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Interview Based Research. Arnie Wright. Interview Based Research. Cohen, Krishnamoorthy, and Wright. 2002. Corporate Governance and the Audit Process. Contemporary Accounting Research (Winter): 573-594.

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interview based research2
Interview Based Research
  • Cohen, Krishnamoorthy, and Wright. 2002. Corporate Governance and the Audit Process. Contemporary Accounting Research (Winter): 573-594.
  • Conducted semi-structured interviews with 36 auditors on current audit practices in considering corporate governance in the audit process.
interview based research3
Interview Based Research
  • Why interviews?
  • Little prior research or auditing standards on how various actors in the corporate governance “mosaic” influence the audit process.
  • Interviews provide an in depth understanding of behaviors and attitudes and reasons for such behaviors and attitudes.
interview based research4
Interview Based Research
  • Interviews very costly— participant/researcher time; development of interview instrument; data analysis (transcription and coding).
  • Thus, interviews should be carefully designed with clear purpose (theory) in mind and plan for method and analysis
interview based research5
Interview Based Research
  • Pilot test questions
    • Clarity
    • Achieve the intended purpose
  • Conducting the interview
    • Attempt to develop a rapport with the interviewee. Explain importance of the research and begin with factual questions (e.g., years of experience).
interview based research6
Interview Based Research

Criteria for questions

  • Is question related to research objective?
  • Is the type of question appropriate?
    • Fixed-alternative (Do you believe the CEO should also be the chair of the Board? Yes, No, Don’t Know)
      • Strong reliability of coding
      • Little depth and can force a response
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Interview Based Research
  • Open-ended questions (How do you feel about having the CEO also serve as the chair of the Board?)
    • Allows for flexibility and depth of response
    • Harder to code
  • Scale questions (CEOs frequently also serve as the chair of the Board. Do you agree with this practice? 1=strongly disagree; 5=neutral; 10=strongly agree)
    • Good coding reliability and means to express beliefs
    • Can be followed up with open-ended questions (Why do you believe this?)
  • In all, must decide degree interview will be open-ended vs. structured
interview based questions
Interview Based Questions
  • Is the question clear and unambiguous?
    • For instance, avoid ambiguous terms such as: Do audit committees by and large do a good job?
  • Is the question a leading question? (Are you familiar with SAS 99 on Fraud Detection?)
  • Does the question demand knowledge and information that the respondent does not have?
    • Consider questions to probe level of knowledge
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Interview Based Research
  • Does the question demand personal or delicate material that the respondent may resist?
    • Assure respondents responses confidential
    • Ask for such information at end
  • Is the question loaded with social desirability? (When you are in a dispute with management on an ambiguous reporting issue, does the level of client fees impact your decision as to whether to pursue the matter with the audit committee?)