Disasters bring about communities of focussed discourse. We show how a segment of one such community controlled the early stages of discourse during a financial crisis as…
Disasters bring about communities of focussed discourse. We show how a segment of one such community controlled the early stages of discourse during a financial crisis as a variety of professionals (bankers, analysts, editorial writers and academics) made multiple types of arguments (emotional and technical) to allay citizens’ concerns about an impending banking collapse. We examine the rapid rise of this segment by mapping and analysing the responses printed in Icelandic newspapers to a Danish bank’s warning of Icelandic banking instability. Using social network analysis, we illustrate the networks of public actors and their immediate public responses, showing how close-knit both networks became after just one week of commentary in the Icelandic press. We demonstrate the power that professionals of various kinds have over an uninformed citizenry through their rapid responses and closely connected networks and underscore the obstacles awaiting those who want to alter discourse during crisis.
Trust is considered instrumental for economic growth, successful operation of public institutions and social cohesion. We explore how public trust in Icelandic…
Trust is considered instrumental for economic growth, successful operation of public institutions and social cohesion. We explore how public trust in Icelandic institutions has developed during the recent tumultous financial times, including the failure of the Icelandic banking sector. Using data from Gallup-Iceland’s annual survey of individuals’ trust in institutions, we show that trust in general, and particularly towards political and financial institutions, evaporates following the crisis year of 2008. Although trust varies significantly among different demographic groups, the trend shows how the road to recovering trust in Icelandic institutions post-crisis has proven to be challenging and drawn-out. Apart from law-enforcement agencies, which were relatively unscathed by the financial calamities, no institution has managed to escape the drop in trust, nor have they re-established the pre-crisis level of trust in the minds of the public nearly a decade after the crisis. A notable personal post-crisis exception is the recently elected President of Iceland who has managed to improve trust in his office by the highest margin of all 15 public offices and institutions examined.
The enormous financial losses during the economic crash in Iceland led to widespread anxieties, coupled with a deep sense of shared national disaster and moral collapse …
The enormous financial losses during the economic crash in Iceland led to widespread anxieties, coupled with a deep sense of shared national disaster and moral collapse (Bernburg, 2015; Ólafsson, 2014). The strong sense of betrayal indicates how economic processes are not only about economic prosperity, but are embedded also in wider societal discourses and a sense of national identity (Schwegler, 2009). We use perspectives from anthropology and cultural economics to ask how the lack of trust by the Icelandic population after the crash signals both a different way of visualising Iceland’s role within an increasingly global world and a changing sense of Icelanders as national subjects standing unified against foreigners. Iceland’s neo-liberalisation inserted the country into global institutions and processes with the faith that these processes would automatically be beneficial to Iceland. Furthermore, the sense of some kind of a unified Icelandic subject was manifested in the image of the ‘Business Viking’, which was seen as embodying the interest of the Icelandic nation as a whole. Following the economic crash, the betrayal of trust involved disrupting the idea of the ‘oneness’ of Iceland and thus, the sharp distinction between ‘us’ Icelanders and ‘those’ foreigners. In our discussion, we trace different ways of conceptualising this sense of Icelanders as a unified entity, asking what this notion means in terms of trust. Our research shows how the sense of ‘unified Icelanders’ was instrumental in creating the feeling of trust, and how it is possible to manipulate and appropriate that trust.
We investigate the relationship between institutional shareholdings and the firm's corporate governance by looking at changes in the composition of the board of directors…
We investigate the relationship between institutional shareholdings and the firm's corporate governance by looking at changes in the composition of the board of directors and audit committee while institutional ownership increases over time. Our comparison of 74 firms showing increased institutional ownership with a matched control group of 62 firms finds that increased institutional ownership is positively associated with a higher proportion of outsiders on the board and with audit committee and board members who are less entrenched. These factors are widely regarded as signs of a strengthened system of corporate governance and control, underscoring the important role that institutional ownership may play in the firm's corporate governance structure.
To inform research on source credibility by providing insight into investors' perception and use of common information sources.
In total, 235 individuals with investing experience or intent ranked the perceived credibility of nine common sources that report unaudited corporate earnings estimates and nine sources of non‐financial performance measures. Respondents also assessed the relative value of source credibility to their investment decisions and indicated which common sources of information they use when investing.
Results indicate no significant differences in the rankings between more and less experienced investors. Respondents seemed to impute accountability or independence to certain sources without warrant. Source credibility was less valued in the non‐financial performance measurement context than in the earnings estimate setting. A surprisingly low proportion of investors reported using the auditor's report and financial statement notes in combination with financial statement data.
Theory can usefully be expanded to address investors' assumptions about source accountability or independence and the data context's effect on the relative value of source credibility. Using US‐based participants potentially limits the ability to generalise results. More extensive lists of sources may refine the observed differences.
Results suggest that investors should question their assumptions about a source's typical behaviour. Similarly, financial reporting professionals may need to promote more heavily the value of credible sources of non‐financial performance measures while reminding investors of the importance of common financial reporting vehicles.
In addition to providing investor feedback on source credibility, this paper reveals areas for theory to address and raises questions for further performance measurement research.