When the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) legislation was passed in 2002, it was uncertain how companies would react to the new requirements. More specifically, many people wondered what the impact would be from Section 404 of the Act and its requirement that companies document, maintain, and test their own internal controls. Recent studies focus on the value of SOX as perceived by executives and directors. There are also other, non-related studies which focus on how employees view executives and managers. The context for this strand of research is that employees will perceive leadership differently based on a variety of factors. This study will combine these two points and fill in current gaps in the literature by investigating the difference in employee perceptions of SOX across different ranks in an organization. It will also analyze how these perceptions change due to the amount of time spent by each employee on SOX activities. For this study, I have interviewed 16 employees from three different organizational levels from a large, private Midwestern firm. A qualitative analysis of the results is conducted in order to examine the differences in perception based on hierarchical rank and time spent on SOX and its related activities. The results support a higher perceived net benefit of SOX from employees at higher hierarchical levels within the selected organization.
Sarbanes-Oxley: How do perceptions of this legislation vary across organizational levels?.
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