We examine the joint effects of incentive schemes and working relationships on auditors' propensity to report an audit partner's wrongdoing that impairs financial reporting quality in an experiment involving 90 audit seniors and managers. We predict and find that, relative to a control condition without an incentive scheme, a reward-based career-related incentive scheme is less likely to increase auditors' whistle-blowing propensity in the presence of a close working relationship with the wrongdoer than in its absence. In contrast, a penalty-based career-related scheme increases auditors' whistle-blowing propensity relative to the control condition regardless of the presence of a close working relationship. These results are consistent with a heightened social stigma associated with whistle-blowing on someone close for personal gains, and a preference to avoid losses rather than to acquire gains as predicted by prospect theory. The findings have useful implications for practice and suggest boundary conditions under which an incentive scheme can promote whistle-blowing.

JEL Classifications: M40; M42.

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