Changes in Annual Reporting Rituals of Financial Services Firms in Periods of Market Crisis

Mark Bettner, Bucknell University
Kate Sowinski

Abstract

This paper examines accounting and financial reporting as ceremonial rituals. Its specific focus is upon changes in annual reporting rituals of financial services firms during periods of market crisis. Our preliminary findings suggest that several of the firms in our study may have made changes in their reporting rituals to construct alternative realities in an attempt to mask conflict, preserve stability, foster unity, and reinforce (or perhaps reinvent) new social norms, core values, and corporate identities.