The role of strategic enterprise risk management and organizational flexibility in easing new regulatory compliance

Submitted on 7th September 2017

The impact of new regulatory requirements for internal control reporting on an organization's ability to maintain strategic flexibility has been debated in the popular press extensively. This paper tests theory from strategic management to examine the relationship between an organizations' pre-regulatory strength of strategic enterprise risk management (ERM) processes and their ability to react to new regulatory mandates. In the context of companies' adoption of SOX Section 404 internal control reporting requirements, we examine organizations' pre-SOX ERM processes, ERM supporting technologies, and organizational flexibility in order to better understand the antecedents to the difficulty encountered in meeting SOX 404 requirements. Using responses from 113 Chief Audit Executives (CAEs), we find that organizations with stronger strategic ERM processes and flexible organizational structures already in place incurred little difficulty in implementing SOX 404 mandates. On the other hand, organizations using weaker ERM processes, which focused on control compliance, experienced more difficulty. These findings provide key insights into the importance of strategic ERM in effectively complying with new regulatory controls in volatile environments.

International Journal of Accounting Information Systems
Length of Resource
18 pages
Vicky Arnold, Tanya Benford, Joseph Canada, Steve G. Sutton
Date Published
Publication Type
Resource Type