PhD position on the topic Relational Drivers of Audit Quality: Up Close and Personal

University of Groningen
April 15, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 2,770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
PhD position on the topic Relational Drivers of Audit Quality: Up Close and

Personal (V24.0182)

Job description

The Graduate School of the Faculty of Economics and Business at University of Groningen has a fully funded PhD position on the topic “The Relational Drivers of Audit Quality: Studying the Behavioral Dynamics Between Auditors and Upper Echelon Actors”.

Auditors stand as the guardians of financial information, verifying that a firm's statements are reliable. They perform a key role in society. Accordingly, auditors are subject to regulatory scrutiny and The Big Four audit firms prominently feature in the business press as well as academic research. Yet, notwithstanding strict regulatory requirements, auditors are also appointed by and work with a firm's upper echelon—the actors they are supposed to critically audit. This includes the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as well as other top-level actors at the audited firm. The aim of this PhD project is to identify how relational dynamics between upper echelon actors and auditors shape audit quality. As such, this project very much lies at the crossroad between auditing and psychological research. Exemplary research questions are: (1) Does psychological safety influence audit quality? (2) How do CEO and CFO personality shape audit quality? (3) Do auditors' relational skills trump technical expertise in achieving high audit quality? (4) To what extent is audit quality already determined by relational governance dynamics within the firm before the auditor is even appointed?

This PhD position is part of a research programme generously funded by the Foundation for Auditing Research (FAR), involving the commitment of all major audit firms in The Netherlands. This includes access to upper echelon actors and highly confidential information from audit files. All members of this research programme are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. The PhD candidate will work within the Department of Accounting and Auditing. The supervisory team consists of Dennis Veltrop, Reggy Hooghiemstra (both from the University of Groningen) and Eddy Cardinaels (Tilburg University). The PhD candidate will join a collaborative, supportive team with a proven track record in consulting, auditing, and high-quality research. A stay abroad to work with prominent international scholars (if so desired) is also facilitated within this research programme.

About the University of Groningen Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the approximately 34.000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

About the Faculty of Economics and Business The Faculty of Economics and Business has an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.


We are looking for candidates with

• a strong academic background (MSc, Research Master) with a focus on auditing, business, organizational behavior, (applied) psychology or strategic management • a strong interest and curiosity in auditing, governance, and/or behavioral research • a background in (or the motivation to learn) quantitative and/or qualitiative research methods • excellent command of English in speaking and writing • excellent academic writing skills • affinity for, or a willingness to learn about, the audit profession.

Organisation Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities

• a gross monthly starting salary from € 2,770 which increases yearly to a maximum of € 3,539 • excluding an additional 8% holiday allowance each year in May, and an additional 8.3 % end of year bonus in December • a temporary full-time appointment for a period of in principle four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year.

Preferred starting date: 1 September 2024


You may apply for this position until 14 April 11:59pm / before 15 April 2024 Dutch local time (CEST) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The application package consists of the following separate documents

1. your CV 2. a motivation letter and short research idea (max 1 A4) 3. a scan of your diploma including transcripts 4. proof of English proficiency 5. other relevant documents.

Documents 1-4 are compulsory. Please note that incomplete application packages will not be taken into account.

An assessment may be part of the application procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https: // www. strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https: // www. and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https: //

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • For general information on the application procedure please send an email to, febphdvacancies
  • Dennis Veltrop (for information on the project), d.veltrop
  • Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

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