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Article

Paul A. Griffin and Estelle Y. Sun

This study examines the relation between voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure and the local religious norms of firms’ stakeholders. Little is known…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the relation between voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure and the local religious norms of firms’ stakeholders. Little is known about how these local norms (measured at the county level) affect firms’ disclosure practices and firm value, especially voluntary disclosure on climate change and environmental and social responsibility.

Design/methodology/approach

Poisson regression models test for a significant relation between firms’ voluntary CSR disclosure intensity and the local religious norms of firms’ stakeholders. Also, an event study tests whether the local religious norms affect investment returns. The data analyzed are extracted from the archive of CSRwire, a prominent news organization that distributes CSR news to investors and the public worldwide.

Findings

The study finds that firms in high adherence (high churchgoer) locations disclose CSR activities less frequently, and firms in high affiliation (a high proportion of non-evangelical Christian churchgoers) locations disclose CSR activities more frequently. The study also finds that managers make firm-value-increasing CSR disclosure decisions that cater to the religious and social norms of the local community.

Practical implications

The results imply that managers self-identify with the local religious norms of stakeholders and appropriately disclose less about CSR activities when religious adherence is high and when religious affiliation (the ratio of non-evangelicals to evangelical Christians) is low. The authors find this noteworthy because religious bodies often call for greater CSR involvement and disclosure. Yet, at the firm level, it would appear that local community religious norms also prevail, as it is shown that they significantly explain firms’ CSR disclosure behavior, implying that managers cater to local religious norms in their disclosure decisions.

Social implications

The findings suggest that managers vary the timing and intensity of voluntary CSR disclosure consistent with stakeholders’ local religious and social norms and that it would be costly and inefficient if the firms were to expand CSR disclosure without considering the religious norms of their local community.

Originality value

This is the first large-sample study to show that local religious norms affect CSR disclosure behavior. The study makes use of a unique and novel data set obtained exclusively from CSRwire.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article

Randall E. Duran and Paul Griffin

This paper aims to examine the risks associated with smart contracts, a disruptive financial technology (FinTech) innovation, and assesses how in the future they could…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the risks associated with smart contracts, a disruptive financial technology (FinTech) innovation, and assesses how in the future they could threaten the integrity of the global financial system.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach is used to identify risk factors related to the use of new financial innovations, by examining how over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives contributed to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) which occurred during 2007 and 2008. Based on this analysis, the potential for similar concerns with smart contracts are evaluated, drawing on the failure of The DAO on the Ethereum blockchain, which involved the loss of over $60m of digital currency.

Findings

Extensive use of bilateral agreements, complexity and lack of standardization, lack of transparency, misuse and speed of contagion were factors that contributed to the GFC that could also become material concerns for smart contract technology as its adoption grows. These concerns, combined with other contextual factors, such as the risk of defects in smart contracts and cyberattacks, could lead to potential destabilization of the broader financial system.

Practical implications

The paper’s findings provide insights to help make the design, management and monitoring of smart contract technology more robust. They also provide guidance for key stakeholders on proactive steps that can be taken with smart contract technology to avoid repeating the types of oversights that contributed to the GFC.

Originality/value

This paper draws attention to the risks associated with the adoption of disruptive FinTech. It also suggests steps that regulators and other key stakeholders can take to help mitigate those risks.

Details

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1358-1988

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Article

Paul Kurnit

This paper looks at how our normal course of business leads us through a number of disciplines to become smarter about our products, our competitors, the markets in which…

Abstract

This paper looks at how our normal course of business leads us through a number of disciplines to become smarter about our products, our competitors, the markets in which we compete and tomorrow's potential big ideas. We evaluate sales data. We do store checks. We analyse competitive media. We conduct creative reviews. We do SWOT analyses. We benchmark our businesses against established and expanded competitive frames.

Details

International Journal of Advertising and Marketing to Children, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6676

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Article

William S. Hopwood and James C. McKeown

This study investigates the time‐series properties of operating cash flows per share and earnings per share for all manufacturing firms on the Compustat Quarterly…

Abstract

This study investigates the time‐series properties of operating cash flows per share and earnings per share for all manufacturing firms on the Compustat Quarterly Industrial tape for which sufficient data are available. Both individually‐identified and “premier” models are compared on the basis of their relative fit and forecasting accuracy. The empirical results suggest that for both accounting variables the individually‐identified models outperform the premier models, although this advantage is larger for earnings, and for forecast horizons beyond one quarter ahead. A major conclusion of the study is that the time‐series properties of cash flows are quite different than those of earnings. In particular, the cash flow series are considerably less predictable, as shown by their relatively high incidence of white‐noise series and relatively large forecast errors.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article

Richard Paul Griffin

The NHS is about to embark on the widescale introduction ofperformance‐related pay. A number of recent studies have seriouslyquestioned the efficacy of merit pay…

Abstract

The NHS is about to embark on the widescale introduction of performance‐related pay. A number of recent studies have seriously questioned the efficacy of merit pay. Utilizing the expectancy theory of motivation, explains why performance pay is unlikely to motivate NHS staff.

Details

Health Manpower Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-2065

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Article

Paul A. Griffin, David H. Lont and Yuan Sun

This study aims to examine the economic cost imposed by capital markets of section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 on conflict minerals (CM). The authors analyse a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the economic cost imposed by capital markets of section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 on conflict minerals (CM). The authors analyse a sample of first-time CM disclosures made by US companies in 2010-2012.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors measure the market response to these disclosures and compare it to the response of a matched control sample of non-disclosers. An overall negative response could arise from regulatory costs, changes in management decision making, or customers' social concerns about CM. An overall positive response could reflect the benefits of disclosure transparency.

Findings

The authors find that the negative effects of the disclosures outweigh any positive effects. The authors also find more limited negative effects for the control sample, since they are likely to be future CM disclosers.

Research limitations/implications

Because companies' balance sheets do not report these negative effects, the results imply that investors price supply chain activities related to CM as an off-balance sheet liability.

Practical implications

The results agree with companies' assertions of a substantial cost to implement the CM provision. The authors estimate an aggregate loss of shareholder value for the sample of $6.5 to $13.1 billion.

Social implications

These results show that regulators' and stakeholders' demands for increased transparency can be costly to shareholders when the disclosures induce changes in management decision making and raise customers' social concerns about supply chain sustainability.

Originality/value

The study is the first to examine the economic effects of companies' initial disclosures about CM under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 26 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article

Richard Paul Griffin

This paper aims to briefly review the current state of and rationale for workplace training evaluation, explain the barriers that prevent wide scale and effective

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to briefly review the current state of and rationale for workplace training evaluation, explain the barriers that prevent wide scale and effective evaluation and provide practitioners with a novel training evaluation approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a critical review of current approaches to and literature on training evaluation and the author's own research into the impact of learning on NHS productivity.

Findings

Whilst national governments stress the importance of workplace skills development as a central element of economic growth and organizations invest substantial amounts in training, very few private firms or public sector organizations actually review learning's impact on individuals, teams or organizational results.

Practical implications

This paper proposes that a range of factors inhibit effective training evaluation. These include the complexity of workplace learning and, crucially, weaknesses in current evaluation processes and tools. In response, the author sets out a novel systematic evaluation process aimed at assisting practitioners in meeting these challenges.

Originality/value

The approach builds on the economic theory of productivity to create a metric of costs and benefits to allow organizations to assess the impact of learning. It is hoped the approach will firstly, contribute to the debate about how training should be evaluated; secondly, bridge the gap between academic research and practitioner needs and finally, provide a scientifically robust but practitioner friendly means of evaluation.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article

Richard Paul Griffin

This paper seeks to address current limitations in approaches to training evaluation by presenting a conceptual model of work‐based learning and an associated evaluation framework.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to address current limitations in approaches to training evaluation by presenting a conceptual model of work‐based learning and an associated evaluation framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The model and framework presented in this paper are based on a critical review of current approaches to learning evaluation and insights from learning transfer research and programme theory.

Findings

This paper sets out a conceptual model of workplace learning based on five elements: a pre‐learning stage, the trigger (need) for learning, the learning event, application of learning and the impact of learning. A linked criterion evaluation framework is also described. It is proposed that this provides a scientifically robust but practitioner friendly framework for workplace learning evaluation.

Practical implications

While most organisations wish to evaluate the effectiveness of their investment in employee training and development, few do. One of the barriers to effective learning evaluation is the failure to ground approaches in a contemporary and comprehensive model of workplace learning. The model and framework set out in this paper aim to assist evaluation by addressing this gap in a practitioner friendly way.

Originality/value

This paper sets out a novel, flexible and comprehensive conceptual model of workplace learning along with an innovative approach to training evaluation that addresses limitations in existing approaches. It is hoped that this will contribute to the debate on appropriate evaluation methods and assist practitioners to undertake evaluation in a more credible manner.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article

Paul A. Griffin

This study aims to examine the impact of the emission allowances granted under California's cap‐and‐trade program (AB 32) – the first major program of its kind in the USA…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of the emission allowances granted under California's cap‐and‐trade program (AB 32) – the first major program of its kind in the USA – on the balance sheets and income statements of the S&P 500. So far there has been little discussion of what a cap‐and‐trade program would mean for the US companies' financial statements.

Design/methodology/approach

The author states and tests an economic model of the relation between greenhouse gas emissions and financial statement variables at the individual company level and use this model to predict emission allowances and obligations for the S&P 500.

Findings

The author's analysis suggests that the average S&P 500 company's balance sheet and net income will be adversely affected under several different accounting treatments for emission allowances, with the greatest impacts in the utilities, energy, and materials sectors.

Practical implications

US and European regulators have yet to set a single standard for emissions accounting. Without a single standard, companies acting in their own interests may use diverse or unclear accounting treatments for similar economic benefits. This can raise the cost of capital and hurt investors.

Originality/value

This is the first study of which the author is aware to document how the emission allowances under the AB 32 cap‐and‐trade program will affect American companies' balance sheets.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article

Jomo Sankara, Dennis M. Patten and Deborah L. Lindberg

This paper investigates the market response to the poor quality of reporting on the first mandated set of conflict minerals disclosures in the US setting. The authors…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the market response to the poor quality of reporting on the first mandated set of conflict minerals disclosures in the US setting. The authors examine the reaction for both filing firms at their filing date and non-filing companies at the filing deadline.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use standard market model methods to capture investor response and test for differences across reactions using comparisons of means and regression models. The authors also code reports for a sub-sample of firms and test for the relation between disclosure and market reactions.

Findings

The authors document a significant negative reaction for both filing and non-filing firms, with the latter group suffering a more negative reaction than the filers. The authors also find more extensive disclosure is associated with less negative market reactions. Finally, the authors provide evidence supporting the argument that the more pronounced reaction for the non-filers is due to concerns with incremental implementation costs for these firms.

Research limitations/implications

The results extend prior research into investor perceptions of exposures to social and political costs. The findings suggest that investors view both poor quality disclosure and lack of response to mandated requirements as increasing such exposures.

Practical implications

The negative market response could be expected to exert additional pressures on companies to better assess and report on conflict mineral exposures in their supply chains.

Social implications

The findings suggest investors pay attention to the corporate response to mandated social disclosure requirements, an important finding as mandates for similar types of disclosure appear to be in the offing.

Originality/value

This study is the first to extend the social and political cost exposure literature to analysis of mandated social disclosures.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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