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2018B01 - How auditors' internal and external interactive relationships impact their judgment and decision-making (Prof. dr. Cardinaels)


This study explores junior auditors’ tendency to imitate senior auditors’ auditing practices styles and, additionally, how the firm’s promotion pressures may affect audit quality through such mimicking behavior. Second, the research project considers audit team engagements and investigates factors that may either foster or hamper auditors’ herd behavior in fraud assessment tasks. Third, the project examines how auditor tenure and shareholder involvement in the selection of auditors influence auditors’ decision to report more original information than management discloses in the financial report.


The main goal of this research project is to investigate key elements that affect the quality of auditor judgment and decision-making and the resulting quality of audits. This project gives consideration to: (1) the underlying drivers of auditor judgment and decision-making, such as organizational circumstances (e.g., junior-senior relationships, team interactions, tenure time) that may stimulate auditors or, conversely, prevent them from working in the manner expected of them; (2) the underlying causes of good and poor audit quality such as the role of imitation and herding (and related reputation concerns); and (3) the effectiveness of potential interventions (e.g., the firm’s incentive system, institutional rules of hiring and selecting auditors) that could be implemented to enhance audit quality.

Knowledge dissemination

FAR Literature Review - The impact of auditor interactions on audit quality

FAR Practice Note - Copycat behavior by junior auditors – The impact of their senior’s working style and the role of promotion incentives

FAR online Masterclass Report- 5 June 2020 "The impact of auditor interactions on audit quality"

FAR online Masterclass video

FAR Working Paper - The imitation behaviors of junior auditors: Does it enhance or hamper audit quality?

Back to overview
  • Project Number
  • Research team
    Prof. dr. Eddy Cardinaels
    Dr. Kristof Stouthuysen
    Dr. Evelien Reusen
    Viola Darmawan PhD student
  • Involved University
    KU Leuven (Belgium)
  • Timeline
    11/2018 - 10/2022