Research Paradigm and Theoretical Perspective | My Assignment Tutor

Running head: ESSAYEssay: Impact of Disclosures Compliance Level on The Quality of Investment Decisions(Research Paradigm and Theoretical Perspective)“Write an essay of 5,000 words which sets out your research aims and contextualises themin relation to key paradigms and theoretical perspectives employed within the area of yourstudy”SID: S4107238ESSAYTable of ContentsIntroduction 1Problem Statement 1Aim of the Research 2Significance of the Research 3Research Philosophy 4Research Approach 6IFRS and IASB 7IAS 36 8Size of the Organization 9Profitability 10Goodwill Intensity 11Type of Industry 11Quality of Investment Decisions 12Conclusion 13References 14ESSAY 1IntroductionIn the article of Alfraih (2016), the significance of disclosure compliance has beendescribed where the author has mentioned that in connection with the financial statements, thesedisclosures help investors by enhancing their understanding, as well as analysis of the economicsthat underlies the data provided within the organization’s financial statement. The principle of fulldisclosure, according to GAAP, helps in ensuring that the users and readers (including potentialinvestors) of an organization’s financial information are not misguided by any lack of importantinformation (Donatella, 2020). This, as a result, enables potential investors to gain awareness ofthe relevant information regarding the organization’s performance, which in turn, also influencesthe quality of their investment decisions (D’Angelo et al., 2018).In this regard, the current essay has identified and analysed the important factors that tendto impact the compliance level of organizations towards meeting the requirements of disclosure,especially with regard to conducting impairment testing of goodwill, which also influence thequality of investment decisions that are made by investors. In this essay, details of the relevanttheoretical perspectives and key paradigms have also been provided that have further helped ininvestigating the impact of disclosures compliance level (such as related to IAS 36) on the qualityof investment decisions.Problem StatementAs stated earlier, reporting the compliance level as per the guidelines provided by IFRShas become fairly difficult for organizations to practice. This is because organizations oftenunderestimate the standard’s complex nature, which in turn, makes it difficult for them to complywith the requirement related to providing full disclosure and help investors to make qualityinvestment decisions (Ombati & Shukla, 2018). Whereas, the highly subjective nature of IAS 36also motivates managers to unintentionally exercise a high degree of discretion while disclosingimportant information regarding the treatment of goodwill impairment (Gurarda, 2015). In otherwords, how the treatment of impairment should be recorded and defined is typically dependent onthe decisions of the manager. This suggests that the users (especially investors) of theorganizations’ financial statements will always remain at an information disadvantage (Nawaiseh,2016).This, as a result, can make it problematic for the investors to assess the validity of theinformation. Moreover, these issues with the IAS 36 also create incentives for the managers in theESSAY 2organizations to manipulate the financial statements just to lure investors to invest their money inthe company (Magli et al., 2016). Similarly, several authors like D’Arcy and Tarca (2016) andSkyttner and Wennertorp (2017) have also criticized the approach related to the use of impairmenttesting for being highly time-consuming and complex. However, in response to these criticisms,the financial accounting standards board (FASB) in 2014 was found to make a decision related toupdating their current standards associated with the accounting treatment of goodwill and otherintangible assets. These updates allowed the private companies that were reporting the treatmentof disclosures in accordance with the US GAAP to once again amortize their goodwill by utilizingthe straight-line method (Wen & Moehrle, 2016).Another important reason for this update was that the users (that also includes potentialinvestors) of the financial statements of these private companies did not perceive the impairmenttest of goodwill to give decision-useful data, especially in terms of making high-quality investmentdecisions. This is because the approach for conducting impairment tests was found to misleadmany investors to disregard goodwill completely, as well as the impairment losses of goodwillwhile assessing the organization’s economic outlook before making their investment decisions (Li& Sloan, 2017).However, despite these efforts and updates, IAS 36 that is still significantly used byorganizations and impacts their compliance level associated with providing full disclosure is stillnot amended by IFRS. Several years have passed since the introduction of the impairment test andorganizations are still facing difficulties in fully complying with the requirements of the disclosurethat has been explained in paragraph 134 of IAS 36 (Betancourt & Irving, 2019). Even thoughsome of these requirements have improved over the years, there is still room for improvement thatthe current research will try to address.Aim of the ResearchBy considering the above background and problems that are mostly related to the complexnature of IAS 36, the aim of the current research will be based on examining how effectivelyorganizations are complying with the disclosure requirements that are provided in the IAS 36,which in turn, also impacts the quality of investment decision. However, the aim of this researchis not only based on investigating the compliance level of the organization, but it is also based onexamining the key characteristics of the organizations that tend to influence their disclosurebehaviour and impact the quality of investment decisions that are made by their potential investors.ESSAY 3In other words, in this research, the quality of investment decisions will be measured by the levelof compliance with the disclosure requirements that are provided under the standards of IFRS(such as IAS 36). While the level of compliance itself will be measured by assessing differentcharacteristics of the organization which will mostly include its size, profitability, goodwillintensity, and type of industry.Significance of the ResearchThere are numerous studies that have been conducted on the topic of disclosure in the pastand these studies are still considered relevant in current times probably because of the fact that thestandards on disclosures are either altered completely or get frequently revised to assist the usersof financial statements to make more informed decisions (Roychowdhury et al., 2019; Ajili &Bouri, 2017; Vergoossen & Van Beest, 2020). Many studies, after the introduction of IFRS, whichhave been conducted on this research area have focused on establishing the relationship betweenthe certain characteristics of organizations and their level of compliance with the disclosure. Thesestudies also highly differ from each other as they have analysed various standards that arementioned in IFRS (Hellman et al., 2018; Johansson et al., 2016). However, the current study hasspecifically focused on IAS 36 because of its highly controversial nature. The researcher of thisstudy also firmly believes that the location of this study (i.e., England), as well as the characteristicsof the organizations that are operating in the country (on which the current study is based), willmake the study sufficiently different from the past studies.Moreover, the findings of this study can be considered as significant for their possibletheoretical contributions which are based on expanding upon the already existing literature aboutthe topic of disclosure and its impact on the quality of investment decisions. Furthermore, thesefindings will also be beneficial for the users of financial statements in terms of increasing theirknowledge and understanding about the disclosures. This is because by better comprehending theproblems that are surrounding the disclosure of IAS 36, the users (especially the investors) of thefinancial statements would be able to make more informed or high-quality investment decisions.ESSAY 4Research PhilosophyAccording to Mauthner (2020), a research philosophy can be described as a belief relatedto the ways that are utilized by the researchers to collect, use, and analyse the data about a particularsocial phenomenon. There are four types of research philosophies that are typically utilized by theresearchers while conducting a given study. These philosophies are related to epistemology,ontology, axiology, and methodology. The research philosophy of epistemology generally focuseson extending the limits of knowledge. In other words, it can be described as a branch of philosophy,which is generally focused on analysing the nature of knowledge itself, as well as its general basis,scope, and possibilities (Boon & Van Baalen, 2019). Whereas, the research philosophy of ontologycan be defined as the theory of objects, as well as their ties. This philosophy focuses on providingimportant criteria for differentiating various types of objects (such as abstract and concrete, idealand real, non-existent and existent, and dependent and independent) and their dependencies orrelations (Lohse, 2017).On the other hand, the philosophy of axiology can be defined as an important branch ofpractical philosophy that primarily focuses on studying the nature of value or goodness (Faucher& Roques, 2018). While the research philosophy of methodology typically deals with the generalaxioms or principles related to the generation (or creation) of new knowledge. In other words, thisphilosophy focuses on those assumptions or rationale that underlies any social, natural, or humanscience study (Scholl & Räz, 2016).In order to conduct the analysis within this study, the research philosophy of epistemologyhas been pursued. As stated above already, within the business research, the philosophy ofepistemology usually deals with the various sources of knowledge (Grimm et al., 2016). In otherwords, this philosophy is usually found to be concerned with the limitations, sources, nature, andpossibilities of knowledge under a given field of study. For this research, the philosophy ofobjectivist epistemology has been used that usually assumes that reality exists independently oroutside the mind of an individual (Baumberger et al., 2017). The reason why this philosophy hasbeen pursued under the current research is related to its benefits in terms of providing externalvalidity, as well as reliable findings in a given research (Bridges, 2016). In other words, by usingthis philosophy, objective findings will be provided to describe the relationship between the keyESSAY 5variables (i.e., size of an organization, type of industry, profitability, goodwill intensity, quality ofinvestment decisions, and compliance with IFRS standards of disclosure) of this research.Similarly, there are several different types of interpretive frameworks or researchparadigms that can be utilized to conduct a given research study. One such interpretive frameworkis related to interpretivism that can be described as a practice or framework within the socialscience research that is typically invested under those methodological or philosophical ways thatprimarily deal with understanding social reality (Alharahsheh & Pius, 2020). In other words, thisparadigm argues that all those studies that focus on human society should go beyond objective andempirical evidence in order to include values, emotions, opinions, and subjective views (Ryan,2018). Likewise, another research paradigm that can be used in any given research is related tocritical realism that tends to contend that objective truth is not lasting (Bhaskar, 2016).This paradigm also argues that reality can change at any given time and it also emphasizesthe use of triangulation (i.e., mixed-method research) while conducting a particular study forunderstanding the relationship between different constructs or social phenomena (Hoddy, 2019).Whereas, another research paradigm that can be used while conducting research is related to postmodernism that focuses on deconstructing a set of dominant views or reality (McGowan, 2019).On the other hand, the research paradigm of pragmatism can also be used for any given researchthat usually focuses on the study’s outcome (i.e., consequences and actions) rather thanantecedents. This paradigm encourages the researchers to utilize different ways while finding asolution to a given research problem (Shusterman, 2016).However, the research paradigm that has been pursued for the current study is based onpositivism. The researchers who utilize this paradigm often view inquiry or the process of theresearch as a series of logically related steps (Park et al., 2020). These researchers also tend tobelieve in a single reality and adopt rigorous methods or approaches for collecting and analysingthe research data. Moreover, while using this paradigm the researcher generally dissociatesherself/himself from personal values and tends to work independently and objectively to provideinferences and describe the relationships between different constructs or social phenomena(Panhwar et al., 2017). Again, the reason why this paradigm has been used for the current researchis that it will help in providing reliable findings based on factual information to describe the impactof compliance with the requirements of disclosure that are stated under IFRS standards on theESSAY 6quality of investment decisions. In other words, this paradigm will assist in eliminating subjectivityfrom the findings of this research, which in turn, will help in increasing the reliability of the study(Alharahsheh & Pius, 2020).Alternatively, the research philosophy of ontology can also be utilized to conduct thecurrent study, which (as explained earlier) can also be described as a study of being (Lohse, 2017).This philosophy usually focuses on reality or what actually exists in the world about whichknowledge can be gained/acquired. By utilizing this philosophy, researchers can determine orrecognize how certain they can be about the existence or nature of objects on which they conducttheir research (Hathcoat et al., 2019). Similarly, the interpretive framework of socialconstructivism can also be utilized to determine the relationship between the level of compliancewith disclosure and the quality of investment decisions.This paradigm which is also sometimes referred to as interpretivism tends to createsubjective meaning of the world (Ryan, 2018). In other words, while using this paradigm, theresearcher typically relies on the views of the participants and develops patterns of meanings ortheories inductively. However, the disadvantage of this paradigm is that it increases subjectivitywithin the research process, which in turn, reduces the reliability of the findings (Curry, 2020). Inaddition to this, unlike positivism that tends to have wider implications, the paradigm ofinterpretivism typically results in those findings that tend to be more context-specific. In otherwords, the findings of the study where this paradigm is used cannot be generalized at a wider scale(Pham, 2018). Due to this reason, the paradigm of positivism has been adopted to conduct thecurrent research.Research ApproachFor conducting the current study, the deductive research approach will be adopted. Whileutilizing this approach, the researchers generally utilize an existing theory for developinghypotheses and then design a strategy for the research to test those hypotheses (Woiceshyn &Daellenbach, 2018). In other words, the researcher while using the deductive approach typicallystudies existing theories related to a particular social phenomenon or what others have done todescribe the nature of (or relationship between) different constructs. After then the researcherproposes and tests hypotheses that tend to emerge from the existing theories (Azungah, 2018).ESSAY 7Moreover, as three theories have been utilized (i.e., agency theory, political-cost theory,and cost-benefit theory) to develop five hypotheses under the current study for measuring theimpact of compliance with disclosure on the quality of investment decisions, the deductiveapproach has been considered suitable for this research. Furthermore, another reason why thedeductive research approach has been adopted under the current study is that it helps in increasingthe generalizability of the findings (to a greater extent) that are made during the research process.In addition to this, it also assists in explaining causal relationships between the analysed variablesor concepts in a given research (Pandey, 2019).IFRS and IASBIFRS can be considered as one of the important international accounting standards thatassist in explaining how certain types of accounting entries should be provided within the financialstatements of the organizations (De George et al., 2016). This also includes the ways that shouldbe used to disclose such information within the financial statements. The primary aim of IFRS wasbased on creating transparency by enhancing both the quality of information and comparability offinancial statements of companies that all assist investors in making appropriate investmentdecisions (Roychowdhury et al., 2019).Today, this high level of quality and comparability has also become increasingly importantfor organizations as the global markets are playing a crucial role in impacting their day-to-dayoperations than they used to be in the past (Kieso et al., 2020). According to Glaum et al. (2018),one of the factors or assets that influence the decisions of an investor to invest under a particularcompany is related to the value of its goodwill.In this regard, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in 2004 was noted toalter the accounting procedures that were required by the companies to follow for measuring theirgoodwill. This is because the goodwill’s amortization was replaced by the IASB with theimpairment testing for goodwill (André et al., 2016). The reason behind this was mainly related tothe uncertainty and problems that the methods of amortization were causing for investors inestimating the goodwill’s useful life (Johansson et al., 2016). However, the impairment test wasalso found to receive a significant amount of criticism for being highly subjective in the sense thatit was found heavily relying on managerial assumptions (Stenheim & Madsen, 2016). WithinIFRS, the standard of IAS 36 typically deals with the goodwill’s impairment testing.ESSAY 8IAS 36According to IAS 36, the loss of impairment is generally required to be recognized by theorganizations within their financial statements by deducting the recoverable amount from theentity’s carrying value (Avallone & Quagli, 2015). This recoverable amount is usually consideredas a value that is typically higher than the fair value of the asset less disposal cost, as well as valuein use. Within the study of Schatt et al. (2016) and Knauer and Wöhrmann (2016), it has beenargued that most organizations utilize the value in use approach for determining the recoverableamount. However, authors like Fjellvind and Eriksson (2016) have criticized this approach bystating that value in use for determining the recoverable amount often requires the use of aconsiderable amount of assumption. These assumptions are typically made for calculating cashflow projects, growth rates, and discount rates.Gros et al. (2015) have also contended that as managerial assumptions influence thesespecific key estimates, their value can differ significantly from company to company, which inturn, have been noted to cause difficulty for the investors to make fair comparisons. Within IAS36, another issue that has received a significant amount of attention is related to how organizationsdefine their cash-generating units (CGU). In this regard, authors like Posti and Elsilä (2016) havealso implied that the allocation of goodwill to CGU is one of the most complex features of theimpairment test. Similarly, the study of Hassine and Jilani (2017) has also shown that mostcompanies face difficulty in comprehending how they are supposed to allocate goodwill to CGU.The disclosures related to goodwill’s impairment test often require organizations to follow aspecific set of guidelines that are mentioned within paragraph 134 of IAS 36.This paragraph has made it mandatory for organizations to disclose certain informationabout the recoverable amount, the carrying value, the CGUs, as well as other important estimatesappropriately in their financial statements (Boučková, 2016). However, very few companiescomply with the requirements of this disclosure for impairment. The reason behind this is that thestandard of IAS 36 lacks comprehensive guidelines related to the ways that can be used to followthe paragraph’s requirements and another reason behind this low compliance level is that issuersof financial statements simply disregard these requirements (Hartwig, 2015).According to the study of Tennyson and Akani (2016), it has been stated that the level ofdisclosure directly impacts the organization’s market valuation as well as the quality of investmentdecisions. In other words, the authors have implied that a high level of disclosure will have aESSAY 9favourable impact on an organization’s ability to gain investments while a low level of disclosurewill have an opposite impact. Upon analysing the existing literature, several theories can be foundthat can be utilized to explain how certain characteristics of organizations like profitability,goodwill intensity, type of industry, and size of the company impacts their compliance leveltowards disclosure, which in turn, influence investors’ decisions (Devalle et al., 2016; Tsalavoutaset al., 2020; Mazzi et al., 2017).However, the current study will utilize three such theories related to cost-benefit theory,political-cost theory, and agency theory to determine the level of compliance among thecompanies. In this regard, the political cost theory and agency theory will be used for explaininghow the profitability and size of the business affect the compliance of the organizations and theresulting quality of investment decisions. While the cost-benefit theory has been used forexplaining how goodwill intensity affects organizations’ compliance level.Size of the OrganizationWithin the study of Vitolla et al. (2020), it has been stated that large organizations (as perthe political cost theory) often have higher chances to attract political attention in comparison tosmaller companies, which in turn, compels them to bear higher political costs. In this regard,authors like Omar et al. (2017) and Samaha et al. (2016) have also argued that to minimize thiscost, large organizations can become more motivated to disclose information about their financialand organizational performance. Upon analysing the existing literature, one can infer that incomparison to political cost theory, the agency theory has not been widely utilized fordemonstrating the impact that size of the company has on compliance. However, this theory hasbeen applied and utilized in the past for demonstrating this impact or relationship (Dey et al., 2018;Kılıç & Kuzey, 2019).Moreover, large companies, according to the agency theory, also tend to demand higherexternal funds in comparison to smaller companies. In this regard, Raimo et al. (2021) have alsocontended that this, as a result, motivates large companies to provide more detailed information tothe users about their financial statements in order to avoid conflicts that risk jeopardizing theirchances related to attaining external funds or investments. Similarly, within the study of Samahaet al. (2016) and Grediani (2019), the size of the organization was also found to be positivelyESSAY 10correlated/associated with the compliance of the company. However, the study of Boland et al.(2018) and Devalle et al. (2016) have rejected such postulations since they have shown that thesize of the organization tends to have no relationship with compliance. In the current study, thesize of the organization has been considered as the natural log of the total assets of the firm. Basedon this consideration, as well as the postulations of the above authors, the following hypothesishas been proposed related to the size of the company:H1. The size of an organization significantly impacts its compliance with the IFRS standard forimpairment testing of goodwill.ProfitabilityUpon analysing the existing literature, it can be stated that both political cost theory, aswell as agency theory have been utilized in past studies to demonstrate the relationship betweenthe profitability of the firm and its level of compliance (Goebel, 2019; Sankara et al., 2019). In thisregard, Thimm and Rasmussen (2020) have also asserted that managers who work in profitableorganizations tend to utilize external information more frequently in order to advance their ownpersonal interests as per the agency theory. This, as a result, encourages them to disclose morecomprehensive information related to the financial performance of the firm to the key stakeholdersof the organization since this allows them in retaining their position within the business.Similarly, by considering the political cost theory, Aly et al. (2018) have also argued thatprofitable firms tend to be more inclined towards disclosing detailed data about their organizations’performance as this enables them to justify their profit levels. However, similar to the size of thecompany, several studies have refuted this point by implying that there is no impact of profitabilityon compliance (Hassan & Marston, 2019; Fisman et al., 2016). In the current study, profitabilityhas been described as the net income of the firm divided by owner’s equity, which is also consistentwith the definition of Alarussi and Alhaderi (2018) to describe profitability that they used in theirstudy. Thus, by considering these postulations, the second hypothesis of this study has beenproposed below:H2. The profitability of an organization significantly impacts its compliance with the IFRSstandard for impairment testing of goodwill.ESSAY 11Goodwill IntensityMost of the previous studies that have been conducted on the topic of the disclosure havefocused specifically on the requirements of disclosure that can be found in IAS 36 in order toanalyse how the compliance level of an organization is impacted by the goodwill intensity (Devalleet al. 2016; Boučková, 2016). In this regard, authors like Kulikova et al. (2017) have alsocontended that organizations tend to become less motivated to disclose information when theybelieve that the cost of disclosing such information would exceed its benefits. This reasoning orpostulation of Kulikova et al. (2017), have been originated from the cost-benefit theory. Similarly,Bepari et al. (2014) also utilized cost-benefit theory within their research to explain how theintensity of goodwill impacted organizations’ compliance. They contended that whenorganizations possess a significant amount of goodwill, they become more motivated to discloseinformation related to their impairment test accurately in comparison to those firms that tend tohave an insignificant amount of goodwill. Under the current study, the intensity of goodwill hasbeen measured by dividing the goodwill of the organization by its total assets. By consideringthese points, the third hypothesis of this research for goodwill intensity has been presented below:H3. The goodwill intensity of an organization has a significant impact on its level of compliancewith the IFRS standard for impairment testing of goodwill.Type of IndustryWithin the study of Sellami et al. (2017), it has been contended that organizations in certainindustries tend to be more goodwill intensive than others and due to this reason, it is oftensuggested to the investors to separate different types of industries from each other whiledetermining their compliance level with disclosure. However, several past studies like the oneswhich were conducted by Mazzi et al. (2017) and Atanasovski et al. (2015) have also indicatedrather conflicting results in terms of determining whether the type of industry impacts anorganization’s compliance level. This is because these authors were not able to find a significantassociation between these variables. However, Al-Sartawi et al. (2017) were able to find sufficientevidence to conclude that there is definitely a relationship between these two variables. Thus, byconsidering these mixed results in mind, the fourth hypothesis of this research has been presentedas follows:ESSAY 12H4: The type of industry where an organization operates has a significant impact on its level ofcompliance with the IFRS standard for impairment testing of goodwill.Quality of Investment DecisionsAccording to Pivac et al. (2017), the quality of investment decisions that are made byinvestors tends to be significantly impacted by the disclosure that is made within the corporatefinancial statements. In this regard, authors like Cortesi and Vena (2019) have also argued thatinvestors frequently utilize financial disclosures for evaluating the growth prospects of a company,its riskiness, as well as the long-term success of its business model. These analyses also offer usefulinsights to the investors that enable them to assess the value of the goodwill, as well as the priceof organizations’ shares/securities where they feel interested to invest their money (Lai et al.,2020). In this regard, Lin et al. (2016) have also argued that when organizations fail to complywith the requirements of the disclosures (that can also be related to the impairment testing ofgoodwill) or manipulate their financial figures, this as a result, adversely impacts the quality of theinvestment decisions that are made by the investors. Thus, by considering these postulationsrelated to the quality of investment decisions, the final hypothesis of this research has also beenprovided as follows:H5. Compliance with the IFRS standard for impairment testing of goodwill can have a mediatingeffect on the quality of investment decisions.By considering the above hypotheses, the following conceptual framework has also been proposedfor this research.Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: Conceptual FrameworkESSAY 13ConclusionBy considering the above-provided analyses within this essay, it can be concluded that tomeasure the impact of an organization’s compliance with the requirements of disclosure that arementioned in IAS 36 on the quality of investment decision, the research philosophy ofepistemology and paradigm of positivism can be considered as more appropriate in comparison toother research philosophies and paradigms. This is because the selected philosophy and paradigmcan assist in providing more objective findings based on factual data related to the key variablesof this study. Moreover, it can also be concluded that since the research requires the use of agencytheory, political-cost theory, and cost-benefit theory to measure the impact of the industry type,profitability, goodwill intensity, and organization’s size on the compliance with disclosure,deductive research approach can be considered as the most suitable approach for providingappropriate inferences within the study.This is because by using this approach, the stated theories have been used under this essayto create five hypotheses that can be tested by using quantitative or statistical techniques todetermine the relationship between the key variables of the study. This will again help in increasingthe reliability of the findings and the generalizability of the study effectively than the inductiveapproach where subjectivity tends to undermine the quality of findings that are provided in a givenresearch.ESSAY 14ReferencesAjili, H., & Bouri, A. (2017). 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