Corporate profit and impression management in developing markets

Prasad, Acklesh, Finau, Glen, & Samuwai, Jale (2011) Corporate profit and impression management in developing markets. The Fiji Acountant, October.

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In this study, we examine how organisations in Fiji communicate or legitimise their profit. We base the need for understanding this phenomenon on the following premise. Organisations are part of a wider society, and in competition for scarce resources. Organisations obtain the rights to consume resources upon conception, but must continually legitimise their rights of existence and the need to access the resources. Legitimacy is the ability to continue to justify one’s authority to exist in a society. Organisations rights to resources are contractual, and have a moral obligation to act in a responsible manner and justify their outcomes, actions, and activities to external stakeholders. Such justifications would be an attempt at legitimizing their existence by some form of impression management. Impression management refers to the process by which individuals attempt to influence the impression of others (Melo et al. 2009). In corporate reporting, impression management occurs when management selects, display, and presents that information in a manner that distorts readers’ perceptions of corporate achievements (Neu 1991; Patten 2002), and is managed best through disclosures (O’Donovan 2002).

In developing economies, there is significant Government protection that creates near-monopoly sectors and industries. The rendered protection permits organisations to provide essential services to the community at reasonable costs. Organisations in these sectors and industries have an ominous need to legitimise their position and actions. The bond between the organisations and the society is much stronger, making organisations devote more effort in communicating their activities. Protection permits organisations to make reasonable profits to sustain their operations. Society may not accept abnormal profits from operational efficiencies. Profit is fundamental to the society’s perception of an organisation, amplifying the need for the firm to justify a level of profit. Abnormal profit for organisations construes bad news, and organisations would make relevant disclosures to manage stakeholder impressions on profit (Patten 2002).

Organisations can manage impressions by disclosing information in a particular way. That is, organisations would want to put the impression that the abnormal profit is justified and the society will obtain its benefits in future. Such form of impression management requires unambiguous disclosure of information. The readability of corporate disclosures is an important indicator of organisational abnormal profit-related legitimacy efforts in developing economies.

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ID Code: 50699
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: corporate profit, developing markets
ISSN: 1728-9378
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Fiji Institute of Accountants
Copyright Statement: Copyright: © Reproduction in whole or part of
any text, photograph or illustration without the
written permission of the Executive Director is
Deposited On: 31 May 2012 22:20
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2012 10:29

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