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This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications…
This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications in business-ethics and accounting’s top-40 journals this study considers research in eight accounting-ethics and public-interest journals, as well as, 34 business-ethics journals. We analyzed the contents of our 42 journals for the 25-year period between 1991 through 2015. This research documents the continued growth (Bernardi & Bean, 2007) of accounting-ethics research in both accounting-ethics and business-ethics journals. We provide data on the top-10 ethics authors in each doctoral year group, the top-50 ethics authors over the most recent 10, 20, and 25 years, and a distribution among ethics scholars for these periods. For the 25-year timeframe, our data indicate that only 665 (274) of the 5,125 accounting PhDs/DBAs (13.0% and 5.4% respectively) in Canada and the United States had authored or co-authored one (more than one) ethics article.
This paper examines whether shareholders consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance when voting on corporate governance change proposals submitted by…
This paper examines whether shareholders consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance when voting on corporate governance change proposals submitted by dissident shareholders. These proposals recommend changes to the corporate governance status quo and are made by dissident shareholders who are dissatisfied with the company’s existing governance practices.
Using 195 governance change proposals voted on during 2013, the paper examines the relationship between CSR performance (obtained from the MSCI database) and the level of voting support for these proposals.
This study finds that shareholder support for corporate governance change proposals submitted by dissident shareholders is positively related to firms’ CSR concerns, especially environmental concerns.
The findings suggest that shareholders may be concerned with the potentially adverse effects of weak CSR performance, especially poor environmental performance, and may support changes to corporate governance structures when a company’s CSR and environmental performance is weaker.
As the first research to examine the relationship between CSR and proposed changes to corporate governance, this study provides unique insights into shareholder perceptions of the value of CSR based on shareholders’ support (or lack thereof) for governance changes proposed by dissident shareholders.
This paper examines the relationship between accounting outsourcing and audit lag. Accounting outsourcing may reduce misstatement risk, reducing the amount of audit effort…
This paper examines the relationship between accounting outsourcing and audit lag. Accounting outsourcing may reduce misstatement risk, reducing the amount of audit effort necessary and thereby decrease audit lag. Alternatively, outsourcing may increase the amount of coordination necessary between the auditor, client management and the outside accounting service provider and thereby increase audit lag.
The accounting outsourcing/audit lag relationship is examined among closed-end mutual funds. These funds often outsource their accounting functions and disclose the names and services provided by any company providing services to the fund. These disclosures permit a consistent measurement of whether the fund outsources their accounting functions or performs them in-house.
This paper finds a positive relationship between accounting outsourcing and audit lag; outsourcing funds have audit lags that are two to three days longer than those not outsourcing their accounting. The results are robust to different specifications, controls for the distinctive characteristics of closed-end funds and consideration of endogeneity.
Closed-end funds could consider the increased time necessary to complete the audit when deciding whether to outsource their accounting functions.
By identifying a unique setting in which outsourcing data can be consistently obtained and analyzed (i.e. closed-end funds), this is the first study to empirically evaluate the relationship between accounting outsourcing and audit lag.
Although most corporate directors face reelection by shareholders each year, directors of companies with classified boards are elected for multiple-year terms. Classified…
Although most corporate directors face reelection by shareholders each year, directors of companies with classified boards are elected for multiple-year terms. Classified boards may engender managerial entrenchment, which may make directors less responsive to shareholders’ interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Alternatively, classified boards may engender a longer-term focus, which could make the board more willing to engage in projects with longer-term benefits, such as CSR. This study aims to assess whether larger boards, with potentially more diverse voices, may be positively related to CSR, and a larger board may change the classified boards/CSR relationship.
The authors examine the relationship between board type (companies with and without classified boards), board size and CSR for 4,489 firm-years (1,540 with classified boards and 2,949 without classified boards) from 2013 through 2015.
The authors find no difference in CSR strengths between companies with and without classified boards, but the authors do find that companies with classified boards have more CSR concerns than companies without classified boards. For all types of boards, a larger board size is associated with more CSR strengths and reduces the negative impact of having a classified board on CSR concerns.
Classified boards may be less responsive to shareholders’ preference for reduced company CSR concerns, but an increase in board size can mitigate this effect.
Classified boards may weaken a company’s CSR performance.
This is the first paper to consider the relationship between classified board and CSR.
We assess whether smaller investors are more likely to hold shares of closed-end funds that invest more heavily in illiquid securities. We also examine the relationship…
We assess whether smaller investors are more likely to hold shares of closed-end funds that invest more heavily in illiquid securities. We also examine the relationship between the liquidity of the securities held in the portfolios of closed-end mutual funds (portfolio liquidity) and the liquidity of the closed-end funds’ shares (fund-share liquidity). Using a sample of 1,619 fund-years from 2010 to 2012, we find that smaller investors are more likely than institutional investors to own closed-end funds. We also find that the liquidity of closed-end funds’ portfolios is positively associated with the liquidity of the funds’ shares. Our findings are consistent with the “liquidity benefits” notion that closed-end funds are a means for smaller investors to invest in less liquid securities. In addition, our findings are consistent with the “valuation skepticism” notion which indicates that, due to the difficulty of objectively valuing illiquid securities, different perceptions of the value of illiquid securities held in funds’ portfolios may result in greater fund-share liquidity.
The authors’ examination of corporate social responsibility (CSR) scores in dual-class firms provides a window on firms’ CSR performance when insulated from external…
The authors’ examination of corporate social responsibility (CSR) scores in dual-class firms provides a window on firms’ CSR performance when insulated from external pressure. Dual-class ownership confers greater voting rights on a superior class of shares held by insiders; consequently, managers of dual-class firms are insulated from external pressure from inferior class shareholders and, potentially, from society. The authors compare CSR scores in dual- and single-class firms and investigate the association between CSR scores and cash flow rights in dual-class firms. This analysis reveals that dual-class firms have lower CSR scores than their single-class counterparts and that CSR scores in dual-class firms are positively related to the relative cost of CSR borne by the superior class of shares. The findings suggest that external accountability encourages CSR performance, and CSR performance is higher when the superior class bears a smaller portion of the cost of CSR activities. It follows that the analysis suggests the importance of governance structures for encouraging CSR, and the dampening impact of cost to CSR performance.
We examine the perceived influence of externally generated firm ratings of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on voting for shareholder-sponsored CSR proposals. Using…
We examine the perceived influence of externally generated firm ratings of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on voting for shareholder-sponsored CSR proposals. Using stakeholder and legitimacy theories, we introduce two rationales that relate shareholder voting decisions to the firm’s CSR performance: the complementary perspective where investors rely on management’s branding or image of the firm for CSR performance, and the sufficiency perspective where shareholders consider legitimacy effects of firm CSR performance. Our examination of 473 CSR shareholder-sponsored proposals during the 2013 to 2015 proxy seasons reveals a negative relationship between support for shareholder-sponsored CSR proposals and CSR strengths, particularly for social and environmental CSR strengths. We also find a positive relationship between support for shareholder-sponsored CSR proposals and CSR concerns, particular in the area of environmental CSR concerns. These results partially support the sufficiency perspective that incorporates shareholder legitimacy concerns. When companies have poor CSR performance, shareholders may view further CSR initiatives as beneficial to the firm.