Corporate Culture and Financial Reporting Risk: Looking Through the Glassdoor
58 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2017 Last revised: 1 Oct 2017
Date Written: June 1, 2017
We study whether financial reporting risk is associated with job satisfaction, company culture, and opinions of senior leadership. We use novel data on employees’ perspectives obtained from the website Glassdoor, covering 14,282 firm-years in the period 2008-2015. We argue that poorly implemented performance objectives leads to pressure and creates a boiler room effect, negatively impacting the corporate climate of the firm and increasing the propensity to manipulate performance metrics. We find that firms with lower levels of job satisfaction (as measured by employees) and lower levels of “culture and values” are more likely to be subjected to SEC fraud enforcement actions and securities class action lawsuits. Consistent with the boiler room effect, we find that a negative corporate climate is also associated with an increased likelihood of narrowly meeting or beating market earnings expectations. Conversely, we find job satisfaction and positive employee opinions of senior leadership to be associated with lower abnormal accruals. We also find that the association between firms’ culture and financial reporting risk is stronger for firms with weaker board independence. Thus, the work environment, as perceived by employees, appears to play a critical role in financial reporting risk.
Keywords: corporate culture, culture, fraud, SEC, employee feedback, job satisfaction, Glassdoor, financial reporting, governance
JEL Classification: M14, M12, M54, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation