Title: Expense report abuse: influence of mood and social presence

Authors: Caroline O. Ford; Jacob C. Peng

Addresses: Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, One Bear Place #98002, Waco, TX 76798-8002, USA ' School of Business, Robert Morris University, 6001 University Blvd. Moon Township, PA 15108, USA

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of mood and social presence of communication medium on ethical decision making within an expense reporting setting. Based on theoretical accounting research (Gaudine and Thorne, 2001), we predict that negative mood will result in more unethical expense reporting. From the social presence literature (Bazerman et al., 2000), we anticipate that an online reporting system will result in more unethical behaviour due to its low social presence, as opposed to face-to-face expense reporting with high social presence. Our findings confirm these predictions and interestingly discover that communication medium mediates the effect of mood, whereas the debriefing techniques had very little effect. Implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: mood; social presence; expense reporting; fraud; business travel; behavioural accounting; expenses reporting; business ethics; ethical decision making; online reporting; unethical behaviour; face-to-face reporting; HRM; human resource management; human resources; HR; human capital.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEBR.2015.067366

International Journal of Economics and Business Research, 2015 Vol.9 No.2, pp.221 - 232

Published online: 07 Feb 2015 *

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