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


Accounting Organizations and Society

février 2017, vol. 57, pp.18-32

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

Blockholder Exit Threats in the Presence of Private Benefits of Control

Ole-Kristian HOPE, H. WU, Wuyang ZHAO

Review of Accounting Studies

juin 2017, vol. 22, n°2, pp.873-902

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Exit-Threat Theory, Private Benefits of Control, Liquidity, China, Split-Share Structure Reform, Operating Performance, Quasi-Experiment

Exit theory predicts a governance role of outside blockholders’ exit threats; but this role could be ineffective if managers’ potential private benefits exceed their loss in stock-price declines caused by outside blockholders’ exit. We test this prediction using the Split-Share Structure Reform (SSSR) in China, which provided a large, exogenous, and permanent shock to the cost for outside blockholders to exit. Using a difference-in-differences design combined with propensity-score matching, we find that firms whose outside blockholders experience an increase in exit threats have a greater improvement in performance than those whose outside blockholders experience no increase. Moreover, the governance effect of exit threats is ineffective in the group of firms with the highest concern for private benefits of control. Finally, a battery of theory-motivated tests show that the documented effects are unlikely explained by outside blockholder intervention or some well-known intended effects of SSSR

Evaluative Infrastructures: Accounting for distributed network production


Accounting Organizations and Society

2017, vol. 60, n°7, pp.79-95

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : AccountingHierarchical consciousnessEvaluationInfrastructurePlatform organization!

Platform organizations such as Uber, eBay and Airbnb represent a growing disruptive phenomenon in contemporary capitalism, transforming economic organization, the nature of work, and the distribution of wealth. This paper investigates the accounting practices that underpin this new form of organizing, and in doing so confronts a significant challenge within the accounting literature: the need to escape what Hopwood (1996) describes as its “hierarchical consciousness”. In order to do so, this paper develops the concept of evaluative infrastructure which describes accounting practices that enable platform based organization. They are evaluative because they deploy a plethora of interacting devices, including rankings, ratings, reviews, and audits to establish orders of worth. They are infrastructures because they provide the invisible yet essential mechanisms for the flow of economic activity and exchange on platforms. Illustrating the concept of evaluative infrastructure with the example of eBay, the paper's contribution is to (1) provide an analytical vocabulary to capture the accounting practices underpinning platforms as new organizational forms, and in so doing (2) extend accounting scholars' analytical focus from hierarchical settings towards heterarchies. Conceptually, this shift from management accounting to evaluative infrastructures entails a focus on relationality (evaluative infrastructures do not represent or reference but relate things, people and ideas with each other); generativity (evaluative infrastructures do not territorialize objects but disclose new worlds); and new forms of control (evaluative infrastructures are not centres of calculation; rather, control is radically distributed, whilst power remains centralized).

Media bias and the persistence of the expectation gap: An analysis of press articles on corporate fraud


Journal of Business Ethics

2017, vol. 144, n°3, pp.637-659

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

Mots clés : Expectation gap, Media bias, Corporate fraud, Management behavior, Press, Fraud-related professional standards

Prior research has documented the continued existence of an expectation gap, defined as the divergence between the public’s and the profession’s conceptions of auditor’s duties, despite the auditing profession’s attempt to adopt standards and practices to close this gap. In this paper, we consider one potential explanation for the persistence of the expectation gap: the role of media bias in shaping public opinion and views. We analyze press articles covering 40 U.S. corporate fraud cases discovered between 1992 and 2011. We compare the auditor’s duties, described by the auditing standards, with the description of the fraud cases as found in the press articles. We draw upon prior research to identify three sources of the expectation gap: deficient performance, deficient standards, and unreasonable expectations. The results of our analysis provide evidence that (1) the performance gap can be reduced by strengthening auditor’s willingness and ability to apply existing auditing standards concerning fraud detection; (2) the standards gap can be narrowed by improving existing auditing standards; and (3) unreasonable expectations, however, involve elements beyond the profession’s sphere of control. As a result, the expectation gap is unlikely to disappear given the media’s tendency to bias, with an overemphasis of unreasonable expectations in their coverage of frauds and press articles tending to reinforce the view that the auditor should take more responsibility for detecting fraud, irrespective of whether this is feasible at a reasonable cost. In addition to the primary role of the press in perpetuating the expectation gap, a second reason for continuation of the expectation gap is that the rational auditor will have difficulty in assessing subjective components of fraudulent behavior.

The Effect of Business and Financial Market Cycles on Credit Ratings: Evidence from the Last Two Decades



2017, vol. 53, n°1, pp.59-93

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

Mots clés : Business cycles; Credit rating agencies; Financial marketcycles; Investor reaction

We analyze the effect of business and financial market cycles on creditratings using a sample of firms from the Russell 3000 index that are ratedby Standard and Poor’s over the period 1986–2012. We also examine inves-tor reaction to credit rating actions in different stages of business andfinancial market cycles. We document that credit rating agencies areinfluenced by business and financial market cycles; they assign lower creditratings during downturns of business and financial market cycles andhigher ratings during upturns. Our study is the first to find strong evidenceof pro-cyclicality in credit ratings using a long window. We also documentstronger investor reaction to negative credit rating actions during down-turns. Our results confirm theoretical predictions and inform regulators

The Effect of Joint Auditor Pair Composition on Audit Quality: Evidence from Impairment Tests


Contemporary Accounting Research

Spring 2017, vol. 34, n°1, pp.118-153

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

Mots clés : Joint Audits, Audit Quality, Auditor Independence, Impairment Testing, Conservatism