Accounting Narratives and Impression Management

Posted by Nureen CHAN Wan Wei, Year 4 undergrad at the School of Accountancy, Singapore Management University

This chapter focuses on impression management in accounting communication. Impression
management entails the construction of an impression by organisations with the intention to
appeal to their audiences, including shareholders, stakeholders, the general public, and the
media. If successful, it undermines the quality of financial reporting and capital misallocations
may result. What is more, wider social and political consequences include unwarranted support
by non-financial stakeholders or by society at large. Impression management is examined by
reference to four perspectives: the economic, psychological, sociological, and critical. These
variously conceptualise impression management as reporting bias, self-serving bias, symbolic
management, and ideological bias.


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