Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Jacqueline Reck, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Uday Murthy, Ph.D.


Source credibility theory,, Intention, Decision-making, Public Accounting Oversight Board, Credibility scale, Auditing Standard No. 2


The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of management altering its tone in communications on participants' perceptions of management credibility. Management's tone in communicating with participants was manipulated using communications from management under two treatment conditions. In period one of the study management's tone was manipulated within the management statement on internal controls as required by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's (PCAOB) Auditing Standards No. 2. In period one, participants had no knowledge of management's prior forecasting accuracy. Consistent with predicted hypotheses, the findings reveal that management can increase its credibility with participants by communicating its empathy, responsiveness, and understanding. Management's increased credibility was measured using both a validated credibility scale and by examining participants' reliance on management's forecasts. In period two of the study all participants had knowledge of management's forecast failure in period one. The results from period two found that tone could impact the rating of management's credibility when management had previously failed to meet a forecast but that tone had no impact on participant's changes in their earnings per share estimates after management had previously failed to meet a forecast.