Social Presence Theory: The Effects of Changing Communication Mediums on Judgment and Decision Making in the Audit Environment
53 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2020
Date Written: September 2020
The audit environment has recently undergone many changes related to communication. Due to the recent health concerns, interactions between all parties involved in an audit (e.g., auditors, clients, specialists) have been forced to be conducted virtually or using some form of computer-mediated communication (CMC). Further, partner level auditors have previously commented that the auditors entering the profession have not only become accustomed to communicating using CMC, but often prefer it over traditional face-to-face communication methods to interact with clients. Given the multiple mediums of communication present in the auditing environment, it is critical to understand how the communication medium might influence the various elements of judgment and decision making in an audit setting. This area has just begun to be explored in the auditing literature. We contend that Social Presence Theory is a particularly appropriate theory to be used in the audit setting and is important for future research. We provide a review of research utilizing Social Presence Theory and we suggest possible future research questions throughout the paper in order to promote research that examines the important impact of communication medium on judgment and decision making in auditing.
Keywords: social presence, auditor-client interaction, communication medium, computer-mediated communication
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