Taking a cognitive perspective of internal auditor independence, the purpose of this study is to develop measures for the concepts of commitment to independence, role conflict and role ambiguity in the context of the internal auditor's work environment, in order to provide evidence of the effects of role conflict and ambiguity, and their sub‐dimensions, on the internal auditor's commitment to independence.
To measure these concepts, scales are developed for a questionnaire by drawing on measures established in the organizational behavior literature and adapting these to the internal auditor's context. The questionnaire is sent to a sample of internal auditors drawn from the database of the Institute of Internal Auditors Malaysia in which listed companies with an in‐house internal audit function are extracted. There are 101 useable responses.
The results reveal that both role ambiguity and role conflict are significantly negatively related to commitment to independence. The underlying dimensions found to have the greatest impact on commitment to independence are: first, ambiguity in both the exercise of authority by the internal auditor and time pressure faced by the internal auditor; and second, conflict between the internal auditor's personal values and both management's and their profession's expectations and requirements.
The results extend the literature on internal auditor independence and provide insights for auditing standards setters and corporate governance designers.
Ahmad, Z. and Taylor, D. (2009), "Commitment to independence by internal auditors: the effects of role ambiguity and role conflict", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 24 No. 9, pp. 899-925. https://doi.org/10.1108/02686900910994827Download as .RIS
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