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April 21 , 2010

Managerial Fraud

Executive Impression Management, Beyond Red Flags


Most frauds perpetrated by senior managers take longer to uncover than those by other occupational groups and they steal more.This is a serious problem world-wide. Currently the Red Flag approach is used by auditors to prevent and uncover fraud and in some countries it is statutory. However, the existing approach does not catch managerial fraudsters quickly or very often.

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In Managerial Fraud, Dr Terry Sheridan reports the findings of her study of fraudulent executives. Her work illuminates the particular methods fraudsters employ to appear more authentic than the average person and reveals two types of executive fraudster with very different behaviours. All this helps to explain why the current Red Flag approach fails to identify potential fraudsters and instead tends to focus on Red Flag executives who are negative characters, but non-fraudulent and accounts for the problem auditors face, who see Red Flag indicators and are obliged to conduct further audits, yet find nothing of substance.

During the author’s research, the innocent colleagues who worked closely with fraudulent managers have for the first time been interviewed about their experiences and had their impressions analysed, leading to the development of an innovative typology of fraudulent executives based on Impression Management Theory.

Better understanding of what Dr Sheridan has uncovered might result in organisations being able to reduce their exposure to fraud perpetrated by their own senior management.

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