A Behavioral Model of Decisions to Accrue and Disclose Environmental Liabilities

Posted: 6 Apr 2004

See all articles by Stephanie M. Weidman

Stephanie M. Weidman

Rowan University - Accounting & Finance

Anthony P. Curatola

Drexel University

Frank Linnehan

Drexel University - Organization Sciences

Date Written: January 2004


Using a sample of 263 financial executives, this study furthers our understanding of the factors that influence the accrual and disclosure of environmental liabilities. It uses the Theory of Planned Behavior (Azjen, 1991) to investigate these discretionary accruals and disclosures as ethical decisions at the level of the individual decision maker. The authors know of no other study that explicitly examines the accrual decision as distinct from the disclosure decision with respect to environmental liabilities. Results indicate that the intentions to accrue and disclose environmental liabilities are significantly related to an individual's attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and perceived moral obligation. Findings also suggest that financial executives are more willing to accrue an environmental liability than to disclose it in the notes to the financial statements.

Keywords: environmental accounting, environmental liabilities, theory of planned behavior, discretionary accrual, disclosure of environmental liabilities, contingent liabilities, accounting ethics, social responsibility accounting

JEL Classification: M41, M44, M45

Suggested Citation

Weidman, Stephanie M. and Curatola, Anthony Paul and Linnehan, Frank, A Behavioral Model of Decisions to Accrue and Disclose Environmental Liabilities (January 2004). American Accounting Association 2004 Mid-Atlantic Region Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=490483 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.490483

Stephanie M. Weidman (Contact Author)

Rowan University - Accounting & Finance ( email )

Glassboro, NJ 08028
United States

Anthony Paul Curatola

Drexel University ( email )

3220 Chestnut St.
GHall 922
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-895-1453 (Phone)

Frank Linnehan

Drexel University - Organization Sciences ( email )

United States

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