Prior studies have found that industry specialists are more effective when working in specialization. It has been argued that they should also be more efficient, but this has not been tested to date. The purpose of this study is to determine whether industry specialists are more efficient at each stage of the decision‐making process when working in specialization. By breaking down and measuring efficiency at each stage of the decision‐making process, the opportunity is afforded to measure and compare the relative efficiencies of two groups of specialists in very different industries, the manufacturing, and superannuation (pension fund) industries. A controlled experiment was conducted in the offices of each of the Big 4 accounting firms. The two groups of specialists are found to vary in the decision processes they use, bringing into question the assumption that all specialists behave the same when working in specialization. It is the differences that are found between the industry groups that have interesting implications for future research.

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