Gassen and Kosi investigate the role of transparency in private firm settings. Motivated by findings of the first funding round, the project now focuses on the heterogeneity of private firms along their business lifecycle and posits that the role of private firm transparency likely varies along this dimension. In particular, the project studies the role of accounting in start-ups, analyzes how financial and nonfinancial information affect the hunt for talent, investigates the relationship between transparency and sustainable innovations, and—using data generated together with C02 during the first funding period—examines the role of private firm transparency in the insolvency process.
How does transparency affect private firms and their stakeholders across the firm lifecycle?
Given two recent events, we have also adjusted our research program. First, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically shocked the financial situation of a vast body of private firms and motivated us to collect systematic data on the insolvency process in Germany. The result of our effort is the insol database which we present in Beyer et al.(2022). We will use the insol database for our research in the second funding period. Moreover, in cooperation with C02, we will make it available to the academic community. Second, as the upcoming implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will mandate thousands of large European private firms to provide non-financial information, we studied a small-set of private firms that are already required to provide non-financial information (Gulenko et al., 2022).
In the second funding period, we will continue our path by focusing more on the diversity of private firms and on the alternative information channels that private firms have besides “traditional” accounting information. In this spirit, we will study the role of accounting in startup firms, analyze how financial and non-financial information affect the labor market and the hunt for talent, investigate the relationship between transparency and sustainable innovations, and study the role of private firm transparency in the insolvency process.
Our project will continue to contribute to a more precise and holistic understanding of the economic determinants and effects of private firm transparency.