Title

Restricted Stock is on the Rise: What Does this Mean for Whistleblowing?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2021

Publication Title

Journal of Forensic Accounting Research

DOI

https://doi.org/10.2308/JFAR-2020-017

ISSN

2380-2138

Abstract

The use of restricted stock compensation to supplement or to give a bonus to executives is on the rise. What happens when things go wrong? Research finds that those in private companies are less likely to whistleblow than those in public companies overall. Literature also reveals that restricted stock may positively influence whistleblowing when large financial rewards are present. Further, vesting period and strike price influence whistleblowing for those with stock option compensation. Yet, little is investigated regarding whistleblowing related to the vesting period of the restricted stock and the type of organization -public or private- granting this compensation. We find that for those in public companies, whistleblowing tends to increase as the vesting period of the stock compensation is farther in the future. Those in private companies have the opposite behavior. Agency theory focused within whistleblowing theory helps resolve this seeming juxtaposition. Implications for practice and policy are offered.

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