Experience, episodic knowledge and judgment in an audit committee member task: experimental evidence
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I conduct experiments to investigate how episodic knowledge obtained from prior experience as an auditor or a manager affects audit committee members' judgment in supporting the auditor in a disagreement with management. This paper sheds light on the advantage of first-hand accounting-related experience in the important oversight task. It also brings to bear the potential benefit from direct manager experience as claimed by researchers and regulators. I find that the episodic knowledge obtained from prior experience as an auditor, especially the experience of having been a diligent auditor, strengthens the degree of auditor support of participants in the role of an audit committee member. By contrast, the effect of episodic knowledge from first-hand experience as a manager on the likelihood of auditor support varies with the manager type. While the episodic knowledge acquired from direct experience as an aggressive manager augments the level of auditor support, such knowledge attained by prior experience as a conservative manager has no significant effect.