Accounting Stakeholders' Perceptions of Accountants' Job Performance and Motivation
46 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2006
Date Written: June 29, 2006
Understanding accounting stakeholders', including customers', perceptions of accountant's job performance and motivation is important to improving customer service, understanding the changing nature of accounting work, and, preparing accountants for professional practice. Herein, we compare the perceptions of three highly experienced groups of accounting stakeholders (i.e., 179 accountants, 286 customers, and 150 supervisors) of accountants' job performance and motivation at the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). We also test for the presence of leniency (i.e., over-estimates of self-performance) and extrinsic incentives (EI) (i.e., overestimates of extrinsic and underestimates of intrinsic motivation among customers and supervisors) biases in stakeholders' perceptions. We find no evidence of leniency bias among accountants, no evidence of extrinsic incentives bias among customers, and, little evidence of an extrinsic incentive bias among supervisors. However, accountants' models of their job performance include predictors (i.e., task prestige, extrinsic motivation) that are not significant in other stakeholders' models. In contrast to the prediction of an EI bias, customers perceive accountants as having lower extrinsic motivation than do the participating accountants. We conclude by discussing the limitations and implications of our results and of the increasing customer focus for accounting work.
Keywords: Customers, accounting practice, job performance, motivation leniency bias, extrinsic incentives bias
JEL Classification: M12, M40, M46, M59
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