Accountability effects on performance : the influence of knowledge, ability and task complexity.
Kao, Alison Ko Yun.
Date of Issue1997
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
This paper investigates how knowledge, ability and task complexity can moderate the relationship between accountability and performance. Prior literature has not examined how the effects of accountability on performance are contingent on the complexity of the task, and individual differences in knowledge and problem solving ability levels. Ignoring knowledge, ability and task complexity differences in the accountability- performance relationship may result in a less complete assessment of the conditions under which accountability are effective. This study argues that whether accountability has effects on performance depends on the complexity of the task, and the match between the task complexity and the attributes of the auditor. Specifically for a low complexity task, accountability has no effect on performance. However, given a medium complexity task, accountability improves performance if the subjects possess high knowledge for the task. Low knowledge subjects are unable to improve their performance under accountability for the medium complexity task.
NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY