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Attributional statements in annual report narratives: the justification of organizational performance

Marcelo Pagliarussi, Izabella Frinhani Tessarolo and Antonio Thadeu Mattos da Luz
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Antonio Thadeu Mattos da Luz: FUCAPE Business School

No 4, Fucape Working Papers from Fucape Business School

Abstract: n this paper the nature of organizational discourse is theoretically underpinned by the concept of self-serving attributions, a type of causal reasoning that allows the writer to take credit for good news and avoid blame for bad news. Based on motivational and informational explanations, we incorporate signaling theory in order to develop hypotheses for the expected levels of self-serving attributions in the justification of organizational performance. A sample with 49 companies was selected, both from a bad year and a good year regarding the capital market context. Each company?s Letter to Shareholders was content analyzed in order to test our propositions about the roles of different combinations of performance and contextual factors as triggers of self-serving attributions. The results corroborate the theoretical hypotheses advanced, but the sample size is an issue regarding robustness.

Keywords: Organizational; performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28
Date: 2008-11
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Published in Fucape Working Papers Novembro 2008

Downloads: (external link) Primeira Versão, 2008
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