Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

First Advisor

O'Donnell, Ed


The performance evaluation process is both an important tool for accounting firms to assess the performance of employees and provides supervisors an opportunity to provide feedback to their subordinates. Supervisions, such as managers, will provide feedback to subordinates (senior auditors) numerous times throughout a fiscal year. Prior research has shown that performance evaluations are largely based on results of the subordinate based on task completion and budgeted hours. These types of performance evaluations have been linked to employee dissatisfaction and a decrease in overall job performance. Utilizing psychology based theories, an experimental task was conducted to investigate whether the manager’s feedback orientation (positive/negative and tasks/goals) within a senior auditor’s performance evaluation will increase an auditor’s self-esteem and professional skepticism. Results show that positive and goal-oriented performance evaluations do increase an auditor’s self-esteem and supportive performance evaluations increase an auditor’s professional skepticism. These results provide valuable information to accounting firms to assist with their current restructuring of the performance evaluation process.




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