Agency and Stewardship Attitudes of Salaried Chief Financial Officers in Private Companies
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
36th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association (EAA)
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
This paper aims at exploring attitudes of salaried Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), which can be associated with agency theory and stewardship theory. CFOs? attitudes are investigated because they may face additional agency conflicts as they ultimately oversee the finance and accounting functions, which are usually responsible for the production of numerical information used as a basis for incentive compensation. A qualitative field study of 14 large privately-held Austrian manufacturing companies was conducted. The findings, relying on information retrieved from 18 semi-structured interviews, reveal a number of contextual factors that influence stewardship and agency attitudes of salaried CFOs. CFOs, who mainly report to the owners in formalized ways, perceive more control by the owners. Short-term management appointments appear to facilitate agency-like behavior, whereas the existence of owner-managers as well as the CFO?s higher personal age and wealth seem to nurture stewardship attitude. The paper concludes with concrete avenues for further research.