Influence of Audit Manager's Leadership Style on Internal Audit Effectiveness

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management and Economics, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran.

2 M.Sc., Department of Accounting, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran.

3 M.Sc., Department of Accounting, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between the leadership style (transformational, exchange-oriented, and free) of the internal audit manager and the effectiveness of the internal audit. It is expected that the transformational, exchange-oriented, and free leadership style increase the effectiveness of the internal audit unit i.e., the leadership styles can affect the individual, unit, and ultimately the organization's performance.
Methods: This study employs a descriptive survey research approach, collecting data through a survey method. Internal auditors and internal audit managers working in companies listed on Tehran Stock Exchange in 2020 answered the research questionnaire. The structural equation method was used to analyze the findings and also Bass and Olion (1990) and Lenz et al. (2017) questionnaires were used to measure the independent and dependent variables of the research.
Results: The hypothesis testing results indicated that transformational, exchange-oriented, and laissez-faire leadership styles positively impact internal audit effectiveness, leading to its enhancement. Therefore, "A transformational leadership style leverages the insights and ideas of the audit unit to achieve organizational goals, subsequently boosting employee motivation and morale. This, in turn, enhances employee effectiveness." When managers promote the sharing of information and experiences among internal audit employees, it results in an improvement in the knowledge, expertise, and overall performance of the internal audit unit. In addition, when managers delegate power and decision-making authority to employees, they foster independent opinions in implementing internal audit programs. This autonomy contributes to the heightened effectiveness of internal audits. Also, the free leadership style was found to have a greater impact on the effectiveness of internal audits than other styles i.e., transformational and free.
Conclusion: According to the findings, the leadership style increases the effectiveness of internal audits. In other words, the internal audit manager makes the internal audit effective in performing its duties by managing the internal audit unit in a transformative, exchange-oriented, and free leadership style. involving lower-ranking employees in decision-making significantly increases the viability of the decisions compared to when their participation is absent. In addition, When decision-making and leadership incorporate employee participation, appreciating their knowledge, ideas, and insights, while entrusting them with responsibilities, it leads to a decrease in employee resistance to change, lower conflicts, enhanced decision quality, improved interpersonal relationships, heightened job satisfaction, and ultimately, increased organizational productivity.


Main Subjects

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