Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Accountancy

First Advisor

O'Donnell, Ed

Abstract

This dissertation presents an experiment exploring the moderating effects of individual differences in personality on the motivational effects of increased participation in setting budget goals. This experiment hypothesizes that individual differences in personality will correlate with changes in the strength and/or direction of participation's effect on individual motivation to reach the budget goal. To test these hypotheses an experiment was conducted utilizing undergraduate students as proxies for front line managers. The experiment used a basic decoding task similar to tasks used in many participative budgeting experiments and manipulated participation in establishing a budget target for the number of items to decode at three levels. Instruments measuring the participant's personality according to the "Big Five" personality traits, perception of participation and motivation were administered during the experiment. A regression analysis was conducted to assess the correlation of perception of participation, levels of each of the five personality dimensions and interactions between perception of participation and each of the five personality dimensions with motivation. Results indicate an interaction between levels of the personality trait neuroticism and perception of participation correlating with a significant reduction in motivation. These results suggest a implementation of a participative budgeting system intended to increase motivation to achieve the budget goal may in fact result in lower motivation if the managers participating in the system possess higher levels of neuroticism. Moreover, a supplemental analysis of the data used in this analysis suggests the personality traits agreeableness and conscientiousness may correlate with consistently higher perceptions of personality.

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