The Information Asymmetry between Management and Rank-and-File Employees: Determinants and Consequences
53 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2018 Last revised: 10 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 2019
We investigate whether information possessed by rank-and-file employees is incorporated in top managers’ expectations and decisions. Using employees’ predictions of their company’s business outlook from Glassdoor.com to measure the employees’ information set, and using management earnings forecasts to measure management expectations, we show that management expectations incorporate employees’ information only partially. This intrafirm information asymmetry is lower when top managers are more experienced and internally engaged and when employees are more satisfied with senior management, firm culture, and their compensation; and higher in companies that are more decentralized, have internal control weakness, and poorly incentivize their employees. Further analyses suggest that our results are not driven by managers’ strategically choosing not to use employees’ information in their forecasts. Finally, we document that firms with large discrepancies between management forecasts and employee outlook have poorer future performance and a higher likelihood of CEO turnover.
Keywords: internal information asymmetry; rank-and-file employees; management earnings forecasts
JEL Classification: M41; M5
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation