To read this content please select one of the options below:

Genes, Culture, and Voluntary Audits

aThe University of Tennessee, USA
bUniversity Nongo Conakry, Guinea
cQatar University, Qatar

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research

ISBN: 978-1-80455-799-0, eISBN: 978-1-80455-798-3

Publication date: 13 March 2023


National differences in the demand for voluntary external audits have been linked to multiple factors, such as differences in a country's rate of growth, access to external credit, and institutional quality. Audits, however, also have a psychological cost, whose intensity is genetically and culturally hereditary. Using a sample of 3,072 private firms across 34 industries in seven countries, including five countries or regions from the former Soviet Comecon, we find that a country's share of firms choosing to undergo external audits is negatively related to the prevalence of carriers of the G allele in the mu-opioid receptor gene's A118G polymorphism, also known as the “social sensitivity” gene. Furthermore, the relationship between the prevalence of the social sensitivity gene and audits is fully mediated by a national culture's degree of collectivism. The results are statistically and economically highly significant and remain robust to the introduction of a set of confounding factors at the firm and country levels. Our results have practical relevance in recognizing psychological diversity when conducting audits and, more generally, preventing burnout in the workplace.




We would like to thank Professor Khondkar Karim (editor of AABR), anonymous reviewers, and participants at Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association 2019 annual conference for their valuable feedback on earlier versions of the paper. Our special thanks to Maria Crawford for copyediting multiple versions of the paper.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Dakhlia, S., Diallo, B., Saadullah, S.M. and Temimi, A. (2023), "Genes, Culture, and Voluntary Audits", Karim, K.E. (Ed.) Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research (Advances in Accounting Behavioural Research, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 291-324.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 by Emerald Publishing Limited