Mitigating the Effects of Interruption on Audit Efficiency and Effectiveness
|dc.contributor.author||Long, James Harvey||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||This dissertation examined the effects of interruption on auditor efficiency and effectiveness for one simple and two complex tasks within the audit domain. I evaluated these effects for novice and experienced auditors. In addition, I considered two ways in which the negative effects of interruption might be mitigated: varying an individualâ s interruption response strategy (immediate vs. negotiated) and the presence or absence of a memory-aid (notes). I investigated these phenomena using an internet-based experimental instrument. Subjects included both students and practicing auditors.
My findings indicate that interruption hindered performance on certain complex audit tasks, and that it differentially affected auditor performance at two levels of experience. When interrupted, inexperienced auditors completed complex audit tasks less efficiently; experienced auditors completed them less effectively. In addition, experienced auditors who negotiated interruption completed a complex audit task more efficiently and effectively than those that responded to the interruption immediately. Furthermore, note-taking increased experienced auditor task efficiency on a complex audit task requiring judgment. These results suggest that auditors should limit task interruption when they are engaged in complex audit tasks. When task interruption cannot be avoided, auditors should consider negotiating a delay in the onset of an interruption. Finally, auditors who are interrupted while they complete a complex task requiring judgment should consider using notes to mitigate the deleterious effect of interruption on task efficiency.
Participants also completed a post-experimental questionnaire which provided evidence about interruptions in the audit environment. The responses confirmed that auditors are frequently interrupted in practice. In addition, auditors preferred differing interruption response strategies dependent upon both the level of primary task complexity (easy vs. difficult), and the medium through which the interruption occurred (electronic vs. interpersonal). They chose interruption response strategies according to their place in the social hierarchy relative to the interrupter (client/boss vs. subordinate /friends/family).
Finally, I found that interruption influences affect. Auditors reported significantly more positive affect reactions to interruption on easy tasks (e.g., alert, cheerful, friendly, happy and relaxed) and substantially negative affect reactions to interruption on difficult tasks (e.g., angry, hostile, irritated, nervous and tense).
|dc.rights||I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.||en_US|
|dc.subject||mitigating interruption effects||en_US|
|dc.title||Mitigating the Effects of Interruption on Audit Efficiency and Effectiveness||en_US|
|dc.contributor.department||Accounting and Information Systems||en_US|
|thesis.degree.grantor||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||en_US|
|thesis.degree.discipline||Accounting and Information Systems||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeechair||Jenkins, James Gregory||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeemember||Fan, Weiguo Patrick||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeemember||Brinberg, David L.||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeemember||Song, Chang Joon||en_US|
|dc.contributor.committeemember||Popova, Velina K.||en_US|
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