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


Journal of Professions and Organization


Departments: Management & Human Resources, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Leadership and the Logic of Absurdity


Academy of Management Review


Departments: Management & Human Resources

Leaders are often thought to be instrumental to the performance of the organizations they lead. However, considerable research suggests that their influence over organizational performance might actually be minimal. These claims of leader irrelevance pose a puzzle: If leaders are relatively insignificant, why would someone commit to leading? Applying decision-making theory, this paper first considers justifying the decision to lead according to the Logics of Consequence and Appropriateness—the two principal decision-making logics underlying previous work on the motivation to lead. The paper then presents the Logic of Absurdity, a decision-making logic in which decision-makers knowingly choose to dedicate themselves to an irrational course of action. In terms of the decision to lead, a decision-maker employing the Logic of Absurdity acknowledges the likely futility of leading but decides to commit to leading, nonetheless. The paper concludes by considering when leaders are most likely to decide to lead according to the Logic of Absurdity and why doing so may result in leadership of exceptional originality, foolishness, intelligence, and madness

Who’s Watching? Accountability in Different Audit Regimes and the Effects on Auditors’ Professional Skepticism


Journal of Business Ethics


Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS), Management & Human Resources

Keywords: Accountability Auditors Professional skepticism Joint audit Judgment Experiment Int

The European Commission has suggested that the use of joint audits should lead to improved auditor skepticism and—by extension—audit quality, throughincreased accountability. However, archival research does not find support for improved audit quality in a joint audit setting. To better understand the relationship between accountability in different review regimes and auditors’judgments, we examine the behavioral effect of implementing a joint audit relative to other review regimes based on a 1 9 3 experimental design. Forty-seven senior auditors and partners from a Big Four firm performed a goingconcern evaluation task under one of three review regimes: the joint audit, the internal review, and the no review regime. Notwithstanding the difference in the audiences to which auditors are accountable, there is no difference in thejudgment process. In terms of their judgment outcome, however, auditors in the joint audit setting were the least skeptical in their judgment of the going concern assumption. Overall, we suggest that the joint audit may lead tounintended behavioral consequences

A helping hand is hard at work: Help-seekers' underestimation of helpers' effort


Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

March 2017, vol. 139, pp.18-29

Departments: Management & Human Resources

Keywords: Help effort, Help-seeking, Social judgment, Prosocial behavior, Decision-making

Whether people seek help depends on their estimations of both the likelihood and the value of getting it.Although past research has carefully examined how accurately help-seekers predict whether their helprequests will be granted, it has failed to examine how accurately help-seekers predict the value of thathelp, should they receive it. In this paper, we focus on how accurately help-seekers predict a key determinantof help value, namely, helper effort. In four studies, we find that (a) helpers put more effort intohelping than help-seekers expect (Studies 1–4); (b) people do not underestimate the effort others willexpend in general, but rather only the effort others will expend helping them (Study 2); and (c) thisunderestimation of help effort stems from help-seekers’ failure to appreciate the discomfort—in particular,the guilt—that helpers would experience if they did not do enough to help (Studies 3 & 4)

Better together: using meta-analysis to explore complementarities between ecological and institutional theories of organization


Organization Studies

November 2017, vol. 38, n°11, pp.1573-1601

Departments: Management & Human Resources, GREGHEC (CNRS)

While sharing intellectual ancestry, organizational ecology and institutionalism are rarely used conjointly to explain population dynamics. A rapprochement would nevertheless be fruitful, as the parsimonious models developed by ecologists are better able to explain organizational founding and failure when enriched with institutional variables. We present a meta-analysis of density dependence theory, which predicts a non-monotonic relationship between population density and organizational vital events. We show that ecology and institutionalism are ‘better together’ by extending this ecological framework in four institutionalism-inspired ways. First, we show that the effects of density on organizational vital rates are moderated by two conceptions of time: ecological ‘clocks’ and institutional ‘eras’. Second, we argue that the socio-political legitimacy of organizational forms, a concept with strong institutional roots, exacerbates density-related founding while attenuating failure. Third, we illustrate how the emergence of prototypical categories in organizational fields can increase the magnitude of density effects. Fourth, we highlight how these socio-political legitimacy and categorization effects are conditioned by ecological clock time. We close by proposing a concise agenda for future research, aimed at finding a better balance between the generality and explanatory power of our most trusted organizational theories. © 2017, © The Author(s) 2017