Articles scientifiques

Can innovation be measured? A framework of how measurement of innovation engages attention in firms


Journal of Engineering and Technology Management

avril-juin 2018, vol. 48, pp.64-75

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Innovation management, Key performance measurement, Measuring innovation, Attention, Attention based theory, Process model, Exploration and exploitation, Conversational measurement, Directional measurement

Many firms manage the innovation process by using metrics. Yet, whether measurement supports or hinders innovation continues to be a topic of debate. To shed new light on this debate, this paper presents a conceptual framework of how measurement engages attention in firms. We draw on attention based theory and conceptualize innovation measurement as an attention-focusing device. We identify two ideal types of measurement practices. i) Directional Measurement: which is based on few and unidirectional metrics and encourages exploitative innovation efforts. ii) Conversational Measurement: which is based on multiple and ambiguous metrics and encourages exploration. We extend theory building in the technology and accounting literatures by theorizing the role of metrics and measurement for attention and by discussing the implications of such attentional engagement for innovation performance. In so doing, we engage closely with the managerial task of managing innovation while simplifying its conditions, thereby providing actionable advice

Le chercheur écrit


Revue internationale de psychosociologie et de gestion des comportements organisationnels

2018, vol. 57, n°XXIV, pp.91-106

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : science, langage, écriture, le travail du chercheur, réalité, «créateur de réalité», «raconteur d’histoires», «histoire scientifique» / science, language, writing, researcher’s activity, reality, “reality maker”, “story teller”, “scientific story”

Quelle que soit sa discipline, que fait le chercheur lorsqu’il est au travail – dans son bureau, dans un laboratoire ou sur le « terrain » ? Il écrit, en particulier. Ce papier explore les relations, très peu étudiées, entre science, travail de recherche et écriture. Quand il écrit un article, un livre ou une communication à un congrès, le chercheur raconte une histoire (ou une série d’histoires). Comme on le verra, le contenu qui est donné au mot histoire déleste celui-ci de toute connotation péjorative ou critique. Les « histoires scientifiques » que le chercheur écrit visent à créer de la réalité – une « réalité partagée » par les autres chercheurs. Le chercheur est un « raconteur d’histoires », un « créateur de réalité ». Telle est la thèse, de caractère anthropologique, qui est exposée

Making a Niche: The Marketization of Management Research and the Rise of “Knowledge Branding”


Journal of Management Studies

juin 2018, vol. 55, n°4, pp.728-734

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

In this essay, we discuss an underexplored and consequential aspect of management scholarship that we term ‘Knowledge Branding’. Knowledge Branding refers to forms of market‐oriented work undertaken when creating, maintaining and developing niches of research. We consider some of the conditions and consequences of Knowledge Branding in the formation and expansion of management research sub‐fields, and then suggest how its more damaging effects might be mitigated.We invite participation in a ‘difficult conversation’ about the culture of market‐oriented knowledge production in management research, not only by raising uncomfortable questions about its grip on our field but also because we acknowledge our complicity in what we discuss. One of us (Hugh) has had an academic career spanning four decades, has been keenly observing the evolution of management scholarship, and has been questioning recent trends such as the commercialization and marketization of higher education, the commodification of academic labour, and the rise of managerialism evident in the use of performance measurement systems such as journal lists. At the same time, he has served on panels responsible for evaluating business and management research (e.g., the UK research evaluation exercises, RAE and REF). By associating funding more directly to short(‐ish) term performance metrics, such exercises are seen to have accelerated the marketization of research that we consider here. The other (Afshin) has started his academic career relatively recently. He has closely and personally experienced and observed the intensifying pressures upon Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to maximize ‘hits’ in ‘top’ journals that are fuelled by the importance placed by ‘consumers’ (students) and managers (deans, appointment and promotion committee members) on rankings of business schools and universities.Writing this essay was prompted by our reflections on the process of preparing and revising a paper for a special issue of Journal of Management Studies dedicated to ‘Political CSR’ (Scherer et al., 2016). Our participation in a number of workshops, conference sessions, and the review processes in relation to the preparation and revision of the paper led us to reflect in a more sustained way upon a process that we believe to be consequential in the rise of Political CSR, and that we characterize as Knowledge Branding. Based on personal experiences and discussions with a number of colleagues, we have come to believe that Knowledge Branding exerts an increasing influence in the formation and expansion of management research sub‐fields which we term Knowledge Brands (KBs). Examples with which we have more familiarity include ‘Political CSR’, ‘Strategy‐as‐Practice’, ‘Institutional Logics’ and ‘Institutional Work’. There are also methodological KBs, such as the ‘Gioia Methodology’, that cut across diverse sub‐fields. This list is by no means exhaustive and it would be surprising, in the context of intensifying competition to occupy the restricted spaces in ‘top’ journals, if the phenomena of Knowledge Branding and KBs were absent from other management sub‐disciplines (e.g., finance and marketing) or other fields of the social sciences.We are not taking issue with the disciplinarity of research in management and the lifecycle of sub‐disciplines that have been explored and debated extensively by others. Nor do we seek to reflect on the role of management academics (along with consultants and other professional groups) in developing and marketing managerial techniques and in giving rise to ‘management fashions’ (Abrahamson, 1996). Instead, our essay foregrounds the nature and effects of an intensification of market‐based organizing in the establishment and consolidation of management research sub‐fields. We do not suggest here that Knowledge Branding is a wholly new phenomenon. We do believe, however, that it is becoming more widespread and significant as an outcome, but also as a medium, of the intensification of market pressures and managerialism in our field. If our speculative observations resonate with our readers, then we hope that our sketch of Knowledge Branding will prompt more systematic scrutiny and evaluation of its operation and effects

The expansion of non-financial reporting: an exploratory study


Accounting and Business Research

juillet 2018, vol. 48, n°5, pp.525-548

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Non-financial reporting (NFR), Non-financial information (NFI), integrated reporting, corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, sustainability reporting, environmental reporting, social reporting

The objective of this study is to investigate how non-financial reporting (NFR) is defined and has expanded in recent years. First, we explore the heterogeneity in definitions and current NFR practices. We find a lack of convergence between regulators and standard-setters, as well as leading sustainable firms. Second, we examine the changes in the extent and type of NFR reported by firms over the period 2006-2016. Based on a sample of firms in South Africa, a leading country in NFR, we document a significant increase in the amount of NFR, particularly between 2006 and 2011. This change appears to be driven by new environmental, human capital, performance and strategic disclosures. The relative importance of financial information in corporate reporting decreased substantially over the same period. Third, we compare reporting practices for corporate social responsibility (CSR)/sustainability information between constituents of the S&P 500 index and the EuroStoxx 600 index. We find that overall, the percentage of firms issuing CSR/sustainability reports increased dramatically between 2002 and 2015 for both stock indices. Constituents of the U.S. stock index and growth firms are less likely to report CSR/sustainability information, whereas firms in the European stock index in environmentally sensitive industries, have high capital intensity and good CSR performance, are larger with better financial performance, are more likely to report CSR/sustainability information

Assembling international development: Accountability and the disarticulation of a social movement


Accounting Organizations and Society

février 2017, vol. 63, pp.6-20

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Accountability, Social movements, International development, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Governmentality, Assemblages

This paper examines how international development funding and accountability requirements are implicated in the so-called disarticulation of a social movement. Based on field studies in Guatemala and El Salvador, we show and explain the way accountability requirements, which encompass management and accounting, legal, and financial technologies, constitute the field of international development through the regulation of heterogeneous social movement organizations. We highlight how accountability enables a form of governance that makes possible the emergence of entities (with specific attributes), while restricting others. Our analysis has implications for governmentality studies that have examined the interrelation of assemblages by analyzing how these interrelations are operationalized at the field level through the Deleuze-and-Guattari-inspired processes of territorialization, coding, and overcoding