Face-to-face meetings between auditors and their clients are increasingly difficult to arrange, due to business globalization and the growing need for rapid audit decision-making. Relying on electronic communication media, such as e-mail or video conferencing for auditor-client inquiry may be a logical and simple solution to this problem. However, it may also introduce some threats to the communication process. This paper posits that the use of electronic communication media biases the ways in which auditors update their beliefs as a result of information inquiry. We examine to what extent media attributes affect the auditor’s belief revision, given persuasive intentions on the client’s side. The media attributes of interest in this paper are (1) a medium’s cue multiplicity (the extent to which the medium can communicate peripheral cues) and (2) reprocessability (a medium’s ability to archive messages). Drawing on the Belief Adjustment Model and the Elaboration Likelihood Model, we demonstrate that the effect of cue multiplicity depends on the strength of the arguments provided by the client and whether messages can be reprocessed. We report the results of a laboratory experiment conducted with 199 practicing graduate accounting students.
Noteberg, Anna H., "The Medium Matters: The Effects of Media Attributes and Evidence Strength on Belief Revision" (2004). ECIS 2004 Proceedings. 126.