Reward Systems, Moral Reasoning, and Internal Auditors' Reporting Wrongdoing

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Abstract

This study investigates the issue of whistle-blowing behavior that results from internal auditors discovering company wrongdoing in the process of preparing financial information. An experiment was conducted to examine whether reward systems such as cash incentives or employment contracts have an impact on auditors' disclosing wrongdoing behavior. The results indicate that internal auditors are more likely to report wrongdoing to higher authorities when incentives are provided, suggesting reward systems have a positive effect on disclosing company's wrongdoing or even fraud. In addition, the result reveals that internal auditors with lower levels of moral reasoning are more sensitive to cash incentives.

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