Elghuweel, Mohamed I., Ntim, Collins G., Opong, Kwaku K. and Avison, Lynn (2017) Corporate governance, Islamic governance and earnings management in Oman: A new empirical insights from a behavioural theoretical framework. Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies. ISSN 2042-1168

Purpose: This paper examines the impact of corporate (CG) and Islamic (IG) governance mechanisms on corporate earnings management (EM) behaviour in Oman.

Design/Methodology/Approach: We employ one of the largest and extensive datasets to-date on CG, IG and EM in any developing country, consisting of a sample of 116 unique Omani listed corporations from 2001 to 2011 (i.e.,1,152 firm-year observations) and a broad CG index containing 72 CG provisions. We also employ a number of robust econometric models that sufficiently account for alternative CG/EM proxies and potential endogeneities.

Findings: First, we find that, on average, better-governed corporations tend to engage significantly less in EM than their poorly-governed counterparts. Second, our evidence suggests that corporations that depict greater commitment towards incorporating Islamic religious beliefs and values into their operations through the establishment of an IG committee tend to engage significantly less in EM than their counterparts without such a committee. Finally and by contrast, we do not find any evidence that board size, audit firm size, the presence of a CG committee and board gender diversity have any significant relationship with the extent of EM.

Originality: To the best of our knowledge, this is a first empirical attempt at examining the extent to which CG and IG structures may drive EM practices that explicitly seeks to draw new insights from a behavioural theoretical framework (i.e., behavioural theory of corporate boards and governance).

Keywords: Corporate governance, Islamic governance, earnings management, behavioural theory, endogeneity, Oman.

Paper type: Research paper

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