Research Paper Series

  • Title
  • Author(s)


Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

After having made a purchase decision, consumers often revisit their choice and ponder forgone alternatives. This tendency can cause regret and lower satisfaction with the selected alternative, especially when choices are difficult. This paper introduces the concept of choice closure, defined as the psychological process by which consumers come to perceive a decision to be final. Choice closure inhibits consumers’ propensity to reconsider the decision process after a choice has been made and to engage in unfavorable comparisons between the chosen and the forgone options. Four studies show that physical acts that are metaphorically associated with the concept of closure — such as covering or turning a page on the rejected alternatives — trigger choice closure for choices made from large sets and result in greater satisfaction. These findings suggest that subtle cues, which do not alter the actual choice context, can improve consumers’ satisfaction with a difficult decision.


Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Thankfully, most product consumption experiences are positive. Unfortunately, however, those positive experiences are not always guaranteed to occur, and defects creep into the consumer experience. Though its assertion runs counter to most prescriptions, the current research proposes that exposing consumers to the mere possibility of these negative experiences, occurring in a consumption sequence increases consumers’ happiness with those experiences overtime. Six studies demonstrate this effect and further show that this effect is driven by hedonic responses as a result of favorable uncertainty resolution. That is, with the mere possibility of a negative experience, a consumer, who actually experiences a positive outcome, is likely to feel relief or pleasantness from not having to experience the negative experience. This research enriches existing literature on hedonic adaptation and uncertainty and has significant implications for consumer behavior.

Keywords: hedonic adaptation, happiness, uncertainty, favorable uncertainty resolution


Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Prior research provides mixed evidence on whether the transition to IAS/IFRS deters or contributes to greater earnings management (earnings smoothing). The dominant explanation for the conflicting results is self-selection. Early voluntary adopters had incentives to increase the transparency of their reporting in order to attract outside capital, and, therefore, earnings management (smoothing) went down after adoption, while those firms that waited until IFRS adoption became mandatory in EU countries lacked incentives for transparent reporting leading to increases in earnings management (smoothing) after IFRS adoption. We argue that IAS/IFRS standards changed substantially from the early voluntary adoption period to the mandatory adoption year (2005). Compared to earlier IAS/IFRS standards and many countries’ domestic GAAP standards, we maintain that the IFRS standards that went into effect in 2005 provide greater flexibility of accounting choices because of vague criteria, overt and covert options, and subjective estimates that are allowed under these principle-based standards. We argue that this greater flexibility coupled with the lack of clear guidance on how to implement these new standards has led to greater earnings management (smoothing). Consistent with this view, we find an increase in earnings management (smoothing) from pre-2005 to post-2005 for Early Adopters and Late Adopters in countries that allowed early IAS/IFRS adoption, and for Mandatory Adopters in countries that did not allow early IFRS adoption. Our major findings hold after eliminating firms more likely to have mechanically-induced increases in earnings smoothing properties as a result of IFRS adoption and across countries with and without concurrent improvements in enforcement of accounting standards. We also find that firms from countries with less (more) local GAAP flexibility exhibit greater (less) evidence of increases in earnings smoothing following mandatory adoption of IFRS standards in 2005. Collectively, our results suggest that the increased flexibility of new IAS/IFRS standards and lack of clear guidance in implementing these standards are major factors that explain earnings management (smoothing) changes around IFRS adoption.

Keywords: IFRS, earnings management, smoothing


Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Chapters are a mix of theory, how to conduct institutional organizational analysis and empirical work.


Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We conceptualize the roots of cognitive, linguistic, and communicative theories of institutions and outline the promise and potential of a stronger communication focus for institutional theory. In particular, we outline a theoretical approach that puts communication at the heart of theories of institutions, institutional maintenance, and change, and we label this approach communicative institutionalism. We then provide a brief introduction to the set of articles contained in the Special Topic Forum on Communication, Cognition, and Institutions and describe the innovative theorizing of these articles in the direction of communicative theories of institutions. Finally, we sketch a research agenda and further steps and possibilities for theory and research integrating communication and institutions.


Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

The fundamental questions we address are whether firms with a higher initial forecasting ability are able to accurately revise the exit forecasts of their investments; and how co-investment partners and value-adding commitment with their investment influence the main effect. We explore these questions with novel and unique data collected via mixed research methods on venture capital firms’ forecasts of 114 portfolio companies. We find that venture capital firms that are better at making initial forecasts are less effective in revising their forecasts. In addition, while the number of co-investment partners positively moderate this relationship, venture capital firms’ value-adding commitment moderates it negatively. Our findings contribute to the literature on organizational forecasting as well as inter-organizational knowledge transfer and knowledge creation. They also provide novel insights into venture capital literature and practice.


Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

This paper reviews several streams of research on market category formation. Most past research has largely focused on established category systems and the antecedents and consequences of categorical positioning (i.e. categorical purity vs. spanning; combination vs. replacement) but relatively ignored the formative processes leading to new categories. In this review, we address this lacuna to posit that scholarship would benefit from clearly disentangling category emergence from category creation. We analytically describe the differences between the two and elaborate the boundary conditions that guide and define which process is more likely to occur in a given market. Our review contributes to illuminating the role of organizational agency and strategic actions in market categories and their formation, which deserve greater attention due to their theoretical and practical implications.

Keywords: market category, category formation, strategic agency


Departments: Finance, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We analyze the nature and the implications of debt financing of political campaigns. Debt is a significant source of funding of political campaigns. Almost half of all campaigns rely on some form of debt. Indebted politicians raise more funds, especially from special interest groups, in subsequent election cycles. Moreover, indebted legislators who receive funds from labor organization are more likely to take pro-labor policy positions in Congress. This evidence is consistent with the view that indebted politicians trade political favors in return for additional campaign funds from special interest groups. The results suggest that debt distorts political decision making by forcing indebted politicians to cater to contributors’ demands.

Keywords: debt financing, political campaigns, political decision making


Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Scotland is the first jurisdiction in the world to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol to reduce consumption. The relevant industry did not hesitate to challenge this new alcohol control policy before courts. The ensuing judgment contains a wealth of insights stemming from regulatory autonomy to proportionality review. What is the role of a national court in the review of national measures restricting free movement? In particular, how should it review the proportionality of those measures when adopted on public health grounds, and on the basis of what evidence? What is the burden of proof that the relevant Member State must discharge? Those are essentially the questions referred by a Scottish court to the Court of Justice when called upon to determine the compatibility with EU law of Minimum Unit Prices for alcohol introduced by the Scottish Government. Although rather recurrent in the Court’s free movement case law, the question of the standard of review, and corresponding burden of proof epitomises the struggle currently faced by national courts in striking the right balance between the proper functioning of the market and due recognition and protection of national regulatory autonomy. As such, this preliminary reference offered an opportunity to address “the information gap on what the Court of Justice expects defendant States to establish” in order to justify their measures under the proportionality stages of free movement analysis. But there is more. This case also raises deeper epistemic and methodological questions faced by any court of law when asked to review the proportionality, and in particular the necessity, of an individual policy intervention that belongs to a wider ‘political strategy’. Indeed, those strategies – as exemplified in the present case by the Scottish policy designed to combat the devastating effects of alcohol – generally entail the enactment of a full ‘regulatory mix’ of policy interventions. In those circumstances, how can we pinpoint the effect of a given policy option when it is part of a set of measures? How can we distinguish the effect, in terms of health gains deriving from a drop in alcohol consumption, to be ascribed to the introduction of MUP when such a measure coexists with other measures (more than 40 in Scotland) that have been introduced? And what when the contested measure has never been tested before? While this judgment confirms the gradual empirical turn made by the Court in its own review of the proportionality of national restrictive measures, it also provides some pragmatic guidance on how national courts may realistically engage in that review. Given the growing number of Member States ready to experiment with new policies aimed at tackling inter alia lifestyle risk factors, such as tobacco use, harmful consumption of alcohol and unhealthy diets, this appears as welcome development. Ultimately, the ensuing number of national restrictive measures of trade enacted on public health grounds, such as the UK standardised packaging for cigarettes, its sugar tax or the Hungarian ‘fat tax’, is set to put to test the Court’s approach towards both the qualification of those measures as restrictions and their justification under EU law.

Keywords: EU law, proportionality, tax, minimum unit pricing, alcohol, lifestyle, NCD, precautionary principle, risk regulation, judicial review


Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Previous research suggests that when social exclusion is communicated in an explicit manner, consumers express preferences for helping, whereas when it is communicated in an implicit manner, they express preferences for conspicuous consumption. However, this may not always hold true. In the present research, we put forward a theoretical framework explaining that exclusion effects depend on the extent to which exclusion is communicated in a culturally normative or counter-normative manner, rather than whether it is communicated in an explicit or implicit manner. We show that exclusion communicated in a cultural norm-congruent manner produces preferences for helping, whereas exclusion communicated in a cultural norm-incongruent manner produces preferences for conspicuous consumption. We further show that the differential needs – self-esteem and power – threatened by normative and counter-normative exclusion explain these distinct preferences.


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