Articles scientifiques

Institutional Complexity and the Strategic Behaviors of SMEs in Transitional Environments


International Journal of Emerging Markets

septembre 2016, vol. 11, n°4, pp.514 - 532

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Institutional Logics, Institutional Complexity, Strategic Behaviors, SMEs, Transition Economies

We study how five privately owned Chinese companies adapted their strategies in the 2000-2012 period to large-scale macro-level institutional changes. Drawing on recent developments in institutional theory, in particular on the constructs of institutional logics, institutional complexity and “organizational filters”, we explain why our subject firms’ range of strategic behaviors went from broad to narrow, as a function of i) the stage of institutional transition and ii) organizational filters, i.e., how the firms make sense of the institutional complexity based on their own attributes. We discuss the implications of ourfindings for managers of SMEs in transitional economies and researchers

Knowing patients: The customer survey and the changing margins of accounting in healthcare


Accounting Organizations and Society

aout 2016, vol. 53, pp.17-33

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Survey Healthcare Accounting change Quality improvement Customer

This research investigates the changing “margins of accounting” (Miller, 1998) in the field of healthcare where, as in other fields, customer surveys have emerged as a means of accounting for customers and of holding professionals and organizations to account. Drawing upon methodological insights provided by genealogical studies of accounting and anthropological studies of “things,” this research addresses the activities and transformations that take place to move the survey from war to ward—from a means of learning about medical populations during and immediately after World War II to a means of accounting for the views of consumers and of holding providers accountable for their care. These movements are shown to entail the staging and stabilizing of “knowing patients” in both senses of the term: these are patients that are equipped and empowered as consumers with knowledge about quality and their care, and simultaneously stripped of their individualizing characteristics so as to be made knowable to organizations in terms that can be managed and improved. These findings speak to the limitations of accounting as it infiltrates fluid and personal spaces in order to represent people in modes other than financial and to reconstitute knowledge from below. Doing so is shown not just to limit the possibilities for customers to speak and to be heard, but to give rise to a particularly pernicious form of territorialization in which the subject and object of accounting knowledge become inextricably intertwined and indistinguishably blurred. This has implications for the promises and practices of accounting in a post-modern society and for the kinds of questions that researchers ask about its effects.

Performance Measurement in Global Governance: Ranking and the Politics of Variability


Accounting Organizations and Society

novembre 2016, vol. 55, pp.12-31

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

Mots clés : Ranking; Epistemic work; Professional vision; Commensuration; Performance measurement; Regulatory capitalism

The past thirty years have witnessed the spread of rankings, ratings and league tables as governance technologies which aim to regulate the provision of public goods by means of market pressures. This paper examines the process of company analysis underlying the production of a ranking known as the Access to Medicine Index. We conceptualize the Index as a “regulatory ranking” with the explicit mission of addressing a perceived regulatory gap and market failure: the lack of access to medicine in the Global South. The Index, which ranks the world's largest pharmaceutical companies with regards to their access to medicine policies and practices, aspires to help address the problem of access to medicine through stakeholder consultation, transparency and competition. This study unbundles the epistemic work underlying the performance measurement process leading to the creation of the Index. We trace how the goal of stakeholder consensus, the need to project objectivity and the aspiration to govern through competition shape analysts' epistemic work. We discuss how through notions such as “the good distribution” and “aspirational indicators”, performance measurement and ranking become entangled in a “politics of variability” whereby company data need to be variably interpreted in order to optimise the possibilities of intervening in companies through competitive pressures, while at the same time complying with the imperatives to remain in the space of perceived stakeholder consensus and to provide a faithful representation of companies performance to inform public debates. We reflect on the challenges posed by these analysis processes for the regulatory aspirations of the ranking

The Effect of IAS/IFRS Adoption on Earnings Management (Smoothing): A Closer Look at Competing Explanations


Journal of Accounting and Public Policy

juillet-août 2016, vol. 35, n°4, pp.352–394

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

Mots clés : IFRS, Earnings management, Smoothing

Prior research provides mixed evidence on whether the transition to IAS/IFRS deters or contributes to greater earnings management (smoothing). The dominant explanation for the conflicting results is self-selection. Early voluntary adopters had incentives to increase the transparency of their reporting in order to attract outside capital, while those firms that waited until IFRS adoption became mandatory in EU countries lacked incentives for transparent reporting leading to increases in earnings management (smoothing) after IFRS adoption. We maintain that the IFRS standards that went into effect in 2005 provide greater flexibility of accounting choices because of vague criteria, overt and covert options, and subjective estimates. This greater flexibility coupled with the lack of clear guidance on how to implement these new standards has led to greater earnings management (smoothing). Consistent with this view, we find an increase in earnings management (smoothing) from pre-2005 to post-2005 for firms in countries that allowed early IAS/IFRS adoption, as well as for firms in countries that did not allow early IFRS adoption. We find no evidence of changes in incentives that can explain these results.

Accounting for business combinations: Do purchase price allocations matter?


Journal of Accounting and Public Policy

2015, vol. 34, n°4, pp.362-391

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion