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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2019

Yu-Tzu Chang and Dan N. Stone

This paper aims to introduce the emerging artificial-intelligence-based readability metrics (Coh-Metrix) to examine the effects of firm size on audit proposal readability.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce the emerging artificial-intelligence-based readability metrics (Coh-Metrix) to examine the effects of firm size on audit proposal readability.

Design/methodology/approach

Coh-Metrix readability measures use emerging computation linguistics technology to better assess document readability. These metrics measure co-relations of words, sentences and paragraphs on multi-dimensions rather than adopting the unidimensional “bag of words” approach that examines words in isolation. Using eight Coh-Metrix orthogonal principal component factors, the authors analyze the Chang and Stone (2019) data set comprised of 370 hand-collected audit proposals submitted by audit firms for the US state and local governments’ audit service contracts.

Findings

Audit firm size has a significant impact on the readability of audit proposals. Specifically, as measured by the traditional readability metric, the proposals from smaller firms are more readable than those submitted by larger firms. Furthermore, decomposed readability metrics indicate that smaller firm proposals evidence stronger (deep) text cohesion, whereas larger firm proposals evidence a stronger narrative structure and higher connectivity (relational indicators) among proposal elements. Unlike the traditional readability metric, however, the emergent readability metrics are uncorrelated with auditor selection.

Research limitations/implications

Work remains to develop and validate Coh-Metrix measures that are specific to the context of accounting and auditing practice. Future research can use emerging readability measures to examine various textual features (e.g. text cohesion) in finance or accounting related documents.

Practical implications

The results provide practitioners with insight into the proposal writing strategies and practices of larger and smaller firms. In addition, the results highlight the differing audit firm selection outcomes from traditional and Coh-Metrix readability metrics.

Originality/value

This study introduces new data and holistic readability measures to the auditing literature.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Book part
Publication date: 8 September 2017

Hank C. Alewine and Dan N. Stone

The increasing use of complex, nonfinancial environmental performance measures in managerial decisions motivates consideration of contextual influences that potentially…

Abstract

The increasing use of complex, nonfinancial environmental performance measures in managerial decisions motivates consideration of contextual influences that potentially impact managerial judgments in environmental settings. This study extends general evaluability theory (GET: Hsee & Zhang, 2010) to environmental accounting by investigating the combined effects of evaluation mode and incomplete supplemental evaluability information (SEI; e.g., benchmark data) on management decisions. To elaborate, evaluation mode is the display format in which the accounting information system (AIS) provides available information for analysis; e.g., a manager’s or business unit’s performance is assessed either comparatively (i.e., in joint mode) or individually (i.e., in separate mode). GET suggests more decision weight on measures containing SEI in separate mode because that evaluation mode contains less context in which to analyze information. On the other hand, more decision weight should result for measures that do not contain SEI in joint mode because that mode already contains more context for analysis (e.g., comparing multiple performances with each other). To test these predictions, experimental participants (n = 53) evaluated environmental measures for factories with similar environmental performances. To operationalize the information available in many environmental AIS, some, but not all, performance measures contained benchmark data (incomplete SEI); factories were evaluated either jointly or separately. Participants evidenced decision intransitivity; i.e., in separate evaluation mode, factories rated higher when a favorable measure contained SEI, while in joint evaluation mode, factories rated higher when a favorable measure lacked SEI. The results extend previous AIS and management accounting research by investigating contextual influences, and potential systems design elements, in judgments using environmental AIS.

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2019

Yu-Tzu Chang and Dan N. Stone

This paper aims to examine the effects of firm size on audit proposal readability and audit proposal readability on auditor selection using readability metrics.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effects of firm size on audit proposal readability and audit proposal readability on auditor selection using readability metrics.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting the Flesch reading ease readability formula, the authors analyze the readability of 370 hand-collected audit proposals submitted by audit firms for US state and local governments’ audit service contracts.

Findings

The authors find differences in readability across audit firm size, specifically the proposals written by smaller firms are more readable than those submitted by larger firms. The results further indicate that readability metrics correlate with auditor selection, i.e. an increase in audit proposal readability from the first to third quartile improves the likelihood of a firm winning the engagement by about 6 per cent, ceteris paribus. In addition, while audit fees and an existing auditor–client relationship are associated with engagement success, proxies for audit quality (i.e. audit firm size, audit experience of lead partner) are not.

Research limitations/implications

The Flesch reading ease measure is a simple linear combination of text attributes, which assumes that readability is a single, unidimensional construct. Simple readability metrics, such as the Flesch reading ease, may confound environmental complexity with readability.

Practical implications

Readability improves audit proposal success.

Originality/value

The results provide insight to accounting stakeholders regarding the potential influence of readability on audit firm selection. In short, readability matters.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

R. Cameron Cockrell and Dan N. Stone

The paper seeks to extend self‐determination theory (SDT) and the triple helix model of knowledge sharing to predict that between‐industry differences in financial rewards

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2904

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to extend self‐determination theory (SDT) and the triple helix model of knowledge sharing to predict that between‐industry differences in financial rewards and the quality of knowledge‐sharing motivation will explain the extent of useless, pseudo‐knowledge sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants are certified management accountant (CMA) survey respondents in two industries: finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE; n=52) and higher education (n=50).

Findings

Consistent with predictions, the results indicate more pseudo‐knowledge sharing occurs among FIRE than among higher‐education CMAs, and, financial incentives and the quality of knowledge‐sharing motivation fully mediate the effect of industry on pseudo‐knowledge sharing.

Research limitations/implications

A larger sample, and triangulating the survey data with archival and non‐self‐reported measures, would strengthen the inferences and conclusions.

Practical implications

Industry culture, through its influence on financial rewards and organizational knowledge culture, may affect the success or failure of organizational knowledge‐sharing initiatives.

Originality/value

This is among the first investigations to define and investigate “dark”, pseudo‐knowledge sharing, which can impede organizational goals.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Candace L. Witherspoon, Jason Bergner, Cam Cockrell and Dan N. Stone

Knowledge is the most important component of sustainable organizational growth and economic performance. This meta‐analysis aims to summarize the determinants of

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6656

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge is the most important component of sustainable organizational growth and economic performance. This meta‐analysis aims to summarize the determinants of individuals' knowledge sharing (KS) intentions and behaviors in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors organize the knowledge sharing antecedents investigated in 46 studies (n≈10,487, median n=172) into three categories, i.e. knowledge sharer intention and attitude (four variables); rewards for KS (three variables); and organizational culture (nine variables).

Findings

Variables in all three antecedent categories positively contribute to KS intentions and behaviors; high between‐study variability exists, and the fail‐safe n statistic suggests the observed effects are robust against a “file drawer” (missing study) bias. Moderator results suggest that motivating KS is easier in collectivist, as opposed to individualist, cultures.

Research limitations/implications

In most of the studies included in this meta‐analysis, participants volunteered to share knowledge with researchers. Hence, an important threat to validity in the existing research is a potential “cooperation bias” in which participants likely overestimate their willingness to share knowledge. Future KS research should investigate the dark underbelly of knowledge activities in organizations, including investigations of knowledge hoarding, withholding of knowledge to gain personal advantage, and “contributing” worthless information to gain (through gaming) personal payoffs.

Originality/value

The meta‐analysis results herein contribute to the KS literature by identifying the determinants of KS, and an important potential limitation of much existing KS research.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2013

Hank C. Alewine and Dan N. Stone

Environmental consequences increasingly influence management strategy and choice. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects on attention and investment of…

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4184

Abstract

Purpose

Environmental consequences increasingly influence management strategy and choice. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects on attention and investment of: incorporating environmental data into a balanced scorecard (BSC), called the sustainability balanced score card (SBSC) and the organization of environmental accounting information.

Design/methodology/approach

In a between‐participant design, participants (n ≈ 95) chose from among two investments using BSCs. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: no environmental data (control or BSC condition); environmental data embedded within the traditional BSC (four‐perspective SBSC); or environmental data added to a BSC as a standalone fifth perspective (five‐perspective SBSC).

Findings

Investment to achieve environmental stewardship objectives was greater with the four‐perspective SBSC than the traditional BSC. In addition, participants were most efficient, i.e. spent the least total time, and least time per data element examined, with the four‐perspective SBSC. Finally, the time spent examining, and decision weight given to, environmental data were unrelated.

Research limitations/implications

Professional managers and accountants may have greater knowledge of environmental metrics than do students, who are the participants in this study; hence, the results may not generalize to higher knowledgeable professionals since their processing of environmental data may differ from the lower knowledge participants of this study.

Practical implications

The form (i.e. organization) of environmental accounting data changed the allocation of participants' attention while the presence of environmental accounting data changed participants' investments; hence, both the presence and form of environmental accounting information influenced decision making.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to show differing influences from both the presence and organization of environmental accounting data on attention and investment.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Dan N. Stone, Alexei N. Nikitkov and Timothy C. Miller

This paper aims to adapt Simons’ (1995b) theory of the role of information technology (IT) in shaping and facilitating the levers of control (i.e. the Levers of Control…

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1435

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to adapt Simons’ (1995b) theory of the role of information technology (IT) in shaping and facilitating the levers of control (i.e. the Levers of Control Applied to Information Technology – LOCaIT) as a framework for investigating how eBay’s business strategy was realized through its management control system (MCS) in the first 10 years of the online auction market.

Design and method

The qualitative method uses data from public record interviews, teaching cases, books, Securities and Exchange Commission filings and other archival sources to longitudinally trace the realization of eBay’s strategy through its MCS and IT.

Findings

Realizing its strategy through the eBay MCS necessitated a diagnostic control system unlike any previously seen. This system created a close-knit online community and enabled buyers and sellers to monitor one another’s performance and trustworthiness.

Research limitations and implications

The LOCaIT theory facilitated understanding the core aspects of the realization of eBay’s strategy through its MCS and IT. However, LOCaIT largely omits the strong linkages evident among elements of the MCS, the importance and necessity of building a core IT infrastructure to support eBay’s strategy and the central role of building consumer trust in the realization of this strategy.

Practical and social implications

eBay’s MCS is now, perhaps, the world’s most widely imitated model for creating online trust and user interactions (e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon). In addition, eBay’s MCS was “sold” as a consumer product that was instrumental in facilitating consumer trust in the online auction market.

Originality/value

Contributions include: tracing the creation, growth and evolution of, perhaps, the world’s largest and most widely imitated MCS, which redefined the boundaries of accounting systems monitoring; and testing the range, usefulness and limitations of Simons’ LOCaIT theory as a lens for understanding eBay’s use of IT in their MCS.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Barbara Czarniawska

This paper aims to explore accounting across time and space via novels.

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1159

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore accounting across time and space via novels.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses distant readings.

Findings

The paper reveals peculiarities and commonalities of the work of Certified Public Accountants 70 years ago and now.

Originality/value

The originality/value is to be decided by readers.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

Rachid Zeffane and Bruce Cheek

Because information is vital to effective decision making, the fostering of conditions which promote effective use of existing channels of information is therefore seen as…

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180

Abstract

Because information is vital to effective decision making, the fostering of conditions which promote effective use of existing channels of information is therefore seen as a prime element contributing to organizational survival and success (Fulmer et al, 1990). In particular, the way in which characteristics of individuals and the attributes of the tasks they perform, affect the use of different information sources is a pertinent issue in organizational analysis. It is also an important consideration in information systems development and management. Much of the existing research in this area has been dominated by attempts to define appropriate modes of information processing and the construction of models that might enhance effective communication (O'Reilly, 1982; Schick et al, 1990; Kim 8c Lee, 1991). The importance of this area of research has been heightened by the dynamics and complexities of industrial organizations and the need for various modes of information processing to address these dynamics (Kim & Lee, 1991). Also, because the appropriate use of information is the ‘life‐blood’ of organizational dynamics, the identification of aspects that might affect differential use of various channels (of information) is fundamental to an understanding of the area.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 17 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

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