Consistency in empirical accounting studies on managerial time orientation: a bibliographical analysis


  • Andson Braga de Aguiar


Accounting researchers have increasingly turned their attention to managerial intertemporal choices. Although an increasing amount of accounting empirical studies investigates the determinants of managerial time orientation (MTO), so far there has not been any effort to integrate the empirical accounting research on MTO. This study examines the consistency in accounting empirical research – archives, surveys and experiments – which investigates the factors influencing MTO. We develop a bibliographical survey in national and international accounting journals. We identify and analyze the empirical studies that explore MTO, emphasizing the following points: (i) the name and meaning of MTO, (ii) the operational definition of MTO and (iii) the factors used to explain MTO. We observe that the empirical accounting research on MTO (i) uses different names to designate OTG, which, in turn, usually means a preference for short-term financial results at the expense of long-term effectiveness, (ii) uses different instruments to measure MTO and (iii) explores predominantly economic factors to explain MTO, even though there has not been consistency in the choice of these factors. These observations suggest that empirical accounting research on MTO is indeed chaotic, with little integration between the empirical studies, which only complicates the understanding of the theme.

Key words: intertemporal choice, managerial time orientation, accounting, bibliographical analysis.