SYNOPSIS:

Auditor burnout is an important issue in public accounting, as burnout has negative consequences for both the auditor and the audit firm. We examine how social-exchange relationships between auditors and their firm affect auditor burnout and turnover intention. Using a sample of 204 auditors at two accounting firms, we find that perceived fair treatment by the firm predicts perceived support from the firm, and perceived support predicts auditor commitment to the firm. We find that commitment is negatively related to auditor burnout and turnover intention and burnout is positively related to turnover intention. We also find that perceived firm fairness is directly associated with reduced levels of auditor burnout and turnover intention. The results underscore the important role that organizational fairness plays in engendering a social-exchange relationship between auditors and their firm, leading to reduced levels of burnout and turnover intention, benefitting both the auditor and the firm.

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