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Psychological bonds and their impact on behavioral loyalty in auditor‐client relationships

Sven Kuenzel (Business School, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, UK)
Ewa Krolikowska (Business School, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, UK)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 18 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of the psychological bond on behavioral loyalty (word‐of‐mouth, continuance and non‐audit services) to audit firms providing services to companies listed on the Polish Stock Exchange.

Design/methodology/approach

A model is proposed and tested using structural equation modeling with LISREL. Data were collected from top executives of companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Findings

The psychological bond has a positive effect on word‐of‐mouth, continuance and non‐audit services.

Research limitations/implications

The current research is limited to the investigation of the psychological bond as an antecedent of behavioral loyalty in Poland. Future research should identify and assess other antecedents and replicate these across different countries. A longitudinal survey across different points in time might reveal more useful information about auditor‐client relationships.

Practical implications

Auditors need to consider ways in which they can develop the psychological bond with their clients. This bond is the basis for the client believing the audit firm is superior to others, which has been found to lead to behavioral loyalty in this study. In particular, management of the auditor brand and reputation, personal experience of the audit firm and alumni relations are discussed as ways of enhancing the psychological bond among client executives.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine the impact of the psychological bond on behavioral loyalty in auditor‐client relationships.

Keywords

Citation

Kuenzel, S. and Krolikowska, E. (2008), "Psychological bonds and their impact on behavioral loyalty in auditor‐client relationships", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 328-344. https://doi.org/10.1108/02686900810864291

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited