Chief audit executives' perceptions of drivers of moral courage: Tunisian evidence

Imen Khelil, Khaled Hussainey, Hedi Noubbigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

277 Downloads (Pure)


A string of accounting-related scandals has revealed key shortcomings in internal auditor truthfulness. These scandals have led researchers, professional organizations and institutions to question causes of internal auditor silence and the failure of ethical guidelines. This study responds to these questions by revealing moral courage as the missing ingredient in internal auditor ethical instruction and as the tool needed for internal auditors to preserve their integrity and overcome their fears. Building on what is currently known of internal auditors and moral courage, this study sheds light on professional and ethical requirements placed on internal auditors to tell the truth, and it emphasizes the role of moral courage in guiding their ethical behaviors. It also considers what must be known about the development of moral courage among internal auditors and seeks to identify the factors that promote internal auditors’ moral courage through thirty structured interviews with chief audit executives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-337
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation
Issue number4
Early online date20 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018


  • Internal auditor
  • Management fraud
  • Fear
  • Silence
  • Moral courage
  • Ethical behavior
  • Telling the truth
  • Tunisia


Dive into the research topics of 'Chief audit executives' perceptions of drivers of moral courage: Tunisian evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this