This study explores auditors’ professional attitudes and behaviours. It tests the influence of public interest commitment, independence enforcement beliefs and organisational ethical culture on auditors’ acceptance of and engagement in practices that compromise their objectivity. The study is based on survey responses of 122 Spanish auditors. To analyse the combined effect of the variables under study, variance-based structural equation modelling (partial least squares, PLS) was employed. The results suggest that the regulatory efforts to improve auditors’ behaviours by enforcing independence rules have been internalised by auditors. The results also reinforce the need to instil the societal responsibilities of professional auditors, since auditors’ public interest commitment is related to their ethical decision making. Furthermore, this study reveals that firms’ ethical cultures influence auditors’ commitment to the public interest, as well as their ethical decision making. The study raises practical implications for auditing professionals, regulators and audit firms. Understanding auditors’ beliefs and behavioural patterns is critical to proposing mechanisms that enhance their ethical behaviours, which could ultimately enhance audit quality. The chapter contributes to the field by analysing the combined effect of the regulatory framework and organisational context on auditors’ professional values and behaviours.
Barrainkua, I. and Espinosa-Pike, M. (2018), "The Influence of Auditors’ Commitment to Independence Enforcement and Firms’ Ethical Culture on Auditors’ Professional Values and Behaviour", Jefrey, C. (Ed.) Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting (Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 17-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1574-076520180000021002
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