Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Impression management and retrospective sense-making in corporate narratives : a social psychology perspective
    Purpose – Prior accounting research views impression management predominantly though the lens of economics. Drawing on social psychology research, we provide a complementary perspective on corporate annual narrative reporting as characterised by conditions of ‘ex post accountability’ (Aerts, 2005, p. 497). These give rise to (i) impression management resulting from the managerial anticipation of the feedback effects of information and/or to (ii) managerial sense-making by means of the retrospective framing of organisational outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – We use a content analysis approach pioneered by psychology research (Newman et al., 2003) which is based on the psychological dimension of word use to investigate the chairmen’s statements of 93 UK listed companies. Findings – Results suggest that firms do not use chairmen’s statements to create an impression at variance with an overall reading of the annual report. We find that negative organisational outcomes prompt managers to engage in retrospective sense-making, rather than to present a public image of organisational performance inconsistent with the view internally held by management (self-presentational dissimulation). Further, managers of large firms use chairmen’s statements to portray an accurate (i.e., consistent with an overall reading of the annual report), albeit favourable, image of the firm and of organisational outcomes (i.e., impression management by means of enhancement). Research limitations – The content analysis approach adopted in the study analyses words out of context. Practical implications – Corporate annual reporting may not only be understood from a behavioural perspective involving managers responding to objectively determined stimuli inherent in the accountability framework, but also from a symbolic interaction perspective which involves managers retrospectively making sense of organisational outcomes and events. Originality/value – Our approach allows us to investigate three complementary scenarios of managerial corporate annual reporting behaviour: (i) self-presentational dissimulation, (ii) impression management by means of enhancement, and (iii) retrospective sense-making.
      6796Scopus© Citations 185
  • Publication
    A conceptual framework of impression management: new insights from psychology, sociology, and critical perspectives
    (Taylor &Francis, 2011-12) ;
    In this paper we develop a conceptual framework, based on the concepts of rationality and motivation, which uses theories and empirical research from psychology/behavioural finance, sociology and critical accounting to systematise, advance and challenge research on impression management. The paper focuses on research that departs from economic concepts of impression management as opportunistic managerial discretionary disclosure behaviour resulting in reporting bias or ‘cheap talk’. Using alternative rationality assumptions, such as bounded rationality, irrationality, substantive rationality and the notion of rationality as a social construct, we conceptualise impression management in alternative ways as (1) self-serving bias, (2) symbolic management and (3) accounting rhetoric. This contributes to an enhanced understanding of impression management in a corporate reporting context.
      4173Scopus© Citations 176
  • Publication
    Discretionary disclosure strategies in corporate narratives : incremental information or impression management?
    (University of Florida. Fisher School of Accounting, 2007) ;
    The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the literature on discretionary narrative disclosures. We explore why, how, and whether preparers of corporate narrative reports use discretionary disclosures in corporate narrative documents and why, how, and whether users react thereto. To facilitate the review, we provide three taxonomies based on: the motivation for discretionary narrative disclosures (opportunistic behavior, i.e. impression management, versus provision of useful incremental information); the research perspective (preparer versus user); and seven discretionary disclosure strategies. We also examine the whole range of theoretical frameworks utilized by prior research, and we put forward some suggestions for future research.