PhD Thesis Defence, Accounting and Management Control
Date: July 1, 2019, 2.00pm, Campus HEC Paris, Room S210
Thesis Topic: Imagining Performance Measurement Systems: On the Field-Level Construction of a Compensation Algorithm in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
Supervisor: Professor Keith Robson, HEC Paris
This thesis examines the field-level imagining of Performance Measurement Systems in the pharmaceutical sector. By means of an extended participant observation in a Big Pharma company and interviews in the pharmaceutical sector, the three articles of this thesis explore the intra- and extra-organizational influences that act upon the shape and rationales of the compensation systems pharmaceutical companies operate for their sales-force. The first article explores accounting systems as emerging from a set of dramatized inscriptions that stage, frame, and mediate interaction among the different actors,internal and external to the organization, that participate in the fabrication of a compensation algorithm. The second article theorizes in what way moral imaginaries are constituted into accounting objects, and how accounting acts as a moral mediator. It shows emergent performance measurement systems as moral calculating devices that are shaped by, and engage with, the contrasting moral imaginaries of heterogeneous designers. The third paper brings the concern with how performance measurement systems
emerge and stabilize in the context of markets,to explore the field-level accounting infrastructures that enable organizational actors to visualize, account for, and act upon the market when the market is invisible to its participants. For performance measurement systems to work in a market, it is suggested, they require field-level collaboration, constructed opacities, and processes of marketization and de-marketization of actors’ identities.