Relational characteristics and resolution modes as determinants of constructive and destructive conflict perceptions between audit firms and their clients



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study examines audit firm-client dyads at the organizational level to determine if certain characteristics of the relationships lead to differing perceptions of conflict. The existence of conflict is seen as a potential change for these organizations and thus effects the nature of professional relationships. Concepts of conflict used were based primarily on previous work by Coser, Assael, Deutsch, and Robbins. Their work deals with constructive and destructive aspects of conflict; constructive conflict is seen as having benefit to organizations whereas destructive conflict has negative consequences. Nine hypotheses were tested. Independent variables include (Hl) proportion of routine issues, (H2) times management advisory services provided, (H3) size of the client, (H4) amount of audit team experience, (H5) amount of time audit services provided, (H<5) degree of environmental uncertainty faced by the client, (H7) financial position of the client, (H8) use of the collaborating mode of conflict resolution, and (H9) use of the competing mode of conflict resolution. Thirteen separate dimensions of the dependent conflict perception variable were identified and used in the tests of the hypotheses. [...]



Auditing, Accounting