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CEO Gender, Ethical Leadership, and Accounting Conservatism

Ho, S.S.M., Li, A.Y., Tam, K. and Zhang, F.F. (2014) CEO Gender, Ethical Leadership, and Accounting Conservatism. Journal of Business Ethics, January .

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Since male CEOs dominate corporate leadership, the literature on top management decision making suffers from an implicit masculine bias. Although research indicates that males and females are biologically and psychologically different, the leadership characteristics of female CEOs are largely unexplored. Two of these characteristics, risk aversion and ethical sensitivity, are tied to key accounting issues, such as conservatism in financial reporting and steadfast opposition to fraud. In this study, we examine the relationship between CEO gender and accounting conservatism, and find a positive association between the two. Consistent with conventional wisdom, this association appears to be stronger in firms with high rather than low litigation and takeover risks. This study contributes to the ethics literature by highlighting the benefits of gender diversity in upholding the integrity of financial reporting.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: Springer
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