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IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT IN CHAIRMEN’S LETTERS: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF BANKS’ ANNUAL REPORTS IN MENA REGION

Rasha Mahboub, Nehale Mostapha, Wagdy Hegazy

DOI: 10.22495/cbv12i3art8

Abstract

The study aims to investigate the extent of existence of strategies of impression management (IM) in the narrative section of 200 annual reports of a sample of 50 banks in five different countries of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab of Emirates) for 2011-2014. Seven variables were employed to identify the existence of IM strategies in the chairmen’s letters of the bank’s annual reports. By employing descriptive statistics, frequency distribution and proportion test, it was found that four out of the seven strategies have existed in the chairmen’s letters. These strategies are reading ease manipulation, visual and structural manipulation, performance comparisons, and performance attribution. It is interesting to note that the narrative of the annual report of major banks in MENA region was very difficult to read. This result may perhaps encourage more consideration to the obstacles of effective communication that are the basic mean of facilitating rational resource decision making. Moreover, the results demonstrated that management of banks in MENA region choose benchmarks that portray current bank performance in the best possible light; further they highlight good news rather than bad news and placing this good news in the most emphasized sections of the chairmen’s letters; also they prefer to blame the environment for bad news, but take the credit themselves for good news. Therefore, the study recommends auditing regulators to issue a new standard in which auditors are required to confirm the reliability of the information in the accounting narratives of banks annual reports.

Keywords: Impression Management, Accounting Narrative, Annual Report, Chairman’s Letter, Bank, MENA Region

How to cite this paper: Mahboub, R., Mostapha, N., & Hegazy, W. (2016). Impression management in chairmen’s letters: An empirical study of banks’ annual reports in MENA region. Corporate Board: role, duties and composition, 12(3), 69-80. http://doi.org/10.22495/cbv12i3art8


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