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Corporate Fraud and Managers' Behavior: Evidence from the Press

52 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2010 Last revised: 13 Mar 2013

Jeffrey R. Cohen

Boston College - Department of Accounting

Yuan Ding

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Cédric Lesage

JMSB

Hervé Stolowy

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department

Date Written: December 29, 2010

Abstract

Based on evidence from press articles covering 39 corporate fraud cases that went public during the period 1992-2005, the objective of this paper is to examine the role of managers’ behavior in the commitment of the fraud. This study integrates the fraud triangle (FT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to gain a better understanding of fraud cases. The results of the analysis suggest that personality traits appear to be a major fraud risk factor. The analysis was further validated through a quantitative analysis of key words which confirmed that key words associated with the attitudes/rationalizations component of the integrated theory were predominately found in fraud firms as opposed to a sample of control firms. The results of the study suggest that auditors should evaluate the ethics of management through the components of the theory of planned behavior: the assessment of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and moral obligation. Therefore, it is potentially important that the professional standards that are related to fraud detection strengthen the emphasis on managers’ behavior that may be associated with unethical behavior.

Keywords: Corporate fraud, fraud triangle, theory of planned behavior, managerial ethics, personality traits, fraud-related professional standards

JEL Classification: M41, M49, L20

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Jeffrey R. and Ding, Yuan and Lesage, Cédric and Stolowy, Hervé, Corporate Fraud and Managers' Behavior: Evidence from the Press (December 29, 2010). Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1160076

Jeffrey R. Cohen

Boston College - Department of Accounting ( email )

Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617-552-3165 (Phone)
617-552-2097 (Fax)

Yuan Ding

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) ( email )

699, Hongfeng Road
Shanghai 201206, Shanghai 201206
China

Cédric Lesage

JMSB ( email )

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8
Canada

Hervé Stolowy (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex
France
+33 1 39 67 94 42 (Phone)
+33 1 39 67 70 86 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hec.fr/stolowy

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