Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Accountancy

First Advisor

Douglas E. Stevens

Second Advisor

Michael J. Majerczyk

Third Advisor

Ivo D. Tafkov

Fourth Advisor

Jason Kuang

Abstract

In a participative budgeting setting, this paper examines the relative merits of different choices regarding to whom to assign budget rejection authority in a hierarchical firm. While the participative budgeting literature has traditionally examined dyadic firms (i.e. firms consisting of only an owner and a worker), many firms exist as taller hierarchies. In such firms, the question of where to locate an important budgetary control – rejection authority – in order to promote improved budgetary reporting becomes meaningful. It is hypothesized that delegating budget rejection authority to the manager leads to increased slack consumption by the agent in comparison to the situation in which the principal retains such authority. Research questions address whether the agents report more accurately when both the manager and the principal have rejection authority by comparison to the arrangement in which only one of these individuals hold such power. Results generally suggest that delegating rejection authority to the manager does not entail agency related costs. Further, agent slack capture is least when the control is duplicated but this benefit comes at a substantial decrease in the amount of surplus the firm can capture.

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