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Breaking the silence: an empirical analysis of the drivers of internal auditors’ moral courage

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This study investigates the effect of positive states, perceived supervisor support and independence of internal audit function on internal auditors’ moral courage. Although extensive research has suggested that risk of feared consequences is the major cause that inhibits internal auditors from reporting managerial fraud, there has been little empirical investigations into the way of fostering internal auditors’ moral courage to speak up.

The present work used a survey of 146 internal auditors in Tunisia. The Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Model (PLS-SEM) was used to test our hypotheses.

The results indicate that self-efficacy, resilience, perceived supervisor support and the independence of internal audit function have a positive effect on the internal auditors’ moral courage; however, state hope does not show a significant link. Additionally, we find that women experience higher levels of moral courage compared to men.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Auditing
Early online date21 Jun 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 21 Jun 2018


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