PhD Dissertations

Yin WANG, Accounting and Management Control, 2018

Empirical essays in Financial Accounting

Advisor(s): Vedran CAPKUN


This dissertation is composed of three chapters investigating the antecedents andconsequences of corporate disclosure in the domain of empirical-archival financial accounting. Thefirst chapter examines the real effects of firm disclosure and its timing on firm advertisinginvestment. The second chapter presents a joint project with Vedran Capkun and Yun Lou,exploring intra-industry peer disclosure of proprietary information as antecedents of corporatedisclosure decision at product level. The third chapter, joint work with Thomas Bourveau and Vedran Capkun, documents the real consequences of pharmaceutical firms’ clinical trial disclosure in financial markets and on broader society.

Delphine GIBASSIER, Accounting and Management Control, 2014

Environmental Management Accounting Development in France: from institutions to implementation into companies

Advisor(s): Hélène LONING


This dissertation explores the notion of environmental management accounting innovation and aims to explore how they are created, if they are adopted or not into companies and the consequences thereof, and finally how they are practiced. Research methods combine participant observation, semi-structured interviews and secondary data. This dissertation is composed of three articles that together explore the different facets of management accounting innovations. The first article tackles the question of how innovations get created and on their path to institutionalization. The focus is on the actors and their strategies, the who and how of the institutionalization process. Through an in-depth case study of one organization, the second article uncovers the process of the non-adoption of a carbon accounting methodology. The third article analyses the practices surrounding and accounting innovation in a multinational.Overall, this dissertation makes three main theoretical contributions on the specific institutional work developed by elite, the role of internal legitimacy in organizational legitimacy, and on the processes of co-emergence of new practices. This research on EMA innovations also contributes to further understanding how sustainable development can be pursued through accounting in organizations

CELINE BAUD, Accounting and Management Control, 2013

Credit under Basel II: a neoliberal device for financializing credit relationships in practices

Advisor(s): Eve CHIAPELLO


How does international regulation organize credit activities ? In order to address this question, this thesis analyzes the regulatory standards for assessing and controlling credit risks defined by the 2004 reform of the Basel Agreements on Capital Adequacy, the so-called Basel II Agreements, and it traces the genealogy of these standards from where and when they have been constructed – in the Basel Committee from 1998 to 2004 - down to their effects on the daily practices of a bank. The thesis describes the transnational community and the liberal project that launched the Basel Agreements reform process. Then it analyzes the regulatory framework itself and suggests that Basel II marks a shift within the regulatory regime of credit risk. Indeed it demonstrates that the norms are embedded in a financialized representation of credits and that they are implemented following a neoliberal mode of government. Finally, the thesis investigates how the new norms have been translated into a french cooperative bank specialized in SME lending and it concludes that the new regulatory framework is actively participating in the disembeddedness and in the financialization of credit relationships.

Nathalie STEMPAK, Accounting and Management Control, 2013

Capitalism, Mutualism and Democracy in the Insurance Sector: Srategizing and The Issue of Change in a French Mutuality

Advisor(s): Eve Chiapello


EMNA BEN SAAD, Accounting and Management Control, 2011

Le jugement sur l'auditeur : contribution à l'étude de l'indépendance en apparence de l'auditeur

Advisor(s): Cédric LESAGE


"Where was the auditor?" is one of the first questions raised by investors when they suffer losses. The auditors complain about critical media and to have their responsibility blamed in this kind of situation. By mobilizing the attribution theory, we study the judgment on the auditor made by shareholders through the perception of independence in the case of the disclosure of accounting fraud. We hypothesize that this judgment is justified by the audit expectations. We use a laboratory experiment. We ask 93 MBA students (acting as a shareholder) and 136 auditors to assess the responsibility of the auditor and auditee in a case of accounting fraud. We manipulate the implication factors of the auditor and the auditee. Our results report a systematic over-attribution to the auditor that is mainly justified by the a priori confidence given to the auditor. Additional results are presented and discussed.

Marc DE BOURMONT, Accounting and Management Control, 2009

Les études portant sur les déterminants d’une publication volontaire d’informations au sein des rapports annuels : une approche analytique et méthodologique appliquée à la recherche et au développement

Advisor(s): Hervé STOLOWY


Hugo-Alejandro CORDOVA-DIAZ, Accounting and Management Control, 2009

La cohésion et la cohérence de l’équipe de direction comme catalyseurs du changement dans les organisations publiques. Le cas de l’Université de Quintana Roo

Advisor(s): Michel FIOL


The eighteen months research-action is aimed at understanding how public university management could be result-oriented. The research-action took place in a Mexican public university, considered as a loosely coupled and bureaucratic organization. Following Jose Luis Pech’s (2003) proposals, the impacts of the OVAR (“Objective, Variable of Action, Responsible”) perspective on the cohesion, coherence and performance of top management teams were measured. This research-action experience allows to identify the interplay of the interaction between the individual and the group, and the interaction between teleological and axiological rationalities in the top managers’ behaviour. Following an analysis of the decision making process, these interactions make possible, on one hand, the use of hierarchical authority and managers’ participation in the decision making process; and on the other hand, they make possible individual responsibility and collective commitment. Furthermore, in order to put these interactions and their impact on the dependent variables into perspective, the concepts of passive cohesion and active cohesion, procedural cohesion and substantive cohesion are used. The standpoint is that giving coherence to the actions of a top management team is a recursive process that supposes implicating its members in a permanent process of adjustment applied to their motivations, interests and partial results, in order to ensure the logical connection between the various functions of the elements of a team. This connection should ensure that the fulfilment of individual objectives constitute the greatest contribution to reaching collective goals. Thus, cohesion and coherence are, at the same time, the defining qualities of the relationship between the members of a team, and requirements of the team’s collective action. The research-action produces enough evidence to validate four out of Pech’s five proposals concerning the relationship between cohesion and coherence. Nevertheless, these results did not confirm the Pech’s second proposition. In this experience, the sustained reinforcement of coherence can have a negative effect on cohesion. Therefore, the relationship between cohesion and coherence is neither hyperbolic nor dialectic. Based on this evidence, we can formulate the following hypothesis:¿ Cohesion and coherence exert a simultaneous and reciprocal influence on each other.¿ Cohesion and coherence evolve jointly and have an independent trajectory

Marion BRIVOT, Accounting and Management Control, 2008

Une auto-rationalisation douce du travail par le knowledge management dans les firmes de services professionnels : le cas d’un cabinet d’avocats français

Advisor(s): Veronique MALLERET


This dissertation concerns the use of first-generation knowledge management systems (KMS) in professional service firms and analyzes the implications of this use (1) for professional work and (2) for the organizational control of professional work. The socio-ethnographic study carried out in a large Parisian business law firm from 2005 to 2008 suggests that using KMS makes it possible to mass-customize and standardize the delivery of certain types of professional services. It also shows that work rationalization operates at various levels simultaneously: formally, substantively, theoretically and practically.It is revealed that using KMS fosters a false sense of administrative control over the efficient use of production resources and over the consistency of work deliverables. Counter-intuitively though, social and self-controls of work are reinforced rather than weakened through using KMS. These results lead us to claim that a “soft rationalization” of work is taking place, both consented and endured by the users. These empirical results have theoretical implications in an emerging research domain: the mutual influence of knowledge management and organizational control of professional work (Morris and Empson, 1998; Ditillo, 2004; Turner and Makhija, 2006).

Alexander NIESS, Accounting and Management Control, 2008

Proposition d'une nouvelle approche pour appréhender l'incitation dans les organisations à travers l'idée du pouvoir-agir

Advisor(s): Michel FIOL


My thesis proposes to show that the current conception of incentives – especially in agencytheory – as “will to act” is insufficient because it neglects the “capacity to act” of persons.Being interested in incentives exclusively as a corrective of the (bad) will of agents, agencytheory eliminates questions related to the ways people feel capable of doing and designatethemselves as authors of their own action as a precondition of responsibility taking. Thus itrisks supporting management and control measures which actually impair capacity and buildincapacity. Effectively, in the extant accounting and control literature imputation ofresponsibility is going unidirectionally from the principal to the agent, without taking intoaccount the corresponding necessity for the agent to impute to himself the responsibility forhis actions. In order to develop a complete and coherent epistemological and methodologicalresearch framework which responds to the challenge posed by this perspective, the thesismobilizes the contributions of Paul Ricoeur who defines the sources of the sentiment ofcapacity, of Kantian esthetics which shows its mechanism, and of personal construct theoryand of repertory grid technique introduced by George Kelly for its empirical treatment.

Henri GUENIN, Accounting and Management Control, 2008

Le travail réel des auditeurs légaux

Advisor(s): Michel FIOL


In my thesis, I seek to better understand the work actually done by statutoryauditors when they are on site with clients, different from the task they are required toexecute. For that sake, I adopt the conceptual framework and the clinical methodology ofFrench ergonomics. In order to collect my data, I followed 7 audit teams of a “Big Four”,which enabled me to accumulate 455 hours of observation and to interview 31 auditors. Idefend that contrary to what most people think, financial statements do not constitute themain object of auditing work. This work rather focuses on handling diverse forms of fear,consists in managing numerous contradictions, and eventually in covering up its actualnature. What it conceals is as important as what it reveals. In a Girardian perspective,statutory auditing has consequently more to do with ritual than with science, and auditorscan be seen as modern pharmakoi, that is scapegoats.