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    An Empirical Examination of a Three-Component Model of...
    research summary posted May 7, 2012 by The Auditing Section, last edited May 25, 2012, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.10 Prior Dispositions/Biases/Auditor state of mind 
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    Title:
    An Empirical Examination of a Three-Component Model of Professional Commitment among Public Accountants
    Practical Implications:

    Professional Commitment has been found to impact work behaviors. Theory indicates the three dimensions of PC can impact these behaviors in varying ways (positive or negative). Firms can influence some precursors to PC including training, organizational culture, requiring employees to complete a professional qualification, and participation in professional organizations.

    Citation:

    Smith, D. and Hall, M. 2008. An Empirical Examination of a Three-Component Model of Professional Commitment among Public Accountants. Behavioral Research in Accounting 20 (1): 75-92.

    Keywords:
    professional commitment, auditor judgment
    Purpose of the Study:

    Professional commitment (PC) refers to the attachments that individuals form to their profession. Those with strong professional commitment have been found to be less likely to leave their job and more likely to observe rules, to be involved in professional organizations, and to mentor. Three aspects of PC have been identified:

    • Affective professional commitment (APC): the extent to which individuals want to stay in the profession because they identify with the profession’s goals and want to help with the achievement of those goals.
    • Continuance professional commitment (CPC): the extent to which individuals feel they have to stay in the profession because of an accumulation of investments or a lack of comparable alternatives.
    • Normative professional commitment (NPC): the extent to which individuals feel they ought to stay in the profession through a sense of obligation. 

    The purpose of this study is to confirm whether these three aspects of PC apply to public accountants as well as to determine whether the professional commitment questionnaire (PCQ) used in the majority of prior PC research measures only APC or all three aspects of PC.

    Design/Method/ Approach:

    Accountants from one big-four and six middle-tier Australian accounting firms participated in this study. Participants filled out a survey designed to assess the participants’ level of PC, and specifically their levels of APC, CPC, and NPC.

    Findings:
    • The authors find evidence that there are three separate dimensions to an accountant’s PC: APC, CPC, and NPC.
    • Turnover is negatively correlated with APC and not correlated with CPC or NPC.
    • APC is positively correlated with Age and Tenure, CPC and NPC are not.
    • Females have higher turnover, but there is no evidence that different levels of PC influence this.
    • The PCQ only measures APC.
    Category:
    Auditor Judgment
    Sub-category:
    Prior Dispositions/Biases/Auditor state of mind
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