Persuasion in Auditing: A Review Through the Lens of the Communication-Persuasion Matrix
Forthcoming at European Accounting Review
88 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2020 Last revised: 10 Dec 2020
Date Written: December 7, 2020
We provide a comprehensive review and synthesis of behavioral experimental literature that examines persuasion in auditing. We organize our review by applying McGuire’s (1969, 1978) five Components of Persuasive Communication: source, message, receiver, channel, and destination from his Communication-Persuasion Matrix. Our synthesis identifies two primary contexts in which persuasion attempts occur in the auditing setting: (1) auditors and clients engaging in or coping with others’ persuasive communications; (2) auditors coping with subordinates’ persuasion attempts in working papers. From our analysis, we identify a concentration of prior persuasion research on source, message, and receiver variables, and we develop 26 questions for future research to consider based on gaps we identify in the literature. Our literature review specifies and organizes key features of persuasion in auditing, enhances our understanding of how auditors and clients initiate and respond to persuasive communications, and discusses significant implications for both audit quality and financial reporting outcomes.
Keywords: Persuasion, Auditing, Judgment and Decision Making, Communication-Persuasion Matrix
JEL Classification: M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation