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The complex role of family involvement in earnings management

Silvia Ferramosca and Marco Allegrini

Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2018, vol. 9, issue 2, 128-141

Abstract: Building on socioemotional wealth and upper echelons theory, this paper investigates family firms’ behaviors in terms of their earnings management strategies. Our results indicate an inverted U-shaped relationship between discretionary accruals and family involvement in firm management and control (i.e., family members in C-suite positions). Furthermore, there are significant associations between the expertise and experience of C-suite managers and earnings management when the relationship is moderated by family involvement in firm management and control. As such, this study provides a unique contribution informing the accounting, family business, and corporate governance literatures. The study results indicate the types of firms that are more or less prone to earnings management behaviors, finding that accounting choices differ according to diverse characteristics, namely, the expertise and experience of C-suite managers and the level of family involvement in C-suite positions. These characteristics together affect firms’ preferences for discretionary accruals and income-smoothing activities. The findings introduce several practical implications for regulators, family businesses, investors, lenders, and external auditors.

Keywords: Family involvement; Earnings management; Socioemotional wealth; Upper echelons theory; Curvilinear relationship (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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