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Resilience as a coping strategy for reducing auditor turnover intentions

Kenneth J. Smith (Department of Accounting and Legal Studies, Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA)
David J. Emerson (Department of Accounting and Legal Studies, Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA)
Charles R. Boster (Department of Accounting and Legal Studies, Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, USA)
George S. Everly, Jr (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 12 May 2020

Issue publication date: 15 June 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential counteracting influence of individual resilience levels on the tendency of role stressors, stress arousal and burnout to reduce job satisfaction and increase turnover intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study surveys 332 auditors from the offices of nine public accounting firms. The structural equations modeling procedures examine an expanded role stress model to assess the nature and extent of the role that resilience plays in reducing stress, burnout, job dissatisfaction and turnover intentions.

Findings

Resilience has a significant direct negative association with stress arousal and burnout, a significant indirect positive association with job satisfaction and a significant indirect negative association with turnover intentions.

Research limitations/implications

As a cross-sectional study that incorporates self-report instruments, no definitive statements can be made about causality. However, the results extend the extant knowledge related of the role of resilience as a coping mechanism within the role stress paradigm in auditor work settings.

Practical implications

This study’s findings suggest the potential value of resilience training programs at public accounting firms to reduce staff burnout. In turn, reduced burnout has an increased likelihood ceteris paribus of increasing job satisfaction and reducing auditor turnover intentions.

Originality/value

This study’s findings suggest that resilience training for public accounting staff to reduce burnout may provide the organizational and personal benefits associated with enhancing job satisfaction and decreasing turnover intentions.

Keywords

Citation

Smith, K.J., Emerson, D.J., Boster, C.R. and Everly, Jr, G.S. (2020), "Resilience as a coping strategy for reducing auditor turnover intentions", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 483-498. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-09-2019-0177

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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