Accounting and the making of Homo Liberalis

E. Pezet, C. LAMBERT

Foucault Studies

mai 2012, n°13, pp.67-81

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the practices whereby the subject, in an organisational context, carries out systematic practices of self-discipline and becomes a calculative self. In particular, we explore the techniques of conduct developed by management accountants in a French carmaker, which adheres to a neoliberal environment. We show how these manage-ment accountants become calculative selves by building the very measurement of their own performance. The organisation thereby emerges as the cauldron in which a Homo liberalis is forged. Homo liberalis is the individual capable of constructing for him/her the political self-discipline establishing his/her relationship with the social world on the basis of measurable performance. The management accountants studied in this article prefigure the Homo liberalis in the self-discipline they develop to act in compliance with the organisation's goals.Keywords: Technologies of the self, performance, accounting, Homo liberalis.

An Inductive Typology of Auditing Research

C. LESAGE, H. Wechtler

Contemporary Accounting Research

été 2012, vol. 29, n°2, pp.487-504

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

accepté le 9 mai 2011This paper aims to build a typology of auditing research topics. As research in auditing has grown dramatically over the past few decades, it has explored increasingly diverse research questions, raising the need for a clear overall picture of the field. Typologies have already been developed and used by researchers to analyze trends or compare research output in various contexts. However, the existing classifications are limited in scope and use a predefined structure generally grounded in a practitioner's approach, which may for instance underestimate economics-centered research. We develop an inductive typology based on content analysis of 3,143 abstracts from 25 academic journals, from their year of creation up to the year 2005. This inductive typology extends and updates previously published classifications, providing researchers with a clear picture of how the academic literature in auditing has grown and evolved in its topical coverage. In particular, this new typology enables us 1) to highlight three key periods (education, statistics, corporate governance) since 1926; 2) to identify 16 major themes in auditing research; 3) to stress their relative importance and patterns of change; and 4) to analyze the contribution of the leading journals.

Commerce schools: the pressure of internationalization



juillet 2012, n°7, pp.18-25

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Framing the Issue of Research Quality in a Context of Research Diversity


Accounting Horizons

2012, vol. 26, n°4, pp.821-831

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Institutional Change in the Making - The Case of Socially Responsible Investment


Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change

2012, vol. 8, n°3

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Asset Management, Epistemic Object, Equity Investment, Fixed-Income Investment, France, Institutional Change, Mainstreaming, Practices, Social Movement, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)

This dissertation explores the mechanisms of institutional change in practice. The institutional change under study relates to the progressive penetration of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) criteria into conventional investment funds, a phenomenon which appeared during the 2000s, known as SRI Mainstreaming. The dissertation aims to explain why SRI Mainstreaming has expanded into France and to identify its impacts on the practices of the French asset management sector. It mobilizes a three-year (2006-2009) longitudinal case study of a French asset management company, conducted as an SRI analyst. Research methods rely on the pragmatist concept of inquiry and combine participative observation, semi-structured interviews and documentary evidence. The dissertation comprises three articles that should be considered together. They explore 1) the origins of the SRI Mainstreaming phenomenon, 2) how asset management companies have transformed their practices in response to SRI Mainstreaming and 3) why practices have been transformed in a different way in fixed-income investment, compared to equity investment, respectively.

Is accountability a double-edged sword? Experimental evidence on the effectiveness of internal controls to prevent fraud

F. HOOS, G. Bollmann

Journal of Management Control

novembre 2012, vol. 23, n°2, pp.115-132

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

ISSN: 2191-4761 (print version)ISSN: 2191-477X (electronic version)Recent legislations oblige organizations to monitor the effectiveness of internal control mechanisms that are necessary to prevent fraud. However, little is known about the effectiveness of different internal controls. We investigate whether the duty to sign work results'one of the most prominent internal control mechanisms'is effective to prevent fraud under different superior instructions. We use a 2×2 between-subjects experimental design with accountability (duty to sign work results vs. no duty to sign) and superior instructions (with vs. without profit maximization cue) as independent variables. Both manipulations of superior instructions reminded people to respect accounting standards and principles but in one condition, an instruction to increase revenues was integrated as profit maximization cue. We expected this cue to trigger a profit maximization decision frame that increases the likelihood for fraudulent revenue recording. 58 managers from an executive MBA class participated in the experiment. We find that superior instructions interact with accountability. Fraudulent revenue recording was particularly observed when people received instructions to increase revenues and had to sign their work results. Consequently, fraudulent behavior can occur without pressure to commit fraud due to profit maximization cues that are communicated by a superior and despite implemented internal control mechanisms. We discuss possible implications of our results for the prevention of fraudulent behavior.

Les outils de gestion : producteurs ou régulateurs de la violence psychique au travail ?

P. Gilbert, E. CHIAPELLO

Le Travail Humain

janvier 2012, vol. 75, n°1

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Because it represents a threat not only for health but also for productivity, psychological violence at work is the subject of increasing attention. Meanwhile, management is seen as a practice that is more and more instrumented and consequently dehumanized. To what extent do management tools participate in psychological violence at work? Is it possible to attribute them directly to some forms of violence? Or should we rather see violence as only the result of deviant practices? Seeking to clarify these issues, this paper presents a critical review of the available literature that links management tools and workplace violence, and then discusses the lessons learned. It shows in particular that if management tools are often vectors of violence, they can also been seen as regulators or pacifiers. Author Keywords: Psychological violence; Management tools; Health at work

Qu'est-ce que l'investissement Socialement Responsable ?


La Revue du Financier

janvier 2012

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Développement, Durable, Fonds éthiques, Investissement Socialement Responsable (ISR), Responsabilité Sociale de l'Entreprise (RSE)

Cet article étudie l'évolution des formes et des objectifs de l'Investissement Socialement Responsable (ISR) aux Etats-Unis et en Europe des années 1920 jusqu'à nos jours. En s'intéressant à la fois aux fondements théoriques et aux caractéristiques des fonds ISR au cours du temps, il dresse un panorama des différents types de fonds en fonction de leur appartenance à un référentiel sociétal ou économique. En montrant la complexité et la diversité de l'ISR d'hier et d'aujourd'hui, il permet de mieux comprendre les enjeux de définition et de légitimation rencontrés actuellement par les professionnels du secteur de la gestion d'actifs.

Roles, authority and involvement of the management accounting function: a multiple case-study perspective

C. LAMBERT, S. Sponem

European Accounting Review

septembre 2012, vol. 21, n°3, pp.565-589

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

accepté le 6 septembre 2011Recent techniques and shifts in the environment are often viewed as leading management accountants to adopt a business orientation. However, empirical evidence pointing to clear shifts in the role played by management accountants remains relatively scarce. From in-depth qualitative research based on 73 interviews in ten multinational companies, we identify four distinct styles of management accounting function: discrete, safeguarding, partner, and omnipotent. We show that each style can be associated with one main role: discrete control of managerial behaviour, socialisation of managers, facilitation of decision-making, and centralisation of power. From this in-depth analysis of management accountants' styles and roles we move on to discuss the authority they hold and the independence/involvement dilemma they face.Keywords: management accountant, role, business partner

Service Specialization and Operational Performance in Hospitals

V. CAPKUN, M. MESSNER, C. Rissbacher

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

2012, vol. 32, n°4, pp.468-495

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

Mots clés : .Keywords Austria, Hospitals, Customer service management, Operations management, Operational performance, Service specialization

The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between service specialization and operational performance in hospitals. Existing literature has mostly been concerned with the performance effects of operational focus, which can be seen as an extreme form of specialization. It is not clear, however, whether an effect similar to the focus effect can be observed also in cases where specialization takes on less extreme forms. The authors analyze this effect up to and above the effects of volume, learning and patient selection. Design/methodology/approach ' Ordinary least squares (OLS) and two-stage regression models were used to analyze patient data from 142 Austrian hospitals over the 2002-2006 period. The sample contains 322,193 patient groups (841,687 patient group-year observations). Findings ' The authors find that increased specialization in a service leads to a more efficient provision of this service in terms of shorter length of stay. The analysis shows that this effect holds even after controlling for volume, learning, and patient selection effects. The authors suggest that the pure specialization effect is due to the increased administrative and medical attention that is given to a service when the relative importance of that service increases. Practical implications ' The paper's results indicate hospital managers should pay attention to the impact of specialization when making service-mix decisions. If two services have the same or a similar level of operational performance, then this does not mean that hospital managers should be indifferent as to the relative volume of these services. Originality/value ' The paper provides additional insights into the impact of service-level specialization not examined in prior literature