Blame You, Blame Me: Exploring Attribution Differences and Impact in Family and Nonfamily Firms

Parvathi Jayamohan, Alexander McKelvie, Todd Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We explore how publicly listed family and nonfamily firms engage in self-serving attributions in their annual financial reports. We empirically examine how both types of firms emphasize internal attributions for good firm performance (internal-positive attributions) and external attributions for poor firm performance (external-negative attributions). We find that family firms make more external-negative attributions and that the stock market reacts more negatively to external-negative attributions made by family firms. This suggests important theoretical and practical implications for attribution theory and impression management in family firm research.



  • alignment
  • attribution
  • entrenchment
  • family firms
  • impression management
  • stock market reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Finance

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