The effects of audit firm structure and auditors' locus of control on job stress, job satisfaction, and performance.
AuthorHyatt, Troy Allen.
Committee ChairFelix, William L. Jr.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examines whether auditors' job stress, job satisfaction, and performance are affected by the congruence (or fit) between auditors' personality and characteristics of the work environment they face. The personality measure used in this study is locus of control, which classifies individuals as either "internals" or "externals." The work environment is measured by using auditor assessments of role stress and imposed control and by noting whether the auditors work for a more or less structured auditing firm. Locus of control theory and prior research suggest that internals adapt better to environments that impose relatively little control on the individual or that are high in role stress. Conversely, externals adapt better to environments that impose high levels of control or that are low in role stress. In order to obtain the necessary data, a questionnaire was distributed to staff and senior-level auditors from four of the "Big 6" accounting firms (the two most structured and the two most unstructured as defined by prior research). The principal results can be summarized as follows. First, auditors' job stress was affected by the congruence between their locus of control and the amount of role conflict they perceived. Internals reported less job stress than externals when role conflict was high, and externals reported less job stress than internals when role conflict was low. Second, auditors' job satisfaction was affected by the congruence between (1) their locus of control and the amount of role ambiguity they perceived and (2) their locus of control and the amount of role conflict they perceived. In each case, internals reported higher job satisfaction than externals when role stress was high. On the other hand, when role stress was low, internals and externals reported similar levels of job satisfaction. Finally, auditors' self-reported performance was affected by the interaction between auditors' locus of control and audit firm structure. At relatively unstructured firms, internals reported higher performance than externals; at relatively structured firms, internals and externals reported similar performance levels. The interaction also reveals that internals reported higher performance at unstructured firms than at structured firms and that externals reported higher performance at structured firms than at unstructured firms.
Degree ProgramBusiness Administration