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  1. Is the Optimism in CEO’s Letters to Shareholders Sincere? Impression Management Versus Communicative Action During the Economic Crisis.Lorenzo Patelli & Matteo Pedrini - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 124 (1):1-16.
    In this study, we explore the sincerity of the rhetorical tone of 664 annual letters to shareholders (CEO letters). Prior studies adopt Impression Management theory to predict that firms obfuscate failures and emphasize successes to unfairly enhance their image and maintain organizational legitimacy. Yuthas et al. (J Bus Ethics 41:141–157, 2002) challenged such a view, showing that firms reporting earnings surprises engage in ethical discourse with shareholders. We adopt the methodology of Yuthas et al. (J Bus Ethics 41:141–157, 2002) to (...)
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  • Discussant Comment on “Is Tone at the Top Associated with Financial Reporting Aggressiveness?” by Lorenzo Patelli, Matteo Pedrini.Gregory D. Saxton - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 126 (1):21-24.
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  • The Information Role of Earnings Conference Call Tone: Evidence From Stock Price Crash Risk.Xi Fu, Xiaoxi Wu & Zhifang Zhang - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-18.
    This paper investigates whether and how the disclosure tone of earnings conference calls predicts future stock price crash risk. Using US public firms’ conference call transcripts from 2010 to 2015, we find that firms with less optimistic tone of year-end conference calls experience higher stock price crash risk in the following year. Additional analyses reveal that the predictive power of tone is more pronounced among firms with better information environment and lower managerial equity incentives, suggesting that extrinsic motivations for truthful (...)
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  • The Deliberate Engagement of Narcissistic CEOs in Earnings Management.Frerich Buchholz, Kerstin Lopatta & Karen Maas - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-24.
    Corroborating upper echelons theory, this study picks up the notion that narcissistic chief executive officers take advantage of accounting choices to enhance their firms’—and inherently their own—personal track records. Using a set of 15 indicators, reflecting the narcissistic trait of 1126 CEOs for the period 1992 to 2012, we find evidence of highly narcissistic CEOs engaging in accrual-based earnings management. In contrast to prior research, the results show evidence not only for income-increasing but also for income-decreasing ABEM. This indicates that (...)
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  • Financial Disclosure and Customer Satisfaction: Do Companies Talking the Talk Actually Walk the Walk?Ronald J. Balvers, John F. Gaski & Bill McDonald - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 139 (1):29-45.
    Using the emerging technology of large-scale textual analysis, this study examines the use of the term ‘customer satisfaction’ and its variants in the annual reports issued by publicly traded U.S. corporations and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as Form 10-K. We document the frequency of the term’s occurrence in 10-Ks over the 1995–2013 period and the differences in usage across industries. We then relate the term’s usage in 10-Ks to subsequent scores from the American Customer Satisfaction Index to (...)
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  • Trust, but Verify: MD&A Language and the Role of Trust in Corporate Culture.Robert Audi, Tim Loughran & Bill McDonald - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 139 (3):551-561.
    Trust is both ethically important and essential for business but difficult to measure. This paper contributes toward clarifying the nature of trust in a way that is both conceptually helpful for ethical inquiries concerning business and pertinent to the measurement of trust as an element in organizations. Several papers hypothesize that increasing the role of trust in a corporation reduces the need for external monitoring and contracts. Assessing this important hypothesis requires a way to gauge whether a firm has a (...)
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  • The Influence of Native Versus Foreign Language on Chinese Subjects’ Aggressive Financial Reporting Judgments.Peipei Pan & Chris Patel - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 150 (3):863-878.
    Researchers have suggested that ethical judgments about “right” and “wrong” are the result of deep and thoughtful principles and should therefore be consistent and not influenced by factors, such as language :e94842, 2014b, p. 1). As long as an ethical scenario is understood, individuals’ resolution should not depend on whether the ethical scenario is presented in their native language or in a foreign language. Given the forces of globalization and international convergence, an increasing number of accountants and accounting students are (...)
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  • Perceptions on the Causes of Individual and Fraudulent Co-Offending: Views of Forensic Accountants.Jeanette Van Akkeren & Sherrena Buckby - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 146 (2):383-404.
    Individual and/or co-offenders fraudulent activities can have a devastating effect on a company’s reputation and credibility. Enron, Xerox, WorldCom, HIH Insurance and One.Tel are examples where stakeholders incurred substantial financial losses as a result of fraud and led to a loss of confidence in corporate dealings by the public in general. There are numerous theoretical approaches that attempt to explain how and why fraudulent acts occur, drawing on the fields of sociology, organisational, management and economic literature, but there is limited (...)
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  • CEO Letters: Social License to Operate and Community Involvement in the Mining Industry.Blanca de-Miguel-Molina, Vicente Chirivella-González & Beatriz García-Ortega - forthcoming - Business Ethics: A European Review.
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