Large multinationals with aggressive growth cultures are more susceptible to ‘cooking the books’ than smaller struggling ones, according to a new study published in Justice Quarterly.
Researchers from three US universities examined the characteristics of more than 250 top corporations that were caught committing financial securities fraud by the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Prestigious companies, those that are household names, were actually more prone to engage in financial fraud, which was very surprising,” said Jennifer Schwartz, Washington State University sociologist and lead author on the study. “We thought it would be companies that were struggling financially, that were nearing bankruptcy, but it was quite the opposite.
“It was the companies that thought they should be doing better than they were, the ones with strong growth imperatives – those were the firms that were most likely to cheat.”