On the association between Real and Accrual-based
earnings management and corporate
ownership in Greece
School of Economics, Business Administration and Legal Studies, MSc in International Accounting, Auditing and Financial Management
This dissertation was written as part of the MSc in International Accounting, Auditing and Financial Management at the International Hellenic University. This study examines the relationship between ownership structure and earnings management practices in Greece . The ownership structure of Greek firms is characterized by the dominance of families whose influences have naturally a serious impact on management decisions directly or indirectly. Existing literature indicates that ownership structure could limit the manipulation of reported earnings but it could also provide the incentives to manage earnings . Thus, the main purpose of this study is to investigate whether a company’s ownership structure, which is measured with three variables (family ownership, managerial ownership, institutional ownership), mitigate or exacerbate earnings management practices, which are measured with two methods (discretionary accruals, real activities manipulation). Using a sample of 70 Greek listed firms for the five - year period, 2011 to 2015, we find that discretionary accruals and real activities manipulation as proxies for earnings management is positively associated with family ownership, managerial ownership and institutional ownership. The empirical fin dings of this study suggest that family ownership, managerial ownership and institutional ownership exacerbate earnings management strategies and as a consequence, reduce the quality of reported earnings.