ABSTRACT

Our proposed study applies Psychological Capital (PsyCap) to the Industry 4.0 literature, and specifically, to Robotic Process Automation (RPA). We examine two issues: are accountants ready for the changes brought about by RPA, and will accountants overrely on RPA to provide accurate information? PsyCap is a core construct that encompasses four dimensions of an individual's mental state. Drawn from positive psychology, it focuses on individuals' strengths, rather than weaknesses. We expect higher levels of PsyCap will be associated with higher levels of readiness for and reliance on RPA. This could be dangerous, because the output of RPA may not always be reliable. We propose a quasi-experiment to gather data from accountants. Understanding the relationship between PsyCap and behavior is important because PsyCap is a state-like construct, which can be developed and strengthened. Accounting firms and organizations can implement mechanisms to encourage readiness for RPA but discourage overreliance without assurance.

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