Building the legitimacy of whistleblowers: A multi-case discourse analysis


Contemporary Accounting Research

A paraître

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

Mots clés : Whistleblowing; Fraud detection; Role definition; Discourse analysis; Legitimacy; Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

Evidence suggests society still does not view whistleblowers as wholly legitimate – despite legal protections now offered in some jurisdictions, such as the United States. Drawing on a discourse analysis, (i.e., an examination of statements), we investigate the well-publicized stories of seven whistleblowers from 69 sources, including books, first- and second-hand interviews, websites and videos. Our focus is to examine how whistleblower discourses can build legitimacy by more tightly defining the whistleblower role and demonstrating its alignment with social norms. Using whistleblower self-narratives, we identify four narrative patterns: (1) Trigger(s): the event(s) leading to whistleblowing; (2) Personality traits: whistleblower’s morality, resourcefulness, and determination; (3) Constraints: barriers requiring regulatory and organizational change; and (4) Consequences: the longer-term positive impact of the whistleblowing act. These patterns rely on symbolic, analogical, and metaphorical framing to allow others to better understand the role of whistleblowers and enlist their support. Exploring a dataset of 1,621 press articles, we find indications that these narrative patterns resonate in the media – which provide a form of support and may be instrumental in legitimizing the whistleblower role. Grounded on these results, we develop a legitimacy construction model of the whistleblower role, i.e., a representation of how role legitimacy is produced and sustained. From this model, we identify a number of important areas for future research

Can Innovation Help U.S. Manufacturing Firms Escape Import Competition from China?


The Journal of Finance

A paraître

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We study whether R&D-intensive firms are more resilient to trade shocks. Wecorrect for the endogeneity of R&D using tax-induced changes to R&D cost. While rising imports from China lead to slower sales growth and lower profitability, these effects are significantly smaller for firms with a larger stock of R&D (by about half when moving from the bottom quartile to the top quartile of R&D). We provide evidence that this effect is explained R&D allowing firms to increase product differentiation. As a result, while firms in import-competing industries cut capital expenditures and employment, R&D-intensive firms downsize considerably less

Categorizing Institutional Logics, Institutionalizing Categories: A Review of Two Literatures


Academy of Management Annals

A paraître

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This review assembles two highly referenced streams of research in organization and management studies over the past decade: institutional logics and categories. We present the gist of each literature focusing on the interaction within and between organizations vis-à-vis the institutional logics and category systems that condition behavior. Then, we suggest that both streams have compatible assumptions that warrant further integration, and suggest opportunities for future research stemming from (1) complementarities related to inter- and intra-audience variance, formation and recombination of logics and categories, and actors’ identity and (2) differences related to theory level of analysis, incorporation of conflict, and methods of analysis. Integration can lead to better specified mechanisms, processes, and contexts important to improving accuracy and development of these research streams

Competing Through Categorization: Product- and Audience-Centric Strategies in an Evolving Categorical Structure


Organization Studies

A paraître

Départements : Langues et Cultures

Mots clés : category-level status, competitive dynamics, status within categories, strategic categorization

We investigate how and why competing organizations position their similar products in categories of varying status. We studied the paired longitudinal case of the highly publicized contest between ESSEC and HEC, two French business schools, as they sought to position their core Grande Ecole program in the evolving international business education categorical structure. We conceptualize categorization as a competitive, relational process involving multiple actors and producing various meanings and perceptions. Our study (a) highlights the role of anticipated category status spillovers versus anticipated relative status within a category in producers’ entry decisions; (b) contrasts product- and audience-centric categorization strategies; and (c) shows the role of intermediaries in adjudicating categorization contests

Confidence in belief and rational decision making


Economics and Philosophy

A paraître

Départements : Economie et Sciences de la décision, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Confidence, Decision Under Uncertainty, Belief, Rationality

The standard, Bayesian account of rational belief and decision is often argued to be unable to cope properly with severe uncertainty, of the sort ubiquitous in some areas of policy making. This paper tackles the question of what should replace it as a guide for rational decision making. It defends a recent proposal, which reserves a role for the decision maker’s confidence in beliefs. Beyond being able to cope with severe uncertainty, the account has strong normative credentials on the main fronts typically evoked as relevant for rational belief and decision. It fares particularly well, we argue, in comparison to other prominent non-Bayesian models in the literature

Corporate Strategy, Conformism, and the Stock Market


Review of Financial Studies

A paraître

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Data abundance and asset price informativeness


Journal of Financial Economics

A paraître

Départements : Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Asset Price Informativeness, Big Data, FinTech, Information Processing, Markets for Information, Contrarian and momentum trading

Information processing filters out the noise in data but it takes time. Hence, low precision signals are available before high precision signals. We analyze how this feature affects asset price informativeness when investors can acquire signals of increasing precision over time about the payoff of an asset. As the cost of low precision signals declines, prices are more likely to reflect these signals before more precise signals become available. This effect can ultimately reduce price informativeness because it reduces the demand for more precise signals (e.g., fundamental analysis). We make additional predictions for trade and price patterns

Demand-Side Strategy, Relational Advantage, and Partner-Driven Corporate Scope: The Case for Client-Led Diversification


Strategic Management Journal

A paraître

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We advance research on corporate diversification by joining insights from the demand-side and relational views in strategy to offer a novel theory of client-led diversification. We propose that client-led diversification results from a combination of the customer-driven opportunities emphasized in the demand-side view and the creation of added value through relational assets that is a central tenet of the relational view. Furthermore, we hypothesize that suppliers’ client-specific knowledge, clients’ relational commitment to suppliers, and growth opportunities in clients’ markets (relative to the suppliers’ own markets) will magnify the client-led diversification effect. We test our hypotheses using a longitudinal dataset on patent law firms and their diversification into new domains of patent prosecution work for their corporate clients

Distracted Institutional Investors


Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis

A paraître

Départements : Finance

Mots clés : Inattention, Institutional Investors, Trading Behavior

We investigate how distraction affects the trading behavior of professional asset managers. Exploring detailed transaction-level data, we show that managers with a large fraction of portfolio stocks exhibiting an earnings announcement are significantly less likely to trade in other stocks, suggesting that these announcements absorb attention which is missing for the choice of which stocks to trade. Hence, attention constraints can be binding even among this elite group of traders. Finally, we identify two channels through which distraction hurts managers’ performance: distracted managers fail to close losing positions, partly explained by these managers displaying a stronger disposition effect, and incur slightly higher transaction costs

Do stakeholder orientation and environmental pro-activity impact firm profitability?


Journal of Business Ethics

A paraître

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Mots clés : Environmental proactivity, Firm profitability, Resource-based theory, Stakeholder orientation, Stakeholder theory

The impact of socially responsible corporate behavior on economic performance is a major preoccupation of managers today. This article explores the links between narrowly defined constructs: stakeholder orientation, environmental proactivity and profitability, from the perspectives of stakeholder theory and resource-based theory. We collected data on the food and beverage, and household and personal products industries. Using structural equation modeling, this paper makes two contributions. We found a negative link between companies simply having a higher stakeholder orientation and profitability. Importantly, however, environmental proactivity not only had a positive impact on profitability, but also appeared to mediate the relationship between stakeholder orientation and profitability. In other words, if a company is more environmentally proactive, it will be more attentive to a broad array of stakeholders, and this will in turn contribute positively to profitability