Scientific articles

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


Contemporary Accounting Research


Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: 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

Non-additivity in accounting valuation: Theory and applications




Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Choquet capacities, Goodwill, Growth options, Non-additive accounting-based valuation, Productive efficiency, Synergies

This paper has three objectives. First, to introduce a theoretical solution to the issue of non-additivity between assets in place, relying on an accounting-based valuation approach. Second, to explain how such an approach can be implemented empirically by measuring synergies between assets. Third, to present the properties of this non-additive valuation technique. We use Choquet capacities, that is, non-additive aggregation operators, to measure the interactions between assets and apply our methodology to a sample of US firms from the capital goods industry. To operationalize our approach we examine the relationships between synergies-captured by Choquet capacities-and the market-to-book ratio (proxying for growth options), and show how interactions between assets are consistently linked to a firm's market-to-book ratio. We also measure firm-specific productive efficiency relative to the industry and firm size. For large firms, efficiency, as defined by our approach, is positively associated with higher future operating cash flows. For small firms, efficiency is positively associated with higher future sales growth. We document that the non-additive approach appears to be better able to identify expected relationships between efficiency and future performance than a simpler approach based on the market-to-book ratio. © 2018 Accounting Foundation, The University of Sydney

Re-Thinking the CSP-CFP Linkage: Analyzing the Mechanisms Involved in Translating Socially-Responsible Behavior to Financial Performance


Advances in Strategic Management


Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The Effects of IFRS Adoption on Observed Earnings Smoothing Properties: The Confounding Effects of Changes in TimelyGain and Loss Recognition


European Accounting Review


Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Earnings smoothing, Timely gain recognition, Timely loss recognition, Earnings quality

Ball and Shivakumar [(2006), The role of accruals in asymmetrically timely gain and loss recognition. Journal of Accounting Research, 44, 207–242] show that the observed smoothness of earnings (i.e. negative contemporaneous correlation between accruals and cash flows) is the joint product of the role of accruals in smoothing out transitory fluctuations in operating cash flows (noise reduction role) and the role of accruals in providing timely recognition of economic gains and losses (contracting role). These two roles of accruals have opposite effects on earnings smoothness properties. Using a regression framework that allows us to simultaneously consider both roles, we show that failing to control for changes in timely gain and loss recognition as firms shift to IFRS can lead to erroneous inferences regarding the effects of IFRS adoption on earnings smoothness, and consequently on researcher’ conclusions about how IFRS adoption has affected accounting quality. Our results are consistent with mandatory (2005) IFRS adoption resulting in a change in the contracting role rather than the noise reduction role (or smoothness role) of accruals. A decrease in timely loss recognition, an increase in timely gain recognition, and a net decrease in asymmetric timely loss recognition are what drives the change in observed smoothness properties of earnings around mandatory IFRS adoption

The multiplicity of performance management systems: heterogeneity in multinational corporations and management sense-making


Contemporary Accounting Research


Departments: Accounting & Management Control

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