Organizational-professional conflict and the whistleblowing intentions of professional accountants
The purpose of this research was to study the professional accountant's potentially conflicting role as a member of both the accounting profession and an employing organization to better understand how this conflict might affect the accountant's external whistleblowing intentions. More specifically, the study examined whether the professional accountant's external whistleblowing intentions were affected by his levels of organizational commitment, professional commitment, and organizational-professional conflict.
This was the first study to examine organizational commitment, professional commitment, and organizational-professional conflict in relation to external whistleblowing intentions. This was also the first study to examine the relationships between whistleblowing and both professional commitment and organizational-professional conflict.
The sample included 300 usable responses from a sample of 1000 professional accountants selected from the membership rosters of the Institute of Internal Auditors, the Institute of Management Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Path Analysis was used to test the hypothesized relationships.
The results indicated that there was a direct relationship between external whistleblowing intentions and professional commitment, and indirect relationships between external whistleblowing intentions and both organizational commitment and organizational-professional conflict. Implications and directions for future research are provided in the study.