Data Analytics, Pressure, and Self-Determination: Experimental Evidence from Internal Auditors

47 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by Eddy Cardinaels

Eddy Cardinaels

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management; KU Leuven

Marc Eulerich

University of Duisburg-Essen, Mercator School of Management

Amin S. Sofla

KU Leuven - Department of Accountancy

Date Written: July 29, 2021

Abstract

Internal auditors are increasingly expected to review significant amounts of information while
working under pressure. Leading figures in the organization may put pressure on the internal audit
processes, reducing the auditor’s autonomy. Recent insights suggest that internal auditors who
score higher on the trait self-determination perform better in complex tasks but their performance
can be impaired when they experience significant pressure from leading figures in the
organization. One way to reduce the amount of cognitive resources needed to perform a task is
through the use of decision aids such as audit analytics. The present study examines the impact of
the availability of audit analytics, pressure by the CFO, and the internal auditor’s level of the self determination trait. Our results suggest that the level of self-determination is positively related to
performance. However, the CFO’s performance pressure undermines the relationship between
self-determination and performance for individuals with high self-determination. Interestingly, the
introduction of audit analytics appears to remove the detrimental effect of pressure on the
performance of highly self-determined auditors. Thus, while our results suggest that performance relevant traits such as self-determination might not improve performance in certain contexts, audit
analytics might protect performance against these challenges.

Keywords: Internal Audit; Data Analytics; Pressure; Self-determination, Task Complexity

JEL Classification: G30, G32, G34, M40, M42

Suggested Citation

Cardinaels, Eddy and Eulerich, Marc and Salimi Sofla, Amin, Data Analytics, Pressure, and Self-Determination: Experimental Evidence from Internal Auditors (July 29, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3895796 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3895796

Eddy Cardinaels

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 134668231 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/?uid=e.cardinaels

KU Leuven ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
+32 16326984 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kuleuven.be/wieiswie/nl/person/00013472

Marc Eulerich (Contact Author)

University of Duisburg-Essen, Mercator School of Management ( email )

Lotharstrasse 65
Duisburg, 47057
Germany
00492033792600 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msm.uni-due.de/ircg

Amin Salimi Sofla

KU Leuven - Department of Accountancy ( email )

Leuven, 3000
Belgium

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