Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Ben Wier

Second Advisor

Dr. Alisa Brink

Third Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Norman

Fourth Advisor

Dr. D. Jordan Lowe


This study examines the effects of using the internal audit function as a training ground for management and fraud magnitude on internal auditor fraud reporting decisions. Using a 2x2 between-participants experiment, the current study manipulates the use of the internal audit function as a management training ground (used as a training ground vs. not used as a training ground) and fraud magnitude (large fraud, defined as 30 percent of net income vs. small fraud, defined as one percent of net income). The results indicate that internal auditors may be less likely to report a fraud to their superior when the internal auditors are being groomed for management positions. No effect is found for fraud magnitude, as respondents indicated a similar willingness to report small frauds as large frauds. These findings contribute to the whistleblowing literature and the internal audit objectivity literature by demonstrating that undesirable repercussions associated with using the internal audit function as a management training ground can extend to the internal auditor fraud reporting decision.


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