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Investigating the Influences of Leadership Style on Job Burnout and Employee Turnover Intentions in Public Accounting

Bryan J Coleman, Johnson & Wales University


The field of public accounting has experienced explosive growth over the last half century. While this may seem like a boon, unfortunately, it is an industry plagued by high rates of employee turnover (Chi et al., 2013). As an industry known for its high-stress working environment, it has been shown to have higher turnover rates than accountants employed in other industries (Church, 2014; Levy et al., 2011; Parker et al., 2011; Reinstein et al., 2012).Hsieh & Wang (2012) found that the majority of auditors, a main area of practice for public accountants, suffered from a component of burnout. While many factors influence burnout, the influence of leadership style cannot be ignored; researchers note that leadership style has a significant influence on employee stress level (Lopez et al., 2011). While studies have investigated general levels of burnout and turnover in public accounting, few studies investigate leadership style and its influence in the field of public accounting. This sequential explanatory mixed methods study investigated the leadership styles prevalent in the public accounting industry and their influence on, and relationship with, job burnout and turnover intention. Participants included full-time professionals employed at public accounting firms of various sizes throughout the northeast United States of America. Data collection for both quantitative and qualitative portions were completed through an online survey that assessed leadership style, level of job burnout, and turnover intentions. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, as well as correlation and regression analysis.

Subject Area

Business administration|Accounting

Recommended Citation

Coleman, Bryan J, "Investigating the Influences of Leadership Style on Job Burnout and Employee Turnover Intentions in Public Accounting" (2021). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI29169857.