Internal auditors’ moral courage: a cognitive mapping method

Imen Khelil, Khaled Hussainey

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This paper aims to enhance understanding of the main drivers of internal auditors’ moral courage to speak up about sensitive information and their cause-and-effect relationships. We use cognitive mapping method to analyze twenty chief audit executives’ cognitive maps in Tunisia. A collective map was grounded through assembling the full individual maps. Using the Decision Explorer software for our analysis, we find that the state hope, whistle-blowing policy, self-efficacy, perceived supervisor support and independence of internal audit function are the main drivers for internal auditors’ moral courage. Our findings are also supplemented by semi-structured interviews. Our paper offers a novel methodological contribution to auditing literature as well as new empirical evidence (contribution to knowledge) on the drivers of internal auditors’ moral courage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Accounting Behavioral Research
    EditorsK. E. Karim
    PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
    Number of pages35
    ISBN (Electronic)9781804557990
    ISBN (Print)9781804557990
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2023

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in Accounting Behavioral Research
    PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
    ISSN (Print)1475-1488


    • central concept
    • cognitive mapping
    • collective cognitive map
    • internal auditors
    • moral courage
    • Tunisia


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