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Are Overconfident Executives More Inclined to Commit Fraud?

No one makes it to the top ranks of corporate management without a healthy amount of self-assurance. Confidence underlies decisive, strong leadership, but does overconfidence lead managers to cross the line and commit fraud? New research by Wharton accounting professor Catherine M. Schrand and doctoral student Sarah L. C. Zechman examines patterns in frauds to determine if some frauds evolve, not out of pure self-interest, but because executives are overly optimistic that they can turn their firms around before fraudulent behaviour catches up with them. Their paper is titled, “Executive Overconfidence and the Slippery Slope to Fraud.” 

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