Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Earnings Management in Interconnected Networks: A Perspective

Ozili, Peterson K (2017): Earnings Management in Interconnected Networks: A Perspective. Published in:

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Abstract

This article examine how firms manage earnings when firms are in interconnected networks, that is, when firms are interconnected to each other in a way that the survival of one firm is crucial to the survival of other firms connected to it. The article employs network typology to provide some insight on the earnings management behaviour of firms in regulated and unregulated networks or systems. We find that firms in the inner core of interconnected networks are more likely to rely on income smoothing behaviour as a preferred form of earnings management because it stabilizes the firm’s link with other firms in the network. In regulated networks, we propose a negative relationship between a firm’s network centrality and the number of earnings management strategies the manager can adopt. Also, we propose a positive relationship between a firm’s network centrality and the propensity to smooth earnings or income when firms are concerned about their reputation or regulatory scrutiny. This article is a brief note on earnings management, and an attempt provide a perspective on how earnings management can be explained using a network typology.

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