Management's Motive and Its Effect on Selected Audit Decisions

Phillip M. J. Reckers and Bernard Wong-On-Wing
This study uses an attributional framework, the theory of corespondent inferences [Jones and Davis, 1965], to examine how auditors infer specific motives of management, and whether these inferences might affect subsequent audit judgments. The results indicate that consistent with attribution research in other contexts, auditors attend to the extent of the deviation from expectancies in making inferences about management's motives. Moreover, the inferred motive of management was found to significantly affect auditors' materiality judgment, and their likelihood of agreeing with management regarding an adjustment. Implications are discussed.

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