Subcertification and relationship quality: Effects on subordinate effort

Thomas W. Vance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study considers the decision to impose a control system increasingly seen in practice subcertification and the resulting impact on the effort exerted by the controlled individual. I experimentally examine the interaction of subcertification with existing managersubordinate relationship quality. I draw upon the leadermember exchange (LMX) literature to define relationship quality, providing evidence consistent with subordinates in high-quality relationships exerting greater effort to report an accurate accounting estimate than those in low-quality relationships. I next consider the effects of the decision to require subcertification on effort, finding that higher-quality-relationship subordinates decreased effort relative to those not required to subcertify. The results I present are of particular importance to managerial accountants who are charged with control system design and implementation decisions. To the extent that greater effort yields higher-qualityestimates, this study has financial statement quality implications as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-981
Number of pages23
JournalContemporary Accounting Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Informal controls
  • LMX
  • Relationship quality
  • Subcertification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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