Fundamental determinants, opportunistic behavior and signaling mechanism: an integration of earnings management perspective
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The systematic study of earnings management has now developed into a dynamic body of empirical literature. Despite a dynamic body of earnings management research that are well founded in economic theory, there have not been any attempts to take an integrated perspective (Beneish, 2001).This study integrates and well reconciles different research perspectives in the earnings management literature in attempt to provide a theoretical guidance for the future research. We first formulate a conceptual framework for understanding earnings management fundamental determinants based on market imperfection of information asymmetry and agency conflicts. We then highlight the arguments of opportunistic behaviour and signalling mechanism in order to address that earnings management is notnecessarily bad; it could be a device to enhance communication with external parties and improve internal efficiency. Finally, we review different managerial incentives that drive earnings management and we discuss the linkage between efficient contracting, opportunistic behaviour and signalling mechanism.
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