​Research areas/topics on Business Sustainability at Accounting Division include:

  • Impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance on CEO compensation
  • Sustainability and CSR reporting, Integrated reporting
  • Impact of controversial activities on audit pricing

Publications in: Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Journal of Management Accounting Research and local accounting journals.

Professors Jian Ming and Lee Kin Wai investigated how CEO compensation was related to a firm’s CSR involvement. They decomposed a firm’s total CSR investment into a normal component and an abnormal component.

Firstly, they found that CEO compensation level is positively associated with normal CSR. To the extent that normal CSR reflects the optimal level of CSR investment, this result suggests that CEO is rewarded for investing in optimal level of CSR. The positive association between CEO compensation and normal CSR was more pronounced in firms with stronger corporate governance.

Secondly, they found CEO compensation level is negatively associated with abnormal CSR. This result suggests that when CSR investment deviates from its optimal level, CEOs receive lower compensation level for excessive investments in CSR. Firms with good corporate governance penalize abnormal CSR more than firms with poor corporate governance.

The paper is now under review.

Professors Kevin Koh and Tong Yen Hee are doing a project on impact of controversial activities on audit pricing. They examine the effects of clients’ involvement in controversial corporate activities on audit pricing. Clients’ involvement in controversial activities raises concerns about management integrity and ethics. They are perceived to have higher risk of adverse financial performance.

As such, there is greater potential for financial misstatements, increasing the auditor’s perceived business risk. They hypothesize that, given the higher perceived business risk, auditors charge higher fees to clients engaged in controversial activities.

Using data from Kinder, Lydenberg and Domini, they identify clients that engage in controversial activities related to consumers, employees, the community, and the environment. Their findings are consistent with their hypothesis. Their working paper is in preparation for submission.

Selected publications:

Journal Papers

  • JIAN, Ming and Kin Wai LEE, 2015. CEO Compensation and Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Multinational Financial Management 29,46-65.
  • Khim Kelly and Patricia Mui Siang Tan, “The Effects of Profit-Sharing Contract and Feedback on the Sustainability of Cooperation.”Journal of Management Accounting Research (United States), 2010, Vol. 22 (1),pp.251-269.


  • JIAN, Ming and CHEN Shenglan. 2014. Olam International: Corporate Communication during Crisis. Case Study, The Asian Business Case Centre, ABCC-2014-011.
  • PatriciaTan, “Integrated Reporting for Sustainable Capitalism”, CPA Journal, ICPAS Singapore, March 2013, pp. 26-28.
  • Foo See Liang and Tan Mui Siang, “How Socially Inclined is Corporate Reporting in Singapore?” SES Journal, February 1989, pp. 4-12.
  • Foo See Liang and Tan Mui Siang, “A Comparative Study of Social Responsibility Reporting in Malaysia and Singapore.” Singapore Accountant, August 1988, pp.12-15.
  • JIAN,Ming, “CSR Performance and Equity-based Pay”, with Kin Wai LEE, NTU, Working paper.​

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