- Glenn Harrison & Jeff Carpenter & John List, 2005. "Field experiments in economics: An introduction," Artefactual Field Experiments 00034, The Field Experiments Website.
- Bazerman, Max & Neale, Margaret, 1992. "Nonrational escalation of commitment in negotiation," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 163-168, June.
- Tan, Hun-Tong & Yates, J. Frank, 1995. "Sunk Cost Effects: The Influences of Instruction and Future Return Estimates," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 311-319, September.
- Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1991.
"Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
3792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 468-505, June.
- Gibbons, R. & Murphy, K.J., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts In The Presence Of Career Concerns: Theory And Evidence," Working papers 563, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Murphy, K.J. & Gibbons, R., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns : Theory and Evidence," Papers 90-09, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
- Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:majpps:v:27:y:2012:i:9:p:796-820. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Lister)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.