Investigating the Impacts of Time Pressure, Work-family Conflict, and Role Ambiguity on Audit Quality Reduction Behavior Mediated by Work Stress

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., Department of Accounting, Hazrat_e Masoumeh University (HMU), Qom, Iran.

2 MSc., Department of Business Management, Abadan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Abadan, Iran.


Objective: Auditing plays an important role in improving the financial reporting process and promoting the efficiency of the capital market. Good audits require continuous improvement of auditors' work quality. To maintain and continuously improve audit quality, it is very important to identify factors that reduce audit quality. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of time pressure, work-family conflict, and role ambiguity on audit quality reduction behavior mediated by work stress. Time (budget) pressure occurs when a firm allocates an inadequate amount of hours in which auditors are required to complete specified procedures. Role ambiguity means a lack of access to sufficient information to perform jobs adequately or unclear performance evaluation methods. Role ambiguity is a source of conflicts, low productivity, and disengagement. Work-family conflict occurs when the pressures from the work and family domains are mutually incompatible, and as a result, participation in the family role becomes more difficult due to participation in the work role. Work stress is the stress caused or worsened by work when a person perceives the work environment in such a way that his or her reaction involves feelings of an inability to cope. Quality reduction behavior includes actions taken by an auditor during an auditing task. Actions that reduce the effectiveness of the collected audit evidence.
Methods: This is an applied and descriptive study. The required data were collected by the distribution of questionnaires among 273 auditors. It was conducted in the spring of 2022. Data analysis was performed using structural equation modeling (SEM) and SmartPLS version 3 and SPSS version 26 software.
Results: According to the research findings, all three independent variables (time pressure, role ambiguity, and work-family conflict) have a positive and significant effect on work stress. Therefore, it could be argued that in auditing: (1) Time pressure increases job stress by reducing the efficiency and effectiveness of auditors, (2) Role ambiguity increases job stress by creating career confusion, and (3) Role conflict experienced by auditors increases their job stress. Also, time pressure and work stress have a positive and significant on audit quality reduction behavior. But in contrast, role ambiguity and work-family conflict do not have a direct effect on audit quality. Considering work stress as a mediating variable, time pressure had a partial mediating effect (direct and indirect effect). Role ambiguity and work-family conflict had a full mediating effect (indirect effect). Finally, since auditing is a hard and stressful career, in this research, some of the main factors influencing audit quality reduction behavior such as time pressure, role ambiguity, work-family conflict, and work stress were investigated.
Conclusion: All three independent variables affect work stress and audit quality. Therefore, management of these three variables along with work stress in auditing firms can play an important role in improving audit quality. Also, by conducting successful auditing principles, auditors can minimize the effects of audit quality reduction behavior.


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