With every downturn in economic activity, there is a correlating upturn in required reporting. CEO's need to report more- and more often- to their boards. Consequently, senior executives are required to report more to the CEO- and so on down the line until we get to the field sales team. Typically if the numbers aren't looking good, the reporting really falls on the sales team to see where the revenues are and what the trend is. So lots of detail about opportunities, new markets, short-term, long-term, anyone that can give us an order now- is required in sales reporting. Since the job market is also thin, the sales team- motivated by fear- complies with the reporting.
But just what is compliant reporting and what does it do to performance? With the fear of keeping their job by by being "compliant", people will start to fill in the "right" answer- even if in reality they did not perform the task or the information is inaccurate. The emphasis for many is to keep their job for another month through compliant reporting. But in reality their performance is suffering because they are more focused on keeping their job instead of doing their job- and the information channeling up to the CEO is ultimately inaccurate at a critical time when accuracy is paramount.