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Towards a conceptual model of whistle-blowing intentions among auditors

Alleyne, P., Hudaib, M., and Pike, R. (2013) Towards a conceptual model of whistle-blowing intentions among auditors. British Accounting Review, 45 (1). pp. 10-23. ISSN 0890-8389

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Abstract

Whistle-blowing has received considerable attention in the ethics literature. However, following the collapse of Arthur Andersen in the Enron debacle, whistle-blowing within audit firms has taken on greater importance. Given the profession's requirements to be confidential, independent and to act in the public interest (e.g. Sarbanes–Oxley Act, 2002), there is a need for a model that is specific to the audit profession (e.g. Louwers, Ponemon, & Radtke, 1997), and in particular, that addresses auditors' whistle-blowing intentions. This paper presents a conceptual model on whistle-blowing intentions among external auditors where an auditor's individual factors (attitudes toward whistle-blowing, perceived behavioural control, independence commitment, personal responsibility for reporting and personal cost of reporting) have a direct influence on his or her intentions to whistle-blow, but are moderated by isomorphic factors (perceived organisational support and team norms) and issue-specific factors (perceived moral intensity). Using justice and institutional theories, the proposed model anticipates that whistle-blowing within an audit firm produces both positive and negative consequences to society, the audit firm and the individual whistle-blower. However, where audit firms have adequate formal supporting mechanisms for reporting wrongdoings to internal and external parties, the negative effects and personal costs of reporting will be minimised.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hudaib, Dr Mohammad
Authors: Alleyne, P., Hudaib, M., and Pike, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:British Accounting Review
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0890-8389
ISSN (Online):1095-8347
Published Online:14 December 2012

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