ABSTRACT

Accounting fraud represents a severe threat to the public interest, and whistleblowing remains the most effective fraud discovery mechanism. In this research, we integrate the theory of planned behavior with the fraud triangle to organize prior whistleblowing literature and model the intention of professional accountants to blow the whistle on a material accounting fraud. The results, based on responses from 284 professional organizational accountants, support our theory development and indicate that attitudes and perceptions of control over whistleblowing are positively related to whistleblowing intention. In supplemental analyses, we also find that gender and management level are significantly associated with whistleblowing intent. Our results provide evidence for using our integrated theoretical model to explain and predict the reporting intention of corporate accountants. Findings should aid organizations and regulators seeking to improve corporate ethical culture and aid governance researchers in their understanding of the complex environmental and individual factors impacting whistleblowing intent.

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