Mentoring: A Path to Prosocial Behavior

Journal of Business Ethics 152 (4):1133-1148 (2018)
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Abstract

Public accounting firms can build integrity within their organizations through early detection of fraud. One way to reduce and detect fraud is to encourage whistleblowing as a prosocial behavior. We explore the impact of mentoring on intention to report fraud. A survey with 120 responses from the US public accountants suggests that quality mentoring relationships, a common feature in the profession, and caring ethical climate positively relate to internal reporting of fraud. Two intermediate variables, trust and affective commitment, mediate these effects. Mentor-relationship quality also increases perceptions of caring ethical climate. The study contributes to two bodies of research by finding extended benefits from mentoring, beyond those typically discussed in academic literature; and identifying a previously unexplored firm intervention capable of positively influencing prosocial behavior and combating fraud.

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