Determinants of financial managers’ willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior

Matthias D. Mahlendorf, Michal Matejka, Jürgen Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We examine how financial managers’ willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior depends on various individual and organizational characteristics. Using survey data from 253 respondents we find that unethical pro-organizational behavior is lower when financial managers are close to retirement and when they work in high-growth or in publicly listed companies. We also find that it is positively associated with financial managers’ organizational identification and with their bonuses contingent on financial performance targets but not with bonuses contingent on nonfinancial targets or subjective evaluations. We rely on a follow-up survey to reestimate the latter effects after controlling for unobserved individual heterogeneity in a changes model and find consistent results. Finally, we use another follow-up survey to compare our measure of the willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior to proxies for earnings management used in prior literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-104
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Management Accounting Research
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

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Organizational behaviour
Willingness
Managers
Bonuses
Subjective evaluation
Financial performance
Retirement
Listed companies
Earnings management
Organizational identification
Individual characteristics
Organizational characteristics
Survey data

Keywords

  • Chief financial officers
  • Choice of performance measures
  • Incentives
  • Unethical behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting

Cite this

Determinants of financial managers’ willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior. / Mahlendorf, Matthias D.; Matejka, Michal; Weber, Jürgen.

In: Journal of Management Accounting Research, Vol. 30, No. 2, 01.06.2018, p. 81-104.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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