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This paper establishes the tactics that auditors use in negotiations with their client-management. It analyses those tactics to determine whether they are related by some underlying dimensions and their relevant strategies. Auditors performed a sorting task on 38 audit-specific tactics and assembled the tactics into groups of similar tactics. We used the auditors’ own cognisant representations of those tactics to determine their underlying structure. Multidimensional scaling found that there are four dimensions to the tactics that auditors use. During negotiations with their clients, auditors employ tactics representing core dimensions which can be interpreted as “Concern for Self”, “Concern for Client”, “Concern for Others”, and “Concern for Accounting Principles”. Results of cluster analysis established four primary classifications to the 38 auditor tactics. These are “Facilitating”, “Contextual”, “Forcing/asserting”, and “Appeal to authority”. Within these four classifications, twelve sub-categories were observed. This research expands current knowledge fundamental to the audit discipline by establishing the negotiation tactics used by auditors and their underlying multidimensionality, and thus has extended the knowledge of audit conflict management beyond that of strategy-level. Accordingly, this research is beneficial to practicing auditors and for the education of auditors. This research contributes to theory within the fields of auditing and general negotiation because it has established that the two-dimensional model of concern that has formed the basis of much behavioural research is insufficient to describe an auditor’s responsibilities.
This document has been peer reviewed.