Bouncing Back: Building Resilience Through Social and Environmental Practices in the Context of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis


Journal of Management

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

Mots clés : organizational resilience; social and environmental practices; strategic and tactical practices; global financial crisis; survival analysis

Even though organizational researchers have acknowledged the role of social and environmental business practices in contributing to organizational resilience, this work remains scarce, possibly because of the difficulties in measuring organizational resilience. In this paper, we aim to partly remedy this issue by measuring two ways in which organizational resilience manifests through organizational outcomes in a generalized environmental disturbance—namely, severity of loss, which captures the stability dimension of resilience, and time to recovery, which captures the flexibility dimension. By isolating these two variables, we can then theorize the types of social and environmental practices that contribute to resilience. Specifically, we argue that strategic social and environmental practices contribute more to organizational resilience than do tactical social and environmental practices. We test our theory by analyzing the responses of 963 U.S.-based firms to the global financial crisis and find evidence that support our hypotheses

Brand Assets and Pay Fairness as Two Routes to Enhancing Social Capital in Sales Organization


Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management

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Départements : Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

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


The Journal of Finance

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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

Consequences of the Abandonment of Mandatory Joint Audit: An Empirical Study of Audit Costs and Audit Quality Effects


European Accounting Review

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

Mots clés : Joint audit, Audit cost, Audit quality, Audit market, Denmark

This paper focuses on the unique Danish setting in examining the consequences of abandoning a mandatory joint audit regime. We study the effects on audit costs (measured by audit fees) and audit quality (measured by abnormal accruals) of the abandonment of the mandatory joint audit in Denmark in 2005. We perform our analysis on non-financial listed Danish companies for the 2002–2010 period. Our results show that a joint audit is associated with higher fees, but that the association between joint audit and abnormal accruals is insignificant. This suggests that the higher audit fees cannot be explained by higher audit quality. Our results are robust to alternative measurements of fees and audit quality. Additional analyses show that the fee premium related to a joint audit decreases over time and that the Big 4 concentration in our sample has increased since the switch from mandatory to voluntary joint audit. Our results are consistent with the motivations driving the regulatory change in Denmark and are of interest to regulators and actors in the audit market

Constructing, Contesting, and Overloading: A Study of Risk Management Framing


European Accounting Review

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

In this study, we examine the ways in which actuarial consultants attempt to motivate their clients to see pension-related accounting regulations and market volatility as ‘risks’ that need to be managed through particular risk-mitigating technologies. This study is predicated on 23 interviews conducted with actuarial consultants and their clients and consulting agencies’ publically available documents. Taking framing theory and the sociological literature on risk as conceptual starting points, we find that consultants engage in specific framing strategies to persuade clients by rhetorically weaving a series of financial risk objects, financial de-risking strategies, and calls for action. We also find that current and prospective clients sometimes contest consultants’ prescriptions, despite the pervasiveness of risk management as the ultima ratio of organizational governance. This contestation occurs, ironically, because adopting de-risking solutions in one area is perceived by some clients as triggering new risks in areas unforeseen by consultants. This research increases our knowledge of how new risk objects and de-risking solutions come into existence and why some risk management practices fail to be diffused within organizations despite the staggering success of the risk management rationality. We explain the latter through the concepts of frame diffraction and overload

Data abundance and asset price informativeness


Journal of Financial Economics

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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

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


Journal of Business Ethics

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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

Drift or alignment? A configurational analysis of law firms' ability to combine profitability with professionalism


Journal of Professions and Organization

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Départements : Management et Ressources Humaines, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Dynamic Atomic Congestion Games with Seasonal Flows


Operations Research

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

Mots clés : Network games, dynamic flows, price of seasonality, price of anarchy, max-flow min-cut

We propose a model of discrete time dynamic congestion games with atomic players and a single source-destination pair. The latencies of edges are composed by free-flow transit times and possible queuing time due to capacity constraints. We give a precise description of the dynamics induced by the individual strategies of players and of the corresponding costs, either when the traffic is controlled by a planner, or when players act selfishly. In parallel networks, optimal and equilibrium behavior eventually coincides, but the selfish behavior of the first players has consequences that cannot be undone and are paid by all future generations. In more general topologies, our main contributions are three-fold. First, we show that equilibria are usually not unique. In particular, we prove that there exists a sequence of networks such that the price of anarchy is equal to n-1, where n is the number of vertices, and the price of stability is equal to 1.Second, we illustrate a new dynamic version of Braess's paradox: the presence of initial queues in a network may decrease the long-run costs in equilibrium. This paradox may arise even in networks for which no Braess's paradox was previously known.Third, we propose an extension to model seasonalities by assuming that departure flows fluctuate periodically over time. We introduce a measure that captures the queues induced by periodicity of inflows. This measure is the increase in costs compared to uniform departures for optimal and equilibrium flows in parallel networks

Examining the patterns of goodwill impairments in Europe and the US


Accounting in Europe

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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