Agency Theory: An Examination of the Intra-Organizational Relationships within the Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General, Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Embedded Chief Financial Officers in the Context of the Chief Financial Act of 1990
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University of Baltimore. College of Public Affairs
University of Baltimore. Doctor of Public Administration
Citation of Original Publication
Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States This item is protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/
This research study seeks to explain the intra-organizational relationship phenomenon of goal conflict that may exist between the Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG), Department of Defense Chief Financial Officers (DOD CFO) and the ingrained DOD Component Chief Financial Officers in the context of the Chief Financial Officer Act (CFOA) of 1990. The qualitative case study research design was the appropriate approach to explain the phenomenon within the context of the principal-agent relationship of the auditor (DOD IG) and the auditee (DOD CFO and the ingrained DOD Component CFOs). A qualitative case study approach was used to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of goal conflict within the DOD intra-organizational relationships Using the agency theory as the theoretical framework, this research focused on three factors of how 1) CFOs within DOD Components impact DOD goals to achieve financial accountability and auditability; 2) divided loyalty, embeddedness and information protection affect the DOD’s efforts to achieve auditability; and 3) divided loyalty, embeddedness and information protection differ based on the DOD Components workforce structure. The evidence indicates that auditability continues to elude the DOD twenty-nine years after the passage of the CFOA of 1990. The study puts forward possible explanations for DOD’s inability to achieve financial accountability and auditability by exploring intra-organizational relationships within DOD, as well as theoretical suggestions on ways to mitigate audit deficiencies and advance financial accountability. The implications of intra-organizational relationship loyalty and information protection is the result of a shared commitment to the agency’s financial accountability, and auditability is not only applicable to the DOD but commercial organizations as well as a measure of success.