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Impact of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act upon management: a behavioural discussion

Colin Linsley (Department of Accounting and Information Assurance, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA)
Christine Linsley (Department Sociology, St John Fisher College, Rochester, New York, USA)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 18 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value of behavioural psychology when considering the effects of legislation on senior management behaviour. Use is made of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act of 2002 and the corporate failures that led to its passage.


The insights of behavioural psychology are discussed and then applied to the situation of senior management faced with reacting to new legislation.


It is found that this approach predicts that the effects on management behaviour may be greater than (and in any case will be different from) the effects resulting from using a more traditional approach of law and economics

Research limitations/implications

No original research is performed. It does however show that further research using this approach has much potential.

Practical implications

As the paper looks at the effect of legislation on management behaviour this paper shows the value of the behavioural approach to both those who propose legislation and those who study its effects.


No original work is presented but the paper is useful in showing readers not familiar with this approach of its usefulness.



Linsley, C. and Linsley, C. (2008), "Impact of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act upon management: a behavioural discussion", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 313-327.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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