Date of Award

4-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Faculty

Business and Law

First Advisor

Professor Malcolm Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Zubaidah Ismail

Abstract

Whistleblowing is a type of ethical decision-making behaviour, and it has been one of
the positive outcome behaviours investigated in the ethical decision-making literature.
The issue has garnered widespread attention since the collapse of global multinational
companies which lead to the passage of the renowned Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Since then a vast amount of research has been conducted in the whistleblowing stream,
though it is still predominantly taking place largely in western countries. Such studies
as have been undertaken in Asian countries neglect to consider how Malaysian
respondents might play their roles in undertaking this type of ethical decision-making
behaviour.

There have been arguments in the whistleblowing literature on whether the internal
reporting of corporate wrongdoings should be considered as an internal whistleblowing
act, and whether internal auditors should also be regarded as whistleblowers. Despite
the fact that internal auditors hold a unique position in their organisations to prevent,
deter and detect corporate wrongdoings, the role of this profession in investigating
ethical decision-making behaviour has been much neglected. Hence, there is little
research concerning internal auditors’ internal whistleblowing intentions in the
literature. The purpose of this study is to investigate internal auditors’ internal
whistleblowing intentions on corporate wrongdoings in Malaysia.

Theoretically, the study explored individual’s prosocial behaviour theory and
organisational ethical climate theory to provide the general framework for predicting
internal auditors’ internal whistleblowing intentions. The model developed for this
study included four levels of factors that can influence an internal auditor’s internal
whistleblowing intentions: organisational, individual, situational and demographic
factors. The organisational factors are ethical climate, size of organisation and job level.
The individual factors are ethical judgment, locus of control, and organisational
commitment. The situational factors include seriousness of wrongdoing and status of
wrongdoer. The individual demographics include gender, age and tenure. This research
is the first to examine the effect of these four factors in the internal auditing profession
in Malaysia.

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Accounting Commons

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