Articles scientifiques

The Relationship between Lack of Controllability and Proactive Work Behaviour: An Empirical Analysis of Competing Theoretical Explanations

M. BURKERT, F. M. FISCHER, F. HOOS, K. SCHUHMACHER

Accounting and Business Research

2017, vol. 47, n°2, pp.144-171

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : controllability principle, management control systems, role theory, role conflict, flexible role orientation, proactive work behaviour


The controllability principle suggests evaluating managers solely based on performance measures they can control. In practice, however, companies often disregard this principle. Therefore, our study addresses organisational benefits linked to the lack of controllability in measures used for managers’ performance evaluations. We draw on important case-based findings to establish a positive ‘base relationship’ between lack of controllability and proactive work behaviour. We test this base relationship with a large-scale sample and find that companies encourage higher levels of proactive work behaviour when they rely on less controllable performance measures. Drawing on recent developments in role theory, we advance previous research and extend the base model by including the theoretical construct of flexible role orientation. We examine different mechanisms through which flexible role orientation potentially impacts the base model. Using survey responses from 432 managers, we find evidence for a mediation model as opposed to an interaction model. Specifically, we find that lack of controllability enhances role conflict, which in turn induces more flexible role orientations ultimately resulting in higher levels of proactive work behaviour

Budgeting in times of economic crisis

S. BECKER, M. MAHLENDORF, U. SCHÄFFER, M. THATEN

Contemporary Accounting Research

Winter 2016, vol. 33, n°4, pp.1489–1517

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

Mots clés : Budgeting, budgeting functions, economic crisis, crisis management

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2605359


This paper examines how corporate reliance on budgets is affected by major changes in the economic environment. We combine survey and archival data from the economic crisis that began in 2008. The results indicate that, as a result of the economic crisis, budgeting became more important for planning and resource allocation but less important for performance evaluation. Additional evidence from interviews and data gathered in a focus group further illustrate these results and show the changes organizations have introduced to respond to the economic crisis. Taken together, and contrary to more general conclusions from the literature such as an overall increase or decrease in the importance of budgeting, we find that companies emphasize certain budgeting functions over others during economic crises

Disciplinary practices in the French auditing profession

C. LESAGE, G. HOTTEGINDRE, C. R. BAKER

Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

2016, vol. 29, n°1, pp.11-42

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Content analysis, Audit quality, Auditing, Disciplinary practices, Public accounting profession, Public interest

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/AAAJ-12-2012-1169


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to understand the role of the statutory auditing profession in France. The study is theoretically based on distinctions between a functionalist view of professions and a neo-weberian view. Prior research, conducted in Anglo-American countries has shown that the auditing profession has focussed primarily on protecting the private interests of the profession. Hence, there is a need to conduct research on this topic in a code law country where the state is expected to play a significant role in protecting the public interest.Design/methodology/approach – The methodology involves a content analysis of 148 disciplinary decisions issued against statutory auditors in France from 1989 to 2006. This analysis identified 21 types of violations grouped into public interest or private interest offences. Because visible offences are public and are more likely to threaten the reputation of the profession, these types of decisions are also studied with respect to their visibility.Findings – The results reveal that in a code law country such as France the auditing profession tends to defend both the public interest as well as its private interests. The results also support the “visibility” effect.Research limitations/implications – The written disciplinary decisions have been anonymized so that the names of the auditors and the clients cannot be identified.Originality/value – This paper differs from previous studies conducted in the Anglo-American context which show an emphasis on protecting the private interests of the auditing profession. Moreover, this study reveals the existence of “mixed” offences and underlines that a profession primarily focusses on these cases. Thus, the work reconciles in part the functionalist and neo-weberian perspectives. Lastly, this paper confirms the importance of the visibility effect

Examining the patterns of goodwill impairments in Europe and the US

P ANDRE, A FILIP, L. PAUGAM

Accounting in Europe

2016, vol. 16, n°3, pp.329-352

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

Mots clés : Goodwill, Impairment, IFRS 3, IAS 36, Europe, US


We examine the patterns of goodwill impairments in Europe and in the US over the period from 2006 to 2015, for a sample of more than 35,000 firm-year observations. We define the timeliness of goodwill impairments as the frequency of accounting impairments conditional to indications of economic impairments. We measure indications of economic impairment with three metrics: equity market value minus equity book value less than goodwill, market-to-book smaller than one, and negative EBITDA. Our research strategy leads us to draw very different conclusions than those in the recent EFRAG (2016) study. While median levels of goodwill on the books between US and European firms are relatively similar, we find several indications that US firms recognize timelier impairments, at least during 2008 and 2009, i.e., the early years of the financial crisis. We further document that US impairers write down a much greater percentage of their beginning balance of goodwill than European impairers. During the financial crisis, the median level of impairment by US firms was 63% of opening goodwill in 2008 and 40% in 2009, whereas median European write-downs were only 6% and 7% of goodwill, respectively. Even though European firms are more likely to impair over multiple years, the cumulative impairments never come close to the level of US firms, be it in a single year or cumulative over multiple years. We also find that the frequency of accounting impairment is small compared to the number of firms presenting evidence of economic impairment: only 20 to 25% of firms recognize impairments depending on the measure of economic impairment. This has often been interpreted by academics as a sign of untimely write-offs. Accounting differences between US GAAP and IFRS are unlikely to explain our results. One caveat of our analysis is that it does not allow us to draw conclusions on whether the observed differences between US and European firms are driven by differences in conditional conservatism and/or big bath accounting practices

Financial Distress Risk and New CEO Compensation

W.-J. CHANG, R. M. HAYES, S. HILLEGEIST

Management Science

février 2016, vol. 62, n°2, pp. 479 - 501

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

Mots clés : CEO compensation, Compensation premium, CEO incentives, Financial distress risk


We examine how ex ante financial distress risk affects CEO compensation. To disentangle the joint effects of performance on compensation and distress risk, we focus our analyses on new CEOs. Our results indicate that financial distress risk affects compensation through two channels. First, new CEOs receive significantly more compensation when financial distress risk is higher. This finding is consistent with CEOs receiving a compensation premium for bearing this risk since CEOs experience large personal costs if their firms later become financially distressed. Second, financial distress risk is associated with the incentives provided to new CEOs; distress risk is positively associated with pay-performance sensitivity and equity-based compensation and is negatively associated with cash bonuses. Further, financial distress risk is positively associated with pay-risk sensitivity for new CEOs. These findings suggest that financial distress risk alters the nature of the agency relationship in ways that lead firms to provide CEOs with more equity-based incentives. We also build on research that finds a positive relation between forced turnover risk and CEO compensation. Our analyses suggest the compensation effects of forced turnover risk appear to be mainly attributable to financial distress risk. Overall, our results indicate financial distress risk is an economically important determinant of new CEO compensation packages


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