Do Top Managers’ Individual Characteristics Affect Accounting Manipulation in the Public Sector? Mariafrancesca Sicilia

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Uploaded by Mariafrancesca Sicilia     Uploaded date: June 03, 2020    
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Publication date
June 03, 2020
Paper language
Abstract
Drawing on upper echelons theory, the article investigates the potential impact of top managers’ background and demographic characteristics and personality traits on organizational decisions in the public sector. The top-management figure being investigated is the municipal chief financial officer (CFO) and the specific organizational decision under analysis is the extent of revenue misrepresentation during both budget formulation and execution. The empirical setting is provided by the CFOs of Italian municipalities with populations above 15,000 over a 3-year period (2012–14). Financial data are drawn from existing databases. Non-financial data are collected through an online survey. The results show that top managers’ individual characteristics and traits do influence the extent of accounting manipulation. In particular, revenue misrepresentation was found to be smaller in the presence of female managers, managers with degrees in business administration, and managers describing themselves as “conscientious”. These effects on accounting manipulation were moderated by auditors’ and opposition councilors’ oversight, managers’ experience, and the presence of local elections. The article extends upper echelons theory and its applications in several directions: from the private to the public context, from CEOs to CFOs, from managerial decisions in general to accounting choices, and from background and demographic variables to personality traits.
Preferred Citation
Eugenio Anessi-Pessina, Mariafrancesca Sicilia, Do Top Managers’ Individual Characteristics Affect Accounting Manipulation in the Public Sector?, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, muz038, https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/muz038
Keywords
upper echelons theory, accounting manipulation, CFOs, local governments
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Category
Financial accounting
Type of Paper
Published paper

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https://academic.oup.com/jpart/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/jopart/muz038/5644009?redirectedFrom=fulltext

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