Research Seminars

“Globalization of Quantitative Policing: Between Management and Statactivism”

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Emmanuel DIDIER

9 November 2018 - HEC PARIS - Room T015 - From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Information policing seems to be pervading public security police all around
the world. This review asks whether this appellation describes a homogeneous
set of phenomena. Compstat was the first program to massively computerize
policing. The literature reviewed here follows its fate in the United
States and, on a global scale, in France, where the program was imported.
The review successively discusses the perspective of managers who were favorable
to the program and that of “statactivists,” activists who use statistics,
who were opposed to it. Despite the many differences intervened during
the importation process, especially in the balance of expertise and publicity,
some points seem to be common to both contexts, such as the building of
a computer infrastructure, a specific use of the data, and the constructive
tensions between the police institution and its critics.

Tax Incentive Heterogeneity between Shareholders, Voting Rights Power, and Capital Structure

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Paul Pronobis
ESCP Europe Business School

19 October 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Using a sample of public European firms and a multitude of shifts in cross-country taxation data, we examine the influence of individual shareholders’ tax incentives on capital structure. We find that the largest shareholder’s tax incentive for debt positively influences leverage. We also find that the second-largest shareholder’s tax incentive for debt is incrementally relevant for leverage. However, tax incentive heterogeneity between shareholders reduces the positive influence of the largest shareholder’s tax incentive on leverage. Finally, we document that the relevance of the largest shareholder’s tax incentive for capital structure decisions is increasing in the level of voting rights power.

Accounting, Simultaneity and Relative Completeness: The Sales and Operations Planning Forecast and the Enactment of the "Flow of the Product".

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Reaven YU
University of Sydney

12 October 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

This is a study of the dynamic relations between accounting and an object it enacts. It analyses the construction of a Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) forecast which is involved in attempts to coordinate laterally interdependent production and sales processes (a ‘flow of the product’) which ‘strike back’ and challenge accounting’s inscriptions hereof. This is important because much literature on accounting’s precariousness focuses primarily on how managers read, talk and make sense of accounting when realities it re-presents are absent. This paper analyses accounting when its development and role is an effect of a dynamic interaction with the ‘flow of the product’ which continually reveals new subsistence to be taken into account by accounting. The analysis finds that not only accounting but also the subsistence of the ’flow of the product’ have histories which meet and develop new accountings at so-called crossing points. The study makes two contributions. Firstly, it shows that when realities are ontologically multiple, such as the ‘flow of the product,’ accounting proliferates but neither substitutes a previous one nor competes with other ones; accounting accumulates and become multiple. Therefore, many accountings co-exist in a temporality of simultaneity rather than in one of succession. Here, accountings inscribe the many different time-spaces that proliferate because of the requirement of adaptation to many others with different time-space horizons due to the principle of lateral coordination. Secondly, the study proposes relative completeness as a complementary mechanism to that of incompleteness and instability. Relative completeness here refers to a situation where accounting co-exists with the subsistence of reality that it develops into a decision opportunity. Accounting exists side by side of the subsistence that it makes visible in planning terms. Absences are performative under relative completeness because they have been discovered, inscribed, delegated and topologised along with accounting. Accounting and subsistence are both part of the realities enacted as the ‘flow of the product.’

Accounting for violence: Heterogeneous interests, the crafting of distinctions, and accounting

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Kalle Kraus
Stockholm School of Economics

14 September 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

This paper examines how accounting is implicated in the crafting of distinctions with a view to understanding how sporting organisations manage heterogeneous and potentially conflicting interests. We do so in the context of accounting for violence, examining legislation concerning the payment by Swedish elite football clubs of policing costs with respect to public safety and order on match day. The Public Order Act (1993) stated such costs were payable by entities with a “profitable purpose”. However, the meaning of a profitable purpose has been subject to ongoing contestation by football clubs, which are required to manage both the commercial interests of male elite football and the extensive amateur interests embedded in overarching voluntary sport organisations. Callon and Muniesa’s (2005) proposition guides our research; the materialisation of distinctions is central to accounting in a context of conflicting interests. We follow the crafting of distinctions between the responsibility for the payment or non-payment of policing costs in the Swedish premiere league between 1999-2014. Our narrative is informed by documentary and interview data, which focuses on one of the high-risk Stockholm clubs. We highlight the constructed and contested materiality of the distinctions informing accounting calculations. Our research also has practical implications for sports administrators, demonstrating the importance of distinctions and the role of accounting in managing the potentially contradictory and heterogeneous interests associated with sporting clubs.

Disclosure and Financing Choice: PIPEs vs. SEOs

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Shiva Sivaramakrishnan
Rice University

15 June 2018 - HEC Paris - Room X120 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Firms in competitive industries have natural incentives to avoid wide dissemination of proprietary information. We test this proprietary cost hypothesis (PCH) by examining the impact of corporate disclosure policy on a firm’s equity financing choice between Private Investments in Public Equity (PIPEs) and Seasoned Equity Offerings (SEOs). PIPEs offer firms a way to share proprietary information privately with a small group of investors. We employ several concentration and competition constructs to proxy for proprietary costs, but fail to find support to this hypothesis. Consistent with the literature, our results indicate that an “urgent need for cash” explains firms’ choice of PIPEs over SEOs. We also find that firms that choose SEOs over PIPEs are characterized by higher holdings by dedicated institutions, transient institutions and quasi-indexers. However, the PCH does not receive support even after controlling for these other determinants of the financing choice. Finally, we estimate a two-stage endogenous treatment-effect model to explain discounts associated with PIPEs and SEOs. Preliminary results indicate that discounts are lower when unobservables (e.g., private information) seem to influence the choice of PIPE over SEO.

Parent−Subsidiary Common Managers and Corporate Tax Planning

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Xin Wang
Hong Kong University

8 June 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

As an interesting but neglected governance mechanism of a firm’s subsidiaries, corporate headquarters managers often take a position in significant subsidiaries (“parent-subsidiary common manager” hereafter), either as the board member or the operations manager. These parent-subsidiary common managers have direct access to divisional information and, therefore, possess greater knowledge useful for them to identify tax opportunities and coordinate tax-motivated activities across business units. Using senior executives’ subsidiary positions disclosed in Chinese listed firms’ annual reports, we examine the impact of parent-subsidiary common managers on corporate tax planning and find a lower effective income tax rate for firms appointing common managers. Additional analyses show that the tax-avoiding effect of common managers is more pronounced for firms with more intangible assets, more related-party transactions involving subsidiaries, and more diversified business. Moreover, we find stronger effects for those common managers who take a position in economically significant subsidiaries or subsidiaries entitled to preferential tax treatments. The effect is also stronger when common managers work as operations managers of the subsidiaries. Collectively, our study is the first to analyze the appointment of parent-subsidiary common managers and to show the impact of such an appointment on corporate decisions.

Accounting for tacit coordination

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Hendrik Vollmer
University of Leicester

25 May 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T020 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Tacit coordination is a pervasive aspect of accounting practice. This paper teases out insights on tacit coordination from existing scholarship, starting with studies of everyday life accounting, then turning to professional practice. It develops an understanding that, in the application of rules and accounting standards, in producing, framing, auditing and using statements, records, apologies or excuses, accounting practitioners tacitly coordinate towards the passing of accounts. This passing can be articulated in terms of structures, agencies and processes of tacit coordination involved in making accounting happen. The implications of this understanding of accounting practice and the importance of the wider domain of enquiry it is indicating are discussed with respect to the stewardship position of accounting professionals and to the further development of accounting theory. The paper identifies a need for broad-based forms of accounting theory to support accounting practitioners in the stewardship of silence and provide an antidote against the idea that any account, any slice of information, or any amount of ‘big data’, could speak for itself – or that it should.

“Processing the Future: Venture Project Evaluation at the American Research and Development Corporation (1946–1973)”

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Martin Giraudeau
LSE/Sci. Po

4 May 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T025 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

This chapter is an analysis of the project appraisal procedures in place at American Research and Development Corporation (ARD) between 1946 and 1973, under the management of Georges F. Doriot. It shows the importance of knowledge technologies and administrative procedures in the way the venture capital company dealt with uncertain futures. The origins of these knowledge practices are traced back to Georges F. Doriot’s own views on business, and more generally to the pragmatist movement in business administration, of which he was a member. The conduct of project appraisal at ARD is then observed directly, and this reveals its reliance on a rich set of knowledge and diagnostic techniques, as well as administrative procedures. These observations allow for a specification of the nature and role of imagination in the entrepreneurship and venture capital practices examined here—in particular, its close relationship with organized knowledge.

“States of Mind: the many forms of government influence on the Accounting Profession in China”

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Crawford Spence
King’s College London

20 April 2018 - HEC Paris - T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Literature examining dynamics between the State and the Accounting Profession is well established and points towards the crucial interrelations between the two. However, this literature evinces an occidental orientation, privileging the notion of a State characterised by self-limiting, liberal ideology and that is captured by dominant interests. An extension of this view portrays professional bodies as largely autonomous from State structures and effectively avatars for said dominant interests. This paper starts from the premise that studying State-Profession dynamics in China has the potential to invigorate this literature given the non-liberal, expansive nature of the Chinese State and the situation of a professional body that is effectively under the tutelage of the Ministry of Finance. Drawing on archival analysis and interviews with over 60 regulators, State actors, practitioners in local and foreign firms in China, we show that the State successfully shapes the accounting profession by performing multiple roles: as field-maker, as regulator and as a consumer of accounting services. Accounting firms, in turn, need to develop variable strategies in order to successfully position themselves in the face of this complexity. Conceptually, this permits us to demonstrate that the State is a deep rooted cultural phenomenon existing in the cognitive structures of key actors in the accounting field in China, thereby drawing attention to further reaching forms of State influence than have hitherto been recognised in extant literature analysing State-Profession dynamics.

Strategic trading at the preopening after earnings announcements

Accounting & Management Control

Speaker: Shai Levi
Tel Aviv University

23 March 2018 - HEC Paris - Room T004 - From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Prior literature finds the price adjustment after earnings announcements is not immediate. This paper shows that informed investors act strategically to prevent their information from immediately affecting prices after announcements. Specifically, we examine the price discovery at the preopening auction after earning announcements. We show that traders place more orders at the end of the preopening after earnings announcements, a behavior that reduces the market’s ability to learn their information, and we find they profit from these late orders.