Is the Global Harmonization of Sustainability Reporting Possible?
Companies are increasingly encouraged, or obliged, to report on their sustainability efforts. However, there is little harmonization across the many sustainability standard-setting organizations. In their latest study, Accounting Professors Hervé Stolowy and Luc Paugam of HEC Paris set out to create a picture of the status of sustainability reporting standards today, and what they really mean. Three key findings: Lack of standards harmonization: A significant lack of harmonization in sustainability reporting standards pose challenges for consistent communication of companies' sustainability efforts. Diverse objectives: Standard-setting organizations have diverse objectives, complicating efforts to establish a globally standardized approach to sustainability reporting. Carbon emissions disclosure: One exception may be carbon emissions disclosure, with convergence in the greenhouse gas emission protocol being adopted by most organizations.
What Influences Pharmaceutical Companies to Disclose Clinical Trial Results... Or Not?
As many as 83% of clinical trial results do not reach the public domain within one year of their trial end date (Anderson et al, 2015). Many never even make it at all. Why do so many pharmaceutical companies hesitate to disclose their (valuable) results? Could the behavior of their peers and competitors have something to do with it? To address these questions, a study on firms sponsoring clinical trials was carried out by Professor Vedran Capkun of HEC Paris, and his co-authors Yun Lou, Clemens A. Otto, and Yin Wang, all from Singapore Management University.
Carbon Accounting for Decarbonization Strategy: the Colas Case
How to improve and digitalize carbon accounting at the service of a decarbonization strategy? A new business case on carbon accounting by Associate Professor of Accounting and Management Control Hélène Löning and graduate Floriane Desbordes of HEC Paris, co-authored by Jean-Pierre Francisco from Colas company, has been published on the Case Centre platform. This two-part business case intends to stimulate a discussion on the forthcoming regulation on carbon reporting, and discusses the carbon accounting practices of Colas, builder of large infrastructure projects.
Cryptocurrency Affair Reflects Complex Interplay between Off-Chain Practices and Blockchain Accounting
Since December 2022 and the arrest of Sam Bankman Fried in 2023, the FTX founder has been at the heart of a scandal rocking the world of cryptocurrencies and the on-chain features that underpins its entire existence. But it is also illustrating the impact of off-chain factors involved in blockchain operations. These off-chain characteristics are forms of communication and coordination that need to happen for the technical activities of the blockchain to function. Recent research by professors Dane Pflueger (Assistant Professor in the accounting department HEC Paris), Martin Kornberger (Vienna University) and Jan Mouritsen (Copenhagen Business School) helps to shed light on the complexities surrounding FTX’s accounting. The academics’ December 2022 publication in the European Accounting Review, explores the issues of governance, organizing, and trust that buttress the blockchain accounting systems. In a long interview from his HEC campus near Paris, Pflueger challenges the notion some have that blockchain technology does not need intermediaries like accountants to function.
Lean Startup: Why Do So Many New Startups Follow the Same Development Philosophy?
When we think of startups, we think of fresh, ideas-led businesses that seek to break the mold in how they do things or in what they produce. But when it comes to their business practices and values, it seems that, rather than being pioneers of innovation, many startups adhere to very similar ways of doing things: following the Lean Startup philosophy. A recent study from researchers in management accounting and control Sebastian D. Becker of HEC Paris and Christoph Endenich of ESSEC Business School shows why this is the case.
Creative Destruction Lab Tackles AI and Geopolitics in Historic Super Session
Around 1,200 participants congregated in Toronto for the first in-person CDL Super Session in four years. The two-day event featured intense exchanges between startups from the 24 CDL streams, mentors, researchers and academics. There were equally hard-hitting exchanges on AI, geopolitical shifts in innovation and the advancement of humanlike intelligence. HEC Paris sent a strong delegation to Canada to exchange on its growing involvement in this objective-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage companies.
Artificial Intelligence for Business & Society
Make AI Your Ally
Artificial Intelligence has a potentially disruptive impact on organizations, firms, and society at large. The latest mind-boggling illustration came with the discovery of chatGPT’s mesmerizing results in November 2022. This followed a fall of investments in AI last year in Silicon Valley. From analyzing data in one’s business to increasing customer engagement and replacing humans in routine tasks across industries, AI is becoming more relevant to our lives and economy every day. Everyone talks about it, but do we really understand its opportunities and threats? And how can we make the best out of it, whilst ensuring that ethical requirements are met?
Can ESG Save Life on Earth? Key Lessons
ESG, a tool used to quantify sustainability, is exposed to criticism and allegations of greenwashing. In this RESKILL Masterclass session, Hélène Löning, HEC Paris Associate Professor of Accounting , argues that, despite its struggles and flaws, ESG can help make companies more accountable towards all stakeholders and society, not just investors. She shares with viewers detailed insights into ESG metrics. The Masterclass was recorded on June 29, 2023, and is available on YouTube here. You can also find all the questions and comments in the LinkedIn live.
How Inclusive Corporate Culture Matters in the #MeToo Era
Gender diversity in corporate boards of directors has long been on the agenda, but whether and when investors reward companies that make efforts towards such inclusion remains an open question. Researchers in Accounting Crystal Shi (HEC Paris), April Klein and Mary Brooke Billings (New York University) investigate whether the #MeToo movement had an impact on investors' perceptions of the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive corporate culture, as reflected by the gender makeup of corporate boards.
How The Market Power of Credit Rating Agencies Influences the Ratings they Publish
Global credit rating agencies (CRAs) play an important role in economic growth or decline. Generous credit ratings may allow businesses to take on too much debt, at risk of defaulting. Overcautious ratings can hinder their access to finance, stifle investment, slow growth. A study by award-winning HEC Paris researcher Professor Pepa Kraft and collaborators in the U.S. and Hong Kong suggest that CRAs ratings are influenced by their country-level market share.