This is dissertation consists of three studies investigating accountability in auditing. It is aimed at gaining a better understanding of how auditors make decision in the presence of accountability pressure. The first study is a literature review of the experimental audit research on accountability. It provides a conceptual framework for organizing prior research on this topic and offers opportunities for future research. The second study experimentally investigates accountability as a potential mitigating mechanism for the performance declines caused by ego depletion. Auditors are shown to be susceptible to depletion, but research has yet to consider how a natural element of the audit environment, accountability, influences the relationship between depletion and performance. Study three examines how auditors respond to multiple accountability pressures. It considers how a power level difference between two conflicting parties, as well as a variation in justification timing, impact auditors' decisions. Overall, this dissertation contributes to our understanding of accountability in auditing in three distinct ways. It synthesizes prior research to provide insight into what we have learned thus far and where we should go from here in terms of research. It then considers whether accountability mitigates the negative effects of ego depletion, where it finds that depletion actually improves, rather than hinders, auditor performance. Lastly, it provides insight into how auditors make decisions in the presence of multiple accountability pressures. The results suggest that auditors' decisions are affected by a power level difference between accountability sources. Justification timing is also shown to influence auditors' decisions, but not in the manner expected.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration; Accounting
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Donnelly, Amy, "Three Studies Examining Accountability in Auditing" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5358.