In management accounting, participatory budgets have become increasingly useful in decentralized companies. This type of budget allows managers to have more freedom to decide the allocation of resources and funds. However, this opens the door to dishonest behaviors among some managers and supervisors. This 2x2 quasi-experiment study uses the Honesty-Humility factor of the HEXACO personality inventory to measure self-reported honesty in business undergraduate students and to determine whether that measure correlates with dishonest reporting behavior. Participants played the role of managers of a division of a corporation and were asked to prepare a Direct Materials budget. Participants had the opportunity to maximize their personal profit by misreporting the actual unit price per product. Half of the participants were audited by a supervisor 5 out of the 10 experimental periods and the remaining subjects were not audited. The overarching hypothesis was that an individual’s score in the H-H factor and the presence of an audit will affect the budgetary reporting behavior. The results showed no correlation between these variables; however, there were many external, uncontrollable variables that may have affected this result. Despite these challenges, this study has been able to provide additional insight into the relationship between personality factors and managerial dishonesty, and whether the possibility of audit changes the observed behavior.
Ellen Best, Stephen Smith, Wendy Walker
- Date submitted
19 July 2022