Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value of behavioural psychology when considering the effects of legislation on senior management behaviour. Use is made of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act of 2002 and the corporate failures that led to its passage. Design/methodology/approach – The insights of behavioural psychology are discussed and then applied to the situation of senior management faced with reacting to new legislation. Findings – It is found that this approach predicts that the effects on management behaviour may be greater than (and in any case will be different from) the effects resulting from using a more traditional approach of law and economics Research limitations/implications – No original research is performed. It does however show that further research using this approach has much potential. Practical implications – As the paper looks at the effect of legislation on management behaviour this paper shows the value of the behavioural approach to both those who propose legislation and those who study its effects. Originality/value – No original work is presented but the paper is useful in showing readers not familiar with this approach of its usefulness.
Managerial Auditing Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 18, 2008
Keywords: Auditing standards; Behaviour; Change management; Corporate governance
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