The ABO Reporter

Have You Seen...?

By John T. Rigsby
Mississippi State University

I would appreciate hearing from any section members with suggestions for papers you feel would be of interest to others and that should be included in this column in the future. Please send any citations to me at

Ahlawat, S. S., "Order Effect and Memory for Evidence in Individual versus Group Decision Making in Auditing," Journal of Behavioral Decision-Making (1999, Vol. 12, No. 1): 71-88.

The study seeks to extend the literature on recency effects by assessing the potential moderating influence of teamwork. It assesses whether group decision making moderates the severity of recency effects predicted by Hogarth and Einhorn (1992), and whether group processing influences the accuracy of, and confidence in memory for evidence. Group memory was found to be more accurate than individual memory and groups were more confident than individuals. Overall, confidence in accurate memories was greater than inaccurate ones.

Anderson, B. H. and M. J. Maletta, "Primacy Effects and the Role of Risk in Auditor Belief-Revision Processes," Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory (1999, Vol. 18, No. 1): 75-89.

The authors found that auditors were susceptible to primacy effects when making likelihood of error and audit-hour planning judgements in relatively low inherent risk settings. No primacy effects for either judgement were found for high inherent risk settings, and auditors did not differentially revise their beliefs across inherent risk conditions for late negative information. Primacy effects appear to be the result of insufficient integration of late positive information in low inherent risk settings, suggesting that primacy may lead to over auditing and thus an inefficient use of audit resources.

Ashton R. H., "Writing Accounting Research for Publication and Impact," Journal of Accounting Education (1998, Vol. 16, No. 2): 247-260.

The author suggests guidelines for writing accounting research papers that may be useful to accounting researchers who want to improve the chances that their work will be accepted by top journals and, if accepted, will have a significant impact on their field. The advice is illustrated mainly in the context of experimental research in audit judgement, but is also applicable to other types of accounting research.

Bierstaker, J. L., J.C. Bedard, and S.F. Biggs, "The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision Processes in Analytical Procedures," Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory (1999,Vol. 18, No. 1): 18-36.

The authors investigated how problem representation shifts can lead auditors to better insight into possible explanations of discrepancies, and thus improve auditor decision processes in analytical procedures. A verbal protocol study was conducted, and the findings suggest that shifting to a productive problem representation was critical in achieving effective decision processes and identifying the seeded error.

Chow, C.W. and P. Harrison, "Factors Contributing to Success in Research and Publications: Insights of 'Influential' Accounting Authors," Journal of Accounting Education (1998, Vol. 16, Nos. 3\4): 463-472.

A survey was conducted of 119 "influential" accounting researchers, i.e. those with annual citation counts of 4.0 or more in five top accounting journals. They were asked to identify and rate the most important factors contributing to their success in research and publications. The result is a list of 391 items, organized under several major headings, as an aid to the reader's understanding of their commonalities and areas of interest.

Chu, P. C. and E. E. Spires, "Cross-Cultural Differences in Choice Behavior and Use of Decision Aids: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Processes (1999, Vol. 77, No. 2): 147-170.

A laboratory study was conducted to investigate the effect of cultural differences on decision strategy. Participants from Japan and the U.S. completed multi-attribute preferential choice tasks with and without use of computerized decision aids. The results indicate that Japanese participants were less likely to invoke compensation decision processes, which involve conflict-confronting assessment of trade-offs among attributes and suggest the need for descriptive theories that incorporate cultural factors.

Cohen, J. R. and G. M. Trompeter, "An Examination of Factors Affecting Audit Practice Development," Contemporary Accounting Research (1998, Vol. 15, No. 4): 481-504.

The authors conducted an experiment to determine whether the auditor's willingness to tender a bid on an engagement is affected by the nature of the engagement (i.e., do existing clients receive the same treatment as potential clients) or by the audit partner's aggressiveness with respect to practice development. Significant effects were found for both hypotheses.

Fisman, R. and T. Khanna, "Is Trust a Historical Residue? Information Flows and Trust Levels," Journal of Economic Behavioral Organization (1999, Vol. 38, No. 1): 79-92.

The authors examine some institutional determinants of trust, using data from the World Values Survey (1990-1993) and the International Telecommunications Union Yearbook. They find that trust is increasing in the ease of two-way communications, particularly in urbanized economies, and question the extreme viewpoint that trust is purely a historical residual.

Fogarty, Timothy, "Accounting Standard Setting: A Challenge for Critical Accounting Researchers," Critical Perspectives on Accounting (1998, Vol. 9, No. 5): 515-523.

This note by the author questions the value of continuously challenging public accounting in scattered and unfocused ways and offers some ideas for more productive directions.

Jackson, J. W. and E. R. Smith, "Conceptualizing Social Identity: A New Framework and Evidence for the Impact of Different Dimensions," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (1999, Vol. 25, No. 1): 120-135.

The authors introduce a framework for organizing conceptualizations of social identity along four dimensions: perception of the intergroup context, in-group attraction, interdependency beliefs, and depersonalization. The authors conduct two studies to test their framework and theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.

Johnstone, K. M. and S.F. Biggs, "Problem-based Learning: Introduction, Analysis, and Accounting Curricula Implications," Journal of Accounting Education (1998, Vol. 16, Nos. 3\4): 407-427.

This paper introduces and analyzes problem-based learning. A model of expertise development based on Boshuizen and Schmidt (1992) provides a cognitive framework for understanding the relevance of repeated realistic experiences as a means to expedite expertise development in accounting students.

Kennedy, J., T. Mitchell and S. E. Sefcik, " Disclosure of Contingent Environmental Liabilities: Some Unintended Consequences?" Journal of Accounting Research (1998, Vol. 36, No. 2): 257-277.

The study presents evidence that anchoring can influence the judgements and decisions of financial statement users presented with alternative disclosures of contingent environmental liabilities.

Rutledge, R. W. and K. E. Karim, "The Influence of Self-Interest and Ethical Considerations on Managers' Evaluation Judgements," Accounting, Organizations and Society (1999, Vol. 24, No. 2): 173-184.

The results of a laboratory experiment suggest that self-interest, as the sole basis for economic decisions, as predicted by agency theory, may not be generalizable to accounting-based economic performance. The study found that both moral reasoning level and adverse-selection conditions (self-interest) can have a significant effect on managers' project evaluation decisions.

Schultz, J.J. and K. Hooks, "The Effect of Relationship and Reward on Reports of Wrongdoing," Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory (1998, Vol. 17, No. 2): 15-35.

The authors conducted an experimental study examining the likelihood of reporting sensitive information with different strengths of the relationship between the observer of wrongdoing and the report recipient. Among other findings they found that a stronger relationship resulted in more reports, indicating that the stronger the relationship between the auditor and the client personnel, the greater the likelihood of receiving a report about sensitive matters related to financial reports.

Somers, M. R. "We're No Angels: Realism, Rational Choice, and Relationality in Social Science," American Journal of Sociology (1998, Vol. 104, No. 3): 722-784.

The author suggests that relational realism places greater emphasis on the pragmatic elements of explanation than theoretical realism, supporting a more relational, causal-historical, and problem-driven view of theory. A renewed appreciation of what is defined as Kuhn's historical epistemology provides the foundation for evaluating these competing research programs.

Stanovich, K.E. and R. F. West, "Discrepancies Between Normative and Descriptive Models of Decision Making and the Understanding/Acceptance Principle," Cognitive Psychology (1999, Vol. 38, No. 3): 349-385.

Several tasks from the heuristics and biases literature were examined in light of Slovic and Tuersky's (1974) understanding/acceptance principle - that the deeper the understanding of a normative principle, the greater the tendency to respond in accord with it. The results found several discrepancies between performance and normative models that could be explained by the understanding/acceptance principle, and several gaps that could not be explained in terms of varying task understanding or tendencies toward reflective thought. The results suggest that variation and instability in responses can be analyzed in useful ways that shed light on debates about why descriptive and normative models of human reasoning and decision making sometimes do not coincide.

Swanson, Z. L. and N. L. Gross, "A Comparison of Academics, Practitioners', and Users' Perspectives Toward the Research of Accounting Practice", Critical Perspectives on Accounting (1998, Vol. 9, No. 4): 467-485.

The authors in this paper analyze perspectives toward the research of accounting practice using a survey of three constituencies: academics, practitioners, and financial statement users. Respondents ranked their sense of importance of research on various topics in auditing, financial, managerial, and tax areas. The study examines for consensus for each topic and finds that consensus exists among the interest groups on most topics.

Viator, R. E., "An Analysis of Formal Mentoring Programs and Perceived Barriers to Obtaining a Mentor at Large Public Accounting Firms," Accounting Horizons (1999, Vol. 13, No. 1): 37-53.

This study used survey data obtained from 723 respondents currently working at the major accounting firms. Certain methods for matching potential mentors and proteges, as well as certain formal structures, were found to be associated with greater mentoring satisfaction. Also employees exposed to formal mentoring programs perceived no more barriers to obtaining a mentor than employees who developed informal mentoring relationships, and no evidence was found indicating that female employees, as compared to males, perceive greater barriers to obtaining a mentor.

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