What’s My Style? The Influence of Top Managers on Voluntary Corporate Financial Disclosure

50 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2009 Last revised: 20 Oct 2010

See all articles by Linda Smith Bamber

Linda Smith Bamber

University of Georgia - J.M. Tull School of Accounting

John (Xuefeng) Jiang

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems

Isabel Yanyan Wang

Michigan State University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1, 2009

Abstract

Financial economics has traditionally posited a limited role for idiosyncratic noneconomic manager-specific influences, but the strategic management literature suggests such individual influences can affect corporate outcomes. We investigate whether individual managers play an economically significant role in voluntary corporate financial disclosure. Tracking managers across firms over time, we find top executives exert unique and economically significant influence (manager-specific fixed effects) on their firms’ voluntary disclosures, incremental to those of known economic determinants of disclosure, and firm- and time-specific effects. We further show that managers’ unique disclosure styles are associated with observable demographic characteristics of their personal backgrounds: Managers promoted from finance, accounting, and legal career tracks, managers born before World War II, and those with military experience develop disclosure styles with conservative characteristics, and managers from finance and accounting and those with military experience favor more precise disclosure styles. These plausible associations confirm that our estimated manager-specific fixed effects capture systematic long-lived differences in managers’ unique disclosure styles.

Keywords: Voluntary disclosure, management earnings forecasts, individual differences, upper echelons theory

JEL Classification: G30, M12, M41, M43, M45, M50

Suggested Citation

Bamber, Linda Smith and Jiang, John (Xuefeng) and Wang, Isabel, What’s My Style? The Influence of Top Managers on Voluntary Corporate Financial Disclosure (September 1, 2009). Accounting Review, Vol. 85, No. 4, pp. 1131-1162, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1503611

Linda Smith Bamber

University of Georgia - J.M. Tull School of Accounting ( email )

Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-3501 (Phone)
706-542-3630 (Fax)

John (Xuefeng) Jiang (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - Department of Accounting & Information Systems ( email )

252 North Business Complex
East Lansing, MI 48824-1034
United States
517-432-3031 (Phone)
517-432-1101 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~jiangj/

Isabel Wang

Michigan State University ( email )

N233 Business Complex
Broad School of Business
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~wangyany/

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