Internal Audits as a Source of Ethical Behavior, Efficiency, and Effectiveness in Work Units

Yahel Ma’ayan, Abraham Carmeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This study of internal auditors and auditees, who engage in both financial and operational internal audits in Israel, extends theory and research on internal audits in organizational units. It develops and tests a model that examines the role of top management and internal auditors in facilitating learning from internal audits and driving perceived performance improvement. We argue that support from the top management for the internal audit as well as the auditor’s capacity (skills, resources, and behaviors) facilitate learning from audits and help audited units to improve ethicality, efficiency, and effectiveness in organizations. The results of time-lagged survey data provide general support for the hypothesized indirect relationships between auditor capacity, auditor–auditee relational exchanges, learning from audits, and three different perceived performance measures: ethical behavior, efficiency, and effectiveness. We discuss the implications for research on internal audits, proactive learning, ethics, and performance improvement of organizational units in the public sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-363
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


We wish to thank the associate editor and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. We also thank Esther Singer for her editorial comments. We also thank Dr. Even-Zohar for his help with the statisitical analysis. The second author acknowledges the financial support of the Henry Crown Institute of Business Research in Israel at the Faculty of Management, Tel Aviv University.

FundersFunder number
Henry Crown Institute of Business Research in Israel
Tel Aviv University


    • Auditor–auditee exchange
    • Internal audit
    • Learning from audits
    • Performance improvement
    • Work units


    Dive into the research topics of 'Internal Audits as a Source of Ethical Behavior, Efficiency, and Effectiveness in Work Units'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this