ABSTRACT

The adoption of innovative technologies holds both promise and risk. We focus on the voluntary adoption of innovative financial reporting and disclosure technologies (IFRDTs) using the voluntary adoption of XBRL as an exemplar for our study. In particular, since IFRDTs have both financial reporting (FR) and information technology aspects (IT), we examine the impact of IT and FR competencies possessed by members of the top management team (CEOs and CFOs) on the voluntary adoption of XBRL beyond the impact of environmental, organizational, technological, and financial characteristics of their firms. We find that the voluntary adoption of XBRL was positively associated with higher levels of IT competencies; but, surprisingly, voluntary adoption of this innovation was negatively associated with higher levels of FR competencies, regardless of the functional role played by the executive. These results extend the literature on the influence of management characteristics on corporate decisions and can be used as a guide for investigating top executives' roles in the voluntary adoption of other IFRDTs, such as the use of social media for financial reporting or voluntary standardized business reporting in jurisdictions where such reporting is not mandatory.

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