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The Influence of Roles, Advocacy, and Adaptation to the Accounting Decision Environment
Behavioral Research in Accounting
  • Robert Pinsker, Old Dominion University
  • Robin Pennington, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  • Jennifer Schafer, Kennesaw State University
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Decision makers often adapt strategies to specific task and context variables by balancing the need to make good decisions with the need to minimize cognitive effort. However, decision makers must have the requisite knowledge, based on training, to choose the most appropriate strategy. We extend the judgment and decision making literature by experimentally examining how training in specific professional roles (tax and audit) influences advocacy attitudes, and how the elements of the decision environment interact with these attitudes to influence accountants' judgments. Results indicate that attitudes are moderated by the requirements of the specific decision environment. Specifically, judgments of accounting professionals in a tax decision environment closely mirror their attitudes, whereas in an audit decision environment, this relationship is significantly weaker, indicative of a moderating effect of the decision environment. Supplemental analysis indicates that tax professionals are more likely than auditors to adapt to the professional requirements (advocacy or skepticism) of the task at hand. Copyright of Behavioral Research in Accounting is the property of American Accounting Association

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Pinsker, Robert, Robin Pennington, and Jennifer Kahle Schafer. "The Influence of Roles, Advocacy, and Adaptation to the Accounting Decision Environment." Behavioral Research in Accounting 21.2 (2009): 91-111.