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Articles

Alleviating Managerial Dilemmas In Human-Capital-Intensive Firms Through Incentives: Evidence From M&A Legal Advisors

O. CHATAIN, P. MEYER-DOYLE

Strategic Management Journal

February 2017, vol. 38, pp.232-254

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Human-Capital-Intensive Firms, Human Capital, Managerial Dilemmas, Incentives, Capabilities, Micro-foundations, Mergers and Acquisitions, Law firms

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2693097


We examine how human-capital-intensive firms deploy their human assets and how firm-specific human capital interacts with incentives to influence this deployment. Our empirical context is the UK M&A legal market, where micro-data enable us to observe the allocation of lawyers to M&A mandates under different incentive regimes. We find that law firms actively equalize the workload among their lawyers to seek efficiency gains while ‘stretching’ lawyers with high firm-specific capital to a greater extent. However, lawyers with high firm-specific capital also appear to influence the staffing process in their favor, leading to unbalanced allocations and less sharing of projects and clients. Paradoxically, law firms may adopt a seniority-based rent-sharing system that weakens individual incentives to mitigate the impact of incentive conflicts on resource deployment

Assembling international development: Accountability and the disarticulation of a social movement

D. MARTINEZ AHLOY, DAVID COOPER

Accounting Organizations and Society

February 2017, vol. 63, pp.6-20

Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Accountability, Social movements, International development, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Governmentality, Assemblages

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361368217300120


This paper examines how international development funding and accountability requirements are implicated in the so-called disarticulation of a social movement. Based on field studies in Guatemala and El Salvador, we show and explain the way accountability requirements, which encompass management and accounting, legal, and financial technologies, constitute the field of international development through the regulation of heterogeneous social movement organizations. We highlight how accountability enables a form of governance that makes possible the emergence of entities (with specific attributes), while restricting others. Our analysis has implications for governmentality studies that have examined the interrelation of assemblages by analyzing how these interrelations are operationalized at the field level through the Deleuze-and-Guattari-inspired processes of territorialization, coding, and overcoding

Better Safe than Sorry: Subsidiary Performance Feedback and Internal Governance in Multiunit Firms

m SENGUL, T. OBLOJ

Journal of Management

November 2017, vol. 43, n°8, pp.2526-2554

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Directed by: Special Issue: Resource Allocation and Strategy

Keywords: autonomy, governance, incentives, organization design, performance feedback, resource allocation, structural adaptation


This paper explores the link between subsidiary performance feedback and internal governance mechanisms in multiunit firms. A central premise of performance feedback models is that performance below aspirations is associated with increased risk tolerance and thereby with a higher likelihood of taking excessive risks in resource allocation decisions. Building on this observation, we contend that the headquarters of multiunit firms take this association into account in the design of internal (i.e., headquarters-subsidiary) governance mechanisms. Accordingly, a subsidiary’s performance-aspiration gap (below aspirations) is positively associated with the headquarters’ oversight of its resource allocation decisions and negatively associated with the provision of incentive schemes that promote risk taking. Regression results, using data on subsidiaries in France between 1998 and 2004, support our hypotheses and show that subsidiaries performing below historical and social aspirations are less likely to be given discretion in investment decisions and incentivized by cash bonuses. In the supplementary analyses we also provide suggestive evidence that subsidiary performance problems in multiunit firms trigger structural adaptation in the internal governance mechanisms in pursuit of regaining fit

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

M. LANDER, P. P. M. A. R. HEUGENS

Organization Studies

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

Departments: Management & Human Resources, GREGHEC (CNRS)

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0170840616677629


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

Effects of inter-group status on the pursuit of intra-group status

J. W. CHANG, Rosalind CHOW, Anita WOOLLEY

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

March 2017, vol. 139, pp.1–17

Departments: Management & Human Resources, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Inter-group status; Intra-group status; Cooperation; Competition

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749597816301418


This research examines how the status of one’s group influences intra-group behavior and collective outcomes. Two experiments provide evidence that, compared to members of low-status groups, members of high-status groups are more concerned about their intra-group standing, which in turn can increase both the likelihood of competitive and cooperative intra-group behavior. However, whether the desire for intra-group standing manifests via competitive versus cooperative behavior depends on the relevance of the task to the group’s inter-group standing. When the task is not clearly relevant to the group’s status, members of high-status groups are more likely to engage in competitive behavior out of a desire to manage their intra-group status, which, in turn, leads to less desirable collective outcomes. However, when the group’s status is at stake, members of high-status groups seek intra-group status via cooperative behavior, leading to better collective outcomes.

Estimating Value Creation from Revealed Preferences: Application to Value-Based Strategies

O. CHATAIN, D. MINDRUTA

Strategic Management Journal

October 2017, vol. 38, pp.1964-1985

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: buyer–supplier relationships; client-speciceconomies of scope; cooperative game theory; revealedpreferences; value-based strategy


We develop and apply a new set of empirical tools consistent with the tenets of value-based business strategies, leveraging the principle that “no good deal comes undone” and the methods of revealed preferences to empirically estimate drivers of value creation. We demonstrate how to use these tools in an analysis of value creation in buyer–supplier relationships in the UK corporate legal market. We show how the method can uncover evidence of subtle mechanisms that traditional methods cannot easily distinguish from each other. Furthermore, we show how these estimates can be used as parameters of biform games for out-of-sample analyses of strategic decisions. With readily available data on relationships between firms, this approach can be applied to many other contexts of interest to strategy researchers

Fair and Equitable Treatment in Investor-State Dispute Settlement: A New Interpretative Framework

D. RESTREPO AMARILES, A. VAN WAEYENBERGE

Journal of Business Law

2017, vol. 8, pp.632-650

Departments: Tax & Law, GREGHEC (CNRS)


The fair and equitable treatment (FET) standard has become the cornerstone of investor-state dispute settlement, and one of the most disputed notions in international business law. With investors facing increasing uncertainty, and states moving closer to denouncing treaties they see as limiting their sovereign right to regulate, FET has come to pose a significant risk to the entire investor-state dispute resolution system. This paper outlines an alternative way to consider FET, by acknowledging its thick and indeterminate character as a legal standard. It argues that previous traditional taxonomies have inherent limitations, and that practitioners should instead seek to understand the FET standard through the lens of the rule of law. The paper offers an analysis of the jurisprudence of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to show that three principles of the rule of law – due process, legal certainty, and the prohibition of arbitrariness – constitute an operational and certain, yet flexible framework of interpretation for the application of the FET standard

Media bias and the persistence of the expectation gap: An analysis of press articles on corporate fraud

J. COHEN, Y. DING, C. LESAGE, H. STOLOWY

Journal of Business Ethics

September 2017, vol. 144, n°3, pp.637-659

Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Expectation gap, Media bias, Corporate fraud, Management behavior, Press, Fraud-related professional standards

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-015-2851-6


Prior research has documented the continued existence of an expectation gap, defined as the divergence between the public’s and the profession’s conceptions of auditor’s duties, despite the auditing profession’s attempt to adopt standards and practices to close this gap. In this paper, we consider one potential explanation for the persistence of the expectation gap: the role of media bias in shaping public opinion and views. We analyze press articles covering 40 U.S. corporate fraud cases discovered between 1992 and 2011. We compare the auditor’s duties, described by the auditing standards, with the description of the fraud cases as found in the press articles. We draw upon prior research to identify three sources of the expectation gap: deficient performance, deficient standards, and unreasonable expectations. The results of our analysis provide evidence that (1) the performance gap can be reduced by strengthening auditor’s willingness and ability to apply existing auditing standards concerning fraud detection; (2) the standards gap can be narrowed by improving existing auditing standards; and (3) unreasonable expectations, however, involve elements beyond the profession’s sphere of control. As a result, the expectation gap is unlikely to disappear given the media’s tendency to bias, with an overemphasis of unreasonable expectations in their coverage of frauds and press articles tending to reinforce the view that the auditor should take more responsibility for detecting fraud, irrespective of whether this is feasible at a reasonable cost. In addition to the primary role of the press in perpetuating the expectation gap, a second reason for continuation of the expectation gap is that the rational auditor will have difficulty in assessing subjective components of fraudulent behavior.

Public-Private Collaboration, Hybridity and Social Value: Towards New Theoretical Perspectives

B. QUELIN, I. KIVLENIECE, S. LAZZARINI

Journal of Management Studies

September 2017, vol. 54, n°6, pp.763-792

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: cross-sector collaboration, hybrid arrangements, interorganizational governance,organizational design, public-private partnerships, social value


Focusing on the collaboration intersecting public, non-profit and private spheres ofeconomic activity, we analyse the conceptual forms of hybridity embedded in these novel inter-organizational arrangements, and link them to different mechanisms of creating social value. Wefirst disentangle alternative notions of hybrid arrangements in existing literature by proposing aconceptual typology on two theoretically complementary yet distinct dimensions: hybridity ingovernance and hybridity in organizational logics. We show how both forms of hybridity canjointly occur in complex public-private and cross-sector collaborations, and propose the notion ofvalue as a crucial bridging point between these perspectives. Crucially, we develop a conceptualframework on key theoretical mechanisms leading to economic and social value in these inter-organizational collaborations. Our work deepens the understanding of how diverse, hybrid formsof collaboration can create value and builds critical links between previously disparate streams ofliterature on public-private interaction, cross-sect or collaboration and social enterprises

Strategic Investment in Renewable Energy Sources: The Effect of Supply Intermittency

S. AFLAKI, S. NETESSINE

Manufacturing & Service Operations Management

Summer 2017, vol. 19, n°3, pp.489-507

Departments: GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Electricity Generation, Renewables, Intermittency, Capacity Planning and Investment, Incentives and Contracting

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2661582


To analyze incentives for investing in the capacity to generate renewable electricity, we model the trade-off between renewable (e.g. wind) and nonrenewable (e.g. natural gas) technology. Renewable technology has a higher investment cost and yields only an intermittent supply of electricity; nonrenewable technology is reliable and has lower investment cost but entails both fuel expenditures and carbon emission costs. With reference to existing electricity markets, we model several interrelated contexts - the vertically integrated electricity supplier, market competition, and partial market competition with long-term fixed-price contracts for renewable electricity - and examine the effect of carbon taxes on the cost and share of wind capacity in an energy portfolio. We find that the intermittency of renewable technologies drives the effectiveness of carbon pricing mechanisms, which suggests that charging more for emissions could unexpectedly discourage investment in renewables. We also show that market liberalization may reduce investment in renewable capacity while increasing the overall system's cost and emissions. Fixed-price contracts with renewable generators can mitigate these detrimental effects, but not without possibly creating other problems. In short: actions to reduce the intermittency of renewable sources may be more effective than carbon taxes alone at promoting investment in renewable generation capacity

The Effect of Business and Financial Market Cycles on Credit Ratings: Evidence from the Last Two Decades

G. LOBO, L. PAUGAM, H. STOLOWY, P. ASTOLFI

Abacus

March 2017, vol. 53, n°1, pp.59-93

Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Business cycles; Credit rating agencies; Financial marketcycles; Investor reaction


We analyze the effect of business and financial market cycles on creditratings using a sample of firms from the Russell 3000 index that are ratedby Standard and Poor’s over the period 1986–2012. We also examine inves-tor reaction to credit rating actions in different stages of business andfinancial market cycles. We document that credit rating agencies areinfluenced by business and financial market cycles; they assign lower creditratings during downturns of business and financial market cycles andhigher ratings during upturns. Our study is the first to find strong evidenceof pro-cyclicality in credit ratings using a long window. We also documentstronger investor reaction to negative credit rating actions during down-turns. Our results confirm theoretical predictions and inform regulators

The Effect of Joint Auditor Pair Composition on Audit Quality: Evidence from Impairment Tests

G. LOBO, L. PAUGAM, D. ZHANG, J.-F. CASTA

Contemporary Accounting Research

Spring 2017, vol. 34, n°1, pp.118-153

Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Joint Audits, Audit Quality, Auditor Independence, Impairment Testing, Conservatism


Using a sample of firms from France, where the law requires the use of two auditors, we study the effect of auditor pair composition on audit quality by examining a specific account, goodwill impairment. We document that firms audited by a Big 4–non-Big 4 auditor pair (BS) are more likely to book an impairment and book a larger impairment than firms audited by a Big 4–Big 4 auditor pair (BB) when low performance indicators suggest a greater likelihood of impairment. Moreover, firms audited by a BB pair reduce impairment disclosures when they book impairments, while firms audited by a BS pair do not, suggesting lower transparency for firms audited by a BB pair. Our results inform investors and firms in mandatory joint audit regimes, as well as regulators who are considering requiring joint audits.

The expanding domain of strategic management research and the quest for integration

R. DURAND, R. M. GRANT, T. L. MADSEN

Strategic Management Journal

January 2017, vol. 38, n°1, pp.4-16

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: literature reviews; paradigm; scholarly field; fragmentation, integration


This special issue of Strategic Management Journal was motivated by concern that the growing scope and diversity of the strategic management field creates the risk of incoherence and fragmentation and the belief that research reviews could contribute to synthesis and integration. In this introductory essay, we address the expanding domain of strategic management, consider where its boundaries lie, identify the forces engendering fragmentation, and discuss how this special issue—and research reviews in general—can assist convergence within the field of strategy. We conclude by addressing the potential for integration more broadly in relation to the theories we deploy, the phenomena we investigate, and cohesiveness of our scholarly community

The Recursive Nature of Institutional Change: An Annales School Perspective

M. CLEMENTE, R. DURAND, T. ROULET

Journal of Management Inquiry

January 2017, vol. 26, n°1, pp.17 - 31

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Annales School, Institutional change, Institutional logics, Events

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2805362


In this essay, we propose a recursive model of institutional change building on the Annales School, one of the 20th century’s most influential streams of historical research. Our model builds upon three concepts from the Annales—mentalities, levels of time, and critical events—to explore how critical events affect different dimensions of institutional logics and exert short- or long-range influences. On these bases, organizations make choices, from decoupling to radical shifts in logics, leading to severe institutional changes that become the matter of history. As much as organizations are influenced by events and the prevalent institutional logics, their choices trigger macro-level changes in a recursive manner. More broadly, we comment on how fruitful is our approach to historicize organization studies

Towards an Integrated Framework of Professional Partnership Performance: the Role of Formal Governance and Strategic Planning

M. LANDER, P. P. M. A. R. HEUGENS, J. VAN OOSTERHOUT

Human Relations

November 2017, vol. 70, n°11, pp.1388-1414

Departments: Management & Human Resources, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: client attraction and retention, human capital, managed professional business, professional partnership, reputational capital


Conventional wisdom identifies human capital and organizational reputation as the critical resources explaining professional partnership (PP) performance. PPs have increasingly adopted organizational practices like strategic planning and formal governance, however, which have long been alien in highly professionalized contexts. In order to test the influence of both these classic resources and the newly adopted practices on PP performance, as well as the mediating mechanisms— that is, client attraction and retention as well as organizational efficiency—through which this influence is channeled, we develop an integrated theoretical framework of PP performance. We test the resulting hypotheses using survey and objective data collected on 196 Dutch law firms. Our findings provide new insights into the drivers of PP performance and the complex interrelationships between PP resources and newly adopted practices

Where Do Market Categories Come From and How? Distinguishing Category Creation from Category Emergence

R. DURAND, M. KHAIRE

Journal of Management

January 2017, vol. 43, n°1, pp.87-110

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: market category, category formation, strategic agency

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2833208


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

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