ABSTRACT: Public accounting firms rely on effective reporting of unethical behavior (whistleblowing) as a form of corporate governance. This study presents results from a survey of 122 in‐charge level auditors, who indicated their likelihood of internal whistleblowing under three forms of identity disclosure for three independent scenarios. Reporting likelihood was significantly lower under a disclosed identity format, while there was no significant difference in likelihood between anonymous and protected identity formats. Contrasts reveal a significantly higher likelihood of reporting audit standards violations than a professional code violation. Likelihood was also positively related to measures of trust that the firm would investigate and act on the reported incident. Personal characteristics (i.e., locus of control and ethical style) were significant antecedents to whistleblowing intentions. Findings should aid public accounting firms and organizational governance researchers in their understanding of the determinants of auditors' whistleblowing propensity.
Whistleblowing in Public Accounting: Influence of Identity Disclosure, Situational Context, and Personal Characteristics
Mary B. Curtis, Eileen Z. Taylor; Whistleblowing in Public Accounting: Influence of Identity Disclosure, Situational Context, and Personal Characteristics. Accounting and the Public Interest 1 December 2009; 9 (1): 191–220. https://doi.org/10.2308/api.2009.9.1.191
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