Coaching Quality and Subordinate Work Attitudes in the Multiple Supervisor Auditing Context: Does One ‘Bad Apple’ Spoil the Barrel?
45 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 6, 2019
This study examines coaching quality (CQ) of audit supervisors by assessing the level of and variation in coaching behaviors experienced by audit subordinates. Theory suggests that when subordinates in audit practice experience multiple supervisors, they form a social context that could moderate the negative influence of a low CQ supervisor. To investigate, we asked participants to provide information on three supervisors, finding high CQ variability in the collective coaching experiences of many subordinates. We use this information to investigate how perceptions of supervisors’ CQ interact to affect subordinates’ work attitudes. We find that the effect of a low CQ (“bad apple”) supervisor on organizational commitment and turnover intentions is mitigated when the CQ of another supervisor is relatively high or when the highest CQ supervisor is also a mentor. Investigating determinants of CQ, we find that audit subordinates perceive that supervisors’ lack of capability is the most inhibiting factor.
Keywords: Coaching Quality, On-the-job Coaching, Multiple Supervisors, Organizational Commitment, Turnover, Project-based Organizations
JEL Classification: L2, M40, M42, M51, M53
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