Constructing the governable small practitioner: The changing nature of professional bodies and the management of professional accountants' identities in the UK


Accounting Organizations and Society

avril-mai 2009, vol. 34, n°3-4, pp.381-408

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Mots clés : Governable small practitioner, Professional bodies, Professional accountants

This article aims at contributing to the sociology of the accountancy profession by analysing how professional organisations govern the various categories that have emerged in the professional body throughout its history. To this end, the attempt by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to give an institutional existence to the category of “the small practitioner” is examined. The plasticity and the polysemic nature of the notion of smallness, which refers simultaneously to physical (small/big), geographical (local/global) and moral (anonymous/notorious) characteristics, offers a particular opportunity to show how these three dimensions have been integrated into evolving organisational arrangements and discourses aimed at legitimising the professional order. It is contended that the definition of what small practitioners are, and how they should be dealt with, can only be understood as part of the broader issue of governance of the accountancy community and the nature of the professional body. The ICAEW’s efforts to problematise the nature of small practices indicates a will to integrate distant modalities of accounting expertise into a single professional space, so as to prevent the physical and geographical distance between big and small firms from becoming too conspicuous a hierarchical distinction, and thus preserve the ideal of the community of peers upon which professional bodies have been built

Credit, Wages, and Bankruptcy Laws


Journal of the European Economic Association

septembre 2009, vol. 7, n°5, pp.939-973

Départements : Finance

We analyze how bankruptcy laws affect the general equilibrium interactions between credit and wages. Soft laws reduce the frequency of liquidations and thus ex post inefficiencies, but they worsen credit rationing ex ante. This hinders firm creation and thus depresses labor demand. Rich agents who need few outside funds can invest even if creditor rights are weak. Hence, they favor soft laws that exclude poorer agents from the credit market and reduce the competition for labor. Such laws can generate greater utilitarian welfare than under perfect contract enforcement: By barring access to credit to some agents, soft laws lower wages, which increases the pledgeable income of richer agents and decreases the liquidation rates they must commit to. When they induce strong credit rationing, however, soft laws are Pareto-dominated by tougher laws combined with subsidies to entrepreneurs

Criticisms of capitalism, budgeting and the double enrolment: Budgetary control rhetoric and social reform in France in the 1930s and 1950s

E. CHIAPELLO, N. Berland

Accounting Organizations and Society

janvier 2009, vol. 34, n°1, pp.28-57

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

This article is a contribution to the study of the spread of management innovations, methods and rhetorics. It particularly concerns the influence of ideological and political factors, which have so far mostly escaped in-depth study. In particular, we seek to understand to what extent a critique of society developed by social reformers can be a source of inspiration for managers, leading them to change their practices and experiment with new devices. Relying on the framework of historical change in management practices developed by Boltanski and Chiapello [Boltanski, L., & Chiapello, E. (2005). The new spirit of capitalism. London: Verso (Translation of Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, Paris: Gallimard, 1999)], we study the specific development of budgetary control in France, examined in the light of the general political and economic history of the 20th century. This framework simultaneously encompasses the dissemination of a new accounting practice, the transformation of capitalist institutions and mo des of regulation in a given period and country, and the programmatic discourses [Miller, P., & Rose, N. (1990). Governing economic life. Economy and Society, 19(1), 1'31] associated with the historical move.More exactly, what interests us is a double enrolment process. The business world promoters of budgetary control use the rhetorics of social reformers to present budgetary control as a solution to the economic and social problems of their time; conversely, social reformers promote budgetary control as a realistic, efficient tool that can change the world. Ultimately, a degree of alliance is possible around this management tool, although the extent to which the meanings each group attributes to its action are shared may remain unclear. Based on an analysis of the writings of budgetary control promoters of the 1930s and the 1950s, we show the close links between their discourse and the reforming ideas of their time, and how we can trace through this corpus the evolution of this kind of political rationalities [Miller, P., & Rose, N. (1990). Governing economic life. Economy and Society, 19(1), 1'31] associated with governing and managing corporations we call the spirit of capitalism [Boltanski, L., & Chiapello, E. (2005). The new spirit of capitalism. London: Verso (Translation of Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, Paris: Gallimard, 1999)].

Determinants of Board Members Financial Expertise - Empirical Evidence from France


International Journal of Accounting

décembre 2009, vol. 44, n°4, pp.378-402

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

Mots clés : Financial expertise, Board of directors, Supervisory board, Corporate governance

Very few countries require directors to be financially literate. This article investigates the determinants of boards' financial expertise using a sample of 95 nonfinancial French listed firms. We construct a measure of financial expertise based on educational and career background data for 943 individuals occupying 1140 posts in our sample and explore the determinants of average per-firm financial expertise using a Tobit analysis. We find that average financial expertise is negatively associated with board type (two-tier versus one-tier) and growth opportunities and positively associated with board independence, ownership concentration, and institutional ownership. These findings are robust to sensitivity analyses.

Determinants of Pay Levels and Structures in Sales Organizations

D. ROUZIES, A. Coughlan, E. Anderson, D. Iacobucci

Journal of Marketing

novembre 2009, vol. 73, n°6, pp.92-104

Départements : Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Two key issues in business-to-business (B2B) sales force management are (1) how much a given sales job should be compensated (pay level) and (2) how much of the compensation should be fixed versus variable (pay structure). The authors examine the paychecks drawn by people in more than 14,000 selling jobs and more than 4000 sales management jobs in five B2B industry sectors in five European countries. They show that pay levels and structures reflect an apparent balancing of two conflicting pressures: the economic imperative (to reward better performers by heightening pay dispersion) and the compensation differential compression resulting from high tax regimes. In particular, B2B firms appear to use variable pay as a way to lessen the salary differential compression impact of high tax regimes on salesperson motivation. Furthermore, similar to chief executive officers, sales managers can have an important multiplier effect that justifies paying them at increasing rates as job challenge rises.Supplied Keywords:agency theorycompensationmotivationpay disparitysales management

Die Balanced Scorecard im Transport- und Speditionsunternehmen

M. MESSNER, Ch. Rissbacher, C. Rissbacher


2009, vol. 21, n°6, pp.332-338

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

Does Religion Matter in Corporate Decision Making in America?


Journal of Financial Economics

septembre 2009, vol. 93, n°3, pp.455-473

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

We examine how corporate culture influences firms' behaviors and, more specifically, how the level of religiosity in a firm's environment affects its investment decisions. We focus on one country (the U.S.) to minimize differences in legal and economic environments. Prior research suggests a positive link between individual religiosity and risk aversion. We find that this relation also influences organizational behavior. Specifically, firms located in counties with higher levels of religiosity display lower degrees of risk exposure as measured by variances in equity returns or in returns on assets. In turn, such firms require a higher internal rate of return before investing. They exhibit a lower rate of investment either in tangible capital or in R&D but generate a more positive market reaction when they announce new investments. Their long-term growth is also lower. Finally, we document that CEOs are more likely to join firms with similar religious environment as their last firm when they switch employers. All results are both economically and statistically significant. They are robust to many alternative specifications that minimize the risk of omitted variables or endogenous relations. Keywords: Corporate investment, risk aversion, corporate culture, religion

Economic Impact Analysis of Defense Technology Transfer


Defense Science & Technology Plus

2009, vol. 74(1), pp.1-11

Départements : Stratégie et Politique d’Entreprise

Employment protection reform in search economies

O. L'HARIDON, F. Malherbet

European Economic Review

avril 2009, vol. 53, n°3, pp.255-273

Départements : GREGHEC (CNRS)

The design of employment protection legislation (EPL) is of particular importance in the European debate on the contours of labor-market reform. In this article we appeal to an equilibrium unemployment model to investigate the virtues of EPL reform which reduces the red tape and legal costs associated with layoffs and introduces a U.S.-style experience-rating system, which we model as a combination of a layoff tax and a payroll subsidy. The reform considered shows that it is possible to improve the efficiency of employment protection policies without affecting the extent of worker protection on the labor market. These results are consistent with the conventional wisdom that experience rating is desirable, not only as an integral component of unemployment-compensation finance, as most studies acknowledge, but also as part and parcel of a virtuous EPL system.Keywords: Search and matching models; Employment protection; State-contingent layoff tax; Experience rating

Empty Pockets Full Stomachs: How Money Cues Induce People to Hoard Calories

B. BRIERS, S. Laporte

Advances in Consumer Research

2009, vol. 36, pp.837-839

Départements : Marketing