Conservative traits and managerial forecasting style

Abstract

We investigate whether conservatism as a personality trait, measured by managers’ signatures, influences managers’ forecasting style. Building on upper echelons theory and psychology literature, we predict that conservative personality traits such as the resistance to change and the ensuing cautiousness in updating beliefs influence managers’ forecasts. Our findings suggest that conservative CFOs more likely select earnings as compared to revenues as the main KPI of the forecast, keep the same KPI across years, and issue specific forecasts. Finally, we provide some evidence that conservative CFOs issue more accurate forecasts.

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, ESMT Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg who share the same research agenda.