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Do customers respond to the disclosure of internal control weakness?

Author

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  • Su, Lixin (Nancy)
  • Zhao, Xuezhou (Rachel)
  • Zhou, Gaoguang (Stephen)

Abstract

In this study, we investigate the effects of firms' internal control weakness (ICW) disclosures on their customers. We hypothesize that ICW disclosure adversely affects customers' perceptions of firms' ability and incentive to honor implicit commitments to customers, and as such, customers are less willing to buy from such firms. We thus expect a decline in firms' sales growth after ICW disclosure. We find a significant decline in sales growth subsequent to Sarbanes–Oxley (SOX) Section 404 ICW disclosure after controlling for firms' past sales growth and other factors affecting sales performance and internal control. This result is robust to the consideration of selection bias in ICW disclosure. We also find that the decline is more pronounced for firms with company-level ICW disclosure, with industrial customers, in the durable goods industries, with high research and development (R&D) intensity, or without subsequent remediation of ICW. Taken together, these results are consistent with the argument that ICW concerns customers more when the implicit contracts between the firms and their customers are more intensive.

Suggested Citation

  • Su, Lixin (Nancy) & Zhao, Xuezhou (Rachel) & Zhou, Gaoguang (Stephen), 2014. "Do customers respond to the disclosure of internal control weakness?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1508-1518.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:67:y:2014:i:7:p:1508-1518
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.06.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cano-Rodríguez, Manuel & Márquez-Illescas, Gilberto & Núñez-Níckel, Manuel, 2017. "Experts or rivals: Mimicry and voluntary disclosure," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 46-54.
    2. Chalmers, Keryn & Hay, David & Khlif, Hichem, 2019. "Internal control in accounting research: A review," Journal of Accounting Literature, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 80-103.
    3. Martin Eling & David Pankoke, 2016. "Costs and Benefits of Financial Regulation: An Empirical Assessment for Insurance Companies," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 41(4), pages 529-554, October.
    4. Young Joo Park & David S.T. Matkin & Justin Marlowe, 2017. "Internal Control Deficiencies and Municipal Borrowing Costs," Public Budgeting & Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 88-111, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internal control weakness; SOX Section 404; Implicit contract; Sales growth;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • M42 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Auditing
    • M48 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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