Highly publicized instances of unethical corporate behavior have undermined public trust and led to new legislation, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Financial reporting is under increased scrutiny, whether or not a company’s image has been tarnished by misbehavior or allegations of misbehavior. In this scenario, an examination of annual reports and in particular the accompanying CEO letters (letters to shareholders, executive letters) is of interest. A number of researchers confirm the interest in investigating specific aspects of these letters (e.g. Swales 1988, who related content analysis to predicting performance; Hyland 1998 on metadiscourse; Cross 1990 on the group writing process). These and other studies often consider positive and negative items, mainly in terms of performance. Until now, however, little attention has been given to the linguistic features used to communicate ethics-related issues in CEO letters, whether ethical behavior is an issue for the individual company only or the wider industry as well. This paper focuses on those CEO letters for securities brokerage firms written for fiscal years 2001 and 2002, immediately before and after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, to explore if and how ethical issues are addressed in the sets of letters. Selected linguistic features of the letters were examined, including personal pronouns and evaluative language.

What's at stake when unethical behavior is an issue : rebuilding trust in CEO letters of securities brokerage firms / G.M. Poncini, L. Hiris. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Allied business education association, Annual conference tenutosi a Disney World (Florida, USA) nel 21-22 aprile 2005.

What's at stake when unethical behavior is an issue : rebuilding trust in CEO letters of securities brokerage firms

G.M. Poncini;
2005

Abstract

Highly publicized instances of unethical corporate behavior have undermined public trust and led to new legislation, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Financial reporting is under increased scrutiny, whether or not a company’s image has been tarnished by misbehavior or allegations of misbehavior. In this scenario, an examination of annual reports and in particular the accompanying CEO letters (letters to shareholders, executive letters) is of interest. A number of researchers confirm the interest in investigating specific aspects of these letters (e.g. Swales 1988, who related content analysis to predicting performance; Hyland 1998 on metadiscourse; Cross 1990 on the group writing process). These and other studies often consider positive and negative items, mainly in terms of performance. Until now, however, little attention has been given to the linguistic features used to communicate ethics-related issues in CEO letters, whether ethical behavior is an issue for the individual company only or the wider industry as well. This paper focuses on those CEO letters for securities brokerage firms written for fiscal years 2001 and 2002, immediately before and after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, to explore if and how ethical issues are addressed in the sets of letters. Selected linguistic features of the letters were examined, including personal pronouns and evaluative language.
apr-2005
Settore L-LIN/12 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Inglese
Financial Education Association
Academiy of Business Education
What's at stake when unethical behavior is an issue : rebuilding trust in CEO letters of securities brokerage firms / G.M. Poncini, L. Hiris. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Allied business education association, Annual conference tenutosi a Disney World (Florida, USA) nel 21-22 aprile 2005.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/13157
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