I am an Assistant Professor at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, and I specialize in experimental accounting research. My research focuses on understanding how people produce, use, and respond to accounting information, performance measures, controls, and disclosure. Examples of questions that I tackle with my research are: To what extent does the prospect of rotating to another business unit change how a manager reports to upper management? Why are managers more reluctant to let go of control over their employees than take control over their employees? To what extent do different types of investors read and interpret text contained in financial disclosures differently? Does public disclosure of firms’ tax numbers by tax authorities affect investors’ perceptions of tax fairness?
PhD student in Accounting
Tilburg University (2015 - 2019)
Research Master in Accounting
Tilburg University (2013 - 2015)
Master in International Management
Tilburg University (2012 - 2013)
Victor van Pelt
Ties de Kok, Christoph Sextroh, and Victor van Pelt
Retrieving information from financial narratives is a complex process that depends on how the text characteristics of narratives interact with the financial literacy of users. In this study, we develop a comprehensive measure for variation in information retrieval based on observed user behavior that is also able to incorporate understudied text characteristics such as the semantics and content of a narrative. Using a tool that tracks reading and marking behavior in a controlled environment, we first document how users with varying degrees of financial literacy retrieve information from financial narratives. We find significant variation among financial literacy groups that cannot be solely explained by text characteristics related to processing costs. Next, we use state-of-the-art machine-learning to predict variation in information retrieval for out-of-sample financial narratives, and we show that these predictions are incrementally associated with the post-announcement return volatility. Overall, our results suggest that efforts by regulators and corporations to simplify text characteristics of corporate communications might not resolve all differences in how users retrieve information from financial narratives.
Farah Arshad, Bart Dierynck, and Victor van Pelt
Over the past several decades, technological advancements in information technology and data science have increasingly enabled firms to produce and distribute information, which challenges long-standing ideas about the role of managerial reporting in firms. We design a series of laboratory hierarchies to examine whether granting reporting responsibility to managers has a purpose beyond eliciting information from managers. Using three experimental treatments, we disentangle the different effects produced by managers’ reporting choices, and we establish that granting managers responsibility for reporting may have a purpose beyond the elicitation and distribution of information managers possess. We discuss the implications of our findings for managerial reporting research and practice.
Eddy Cardinaels, Bart Dierynck, and Victor van Pelt
Although rotation policies are prevalent in practice, we know remarkably little about their consequences for reporting practices in firms. We examine how rotating managers across business units impacts their willingness to report about operational distortions to performance measurement at business units. The results of our laboratory experiment reveal rotation policies cause managers to report more information about operational distortions while firms reward managers similarly for their reports regardless of the rotation policy in place. We establish that the prospect of rotating to another business unit triggers managers to view their reporting decision less as an economic decision and more as a decision that enables them to “do what’s right” for their firm. We discuss the implications of our findings for academic research on rotation policies and for firms looking to resolve operational distortions and improve how they measure performance at business units.
Bart Dierynck and Victor van Pelt
We use a laboratory experiment to examine whether adding discretionary adjustment to performance-based pay facilitates the attraction of employees that identify more strongly with the organization’s objectives. Our conceptualization of identification is grounded in identity economics and predicts that employees who identify more strongly with the organization’s objectives exert greater effort toward those objectives. Building on this conceptualization, we predict that employees anticipate that managers will adjust performance-based pay more (less) favorably when employees reveal strong (weak) identification with the organization’s objectives. Accordingly, when managers can adjust performance-based pay, employment contains a feature that benefits (disadvantages) employees with strong (weak) identification, leading to a sorting effect on identification. Consistent with our prediction, we find that the difference in preferences for performance-based pay between employees with strong and weak identification is larger when performance-based pay is accompanied by discretionary adjustment than when it is not. We also confirm that employee identification increases employee effort toward the organization’s objectives. Our study contributes to the literature on discretionary adjustment by documenting a benefit of discretionary adjustment not previously considered in the extant literature.