Transparency Effects of Organizational Innovations

Organizational design, which has been undergoing substantial changes in the recent past, is an important factor for firm transparency. Rohlfing-Bastian and Schöttner explore the consequences of organizational innovations on transparency for different stakeholders of the firm, where transparency corresponds to the availability of decision-relevant information. First, the project analyzes the role of social preferences for the adoption of self-managed teamwork and the ensuing effects on within-firm transparency. Second, it considers the informativeness of KPIs reflecting a firm’s workplace conditions for different types of decisions taken by a heterogeneous group of stakeholders. A02 focuses on the usefulness and effects of the standardization of such KPIs and firms’ incentives to strategically misreport this type of information.

  • Forschungsfrage

    How do organizational innovations affect transparency for the stakeholders of the firm?

  • Motivation zur Forschung

    Organizational design has been undergoing substantial changes in the recent past and is therefore an important factor for firm transparency. The type of employees that a firm hires or the social preferences that a firm aims to encourage between coworkers (e.g., by sponsoring social events) may interact with the optimal organizational design and thereby also with within-firm transparency. Given the current developments of sustainability standards by entities such as the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) or the European Financial Advisory Group (EFRAG), firms will need to include information about the condition of their workforce in their financial reporting. We will study to what extent standardization of information on workplace conditions increases transparency for the stakeholders of the firm, how KPIs on workplace conditions are reported, and how firms decide on investments in employee well-being.

  • Forschungsprogramm

    Our research agenda comprises two parts. In Part I, we will study the role of social preferences such as reciprocity or inequity aversion for the optimal implementation of organizational innovations and their transparency effects. This part extends our research on self-managed teams from the first funding period. In Part II, we will investigate a firm’s investments in social sustainability projects that affect workplace conditions related to employee well-being, the usefulness of key performance indicators (KPIs) for such workplace conditions and their impact on transparency, and a firm’s strategic reporting of such KPIs.

  • Research Contribution

    Our research will contribute to the CRC by explaining transparency effects of organizational innovations revolving around innovative work practices, as well as workplace conditions related to employee well-being. Our results will yield insights into how current regulatory attempts affect the transparency of workplace conditions and enable employees, firms, investors, and consumers to make better informed decisions.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, der Universität zu Köln und der Leibniz Universität Hannover, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.