Is Silence Golden? Audit Team Leader Reactions to Subordinates Who Speak Up 'In the Moment' and at Performance Appraisal
51 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2016 Last revised: 17 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 16, 2018
This paper examines audit team leader reactions to auditors who speak up about potentially important audit issues. Study 1 is a survey of interacting audit teams and provides evidence of higher performance evaluations for auditors who speak up. Studies 2, 3, and 4 are experiments examining team leader reactions to speaking up, both at the time speaking up occurs (Study 2) and later during performance evaluation (Studies 2, 3, and 4). Results provide evidence that team leaders react with irritation at the time speaking up occurs, particularly if a team member raises an audit effectiveness issue that could increase audit effort. However, team leaders reward speaking up in performance evaluations, particularly when team members speak up about issues that align with the effectiveness or efficiency focus of the team. While supervisors’ performance evaluations exhibit outcome effects, supervisors also reward speaking up, regardless of outcome.
Keywords: Audit teams, information sharing, audit efficiency, audit effectiveness, auditor performance assessment, survey, experiment.
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation