The Effects of Different Types of Internal Controls on Employee Self-Control

35 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2016

See all articles by Drew Allen

Drew Allen

Brigham Young University

William G. Heninger

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

Scott L. Summers

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

David A. Wood

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

Date Written: June 14, 2016

Abstract

One key reason companies implement internal controls is to reduce the likelihood of unethical behavior. Yet, research on ego depletion from psychology suggests that some controls may cause reductions in employees’ self-control, which could lead to increases in unethical behavior. Therefore, this study examines how different types of controls — namely preventive, detective with immediate feedback, and detective with delayed feedback — impact self-control and ethical judgments. Based on the results of three different experiments with 462 participants, we find no significant relation between self-control and the types of internal controls tested. Furthermore, we find that the types of controls tested have no effect on ethical judgments or ethical ideology. Thus, our results suggest that controls in general and some types of internal controls do not differentially impact self-control.

Keywords: Internal Controls, Ego Depletion, Ethics, Preventive Controls, Detective Controls

JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, G3

Suggested Citation

Allen, Charles and Heninger, William G. and Summers, Scott L. and Wood, David A., The Effects of Different Types of Internal Controls on Employee Self-Control (June 14, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2795815 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2795815

Charles Allen

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

William G. Heninger

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

Scott L. Summers

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

516 TNRB
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-9790 (Phone)
801-422-0621 (Fax)

David A. Wood (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

518 TNRB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-8642 (Phone)
801-422-0621 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marriottschool.byu.edu/employee/employee.cfm?emp=daw44

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