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Article

Marion Brivot, Yves Gendron and Henri Guénin

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how a constellation of actors seek to define, shape, and reinvent the notion of organizational control at the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how a constellation of actors seek to define, shape, and reinvent the notion of organizational control at the confluence of social media (SM) and corporate reputational risk.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the approach suggested by Janesick (1998) and Denzin and Lincoln (1998), the authors undertook an in-depth qualitative analysis of a large number of data sources including interviews, best-selling books by renowned SM specialists, relevant press articles drawn from a Factiva search, and documents published by the Big Four firms and professional accounting institutes in Canada on how organizations should use SM to protect their reputational capital.

Findings

Four competing SM reputational risk control perspectives inductively emerged from the analysis: the Beyond Control frame, the Subveillance frame, the De-territorialization frame, and the Re-territorialization frame, with large accounting firms and professional accounting institutes especially promoting the latter.

Originality/value

The control literature has been criticized by many scholars as being in urgent need of updating. By inductively theorizing four original control frames in the SM arena, the research aims to move management control research in new directions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Henri Guénin-Paracini, Yves Gendron and Jérémy Morales

– This paper aims to better understand why neoliberal governance is so resilient to the crises that frequently affect all or part of the economy.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to better understand why neoliberal governance is so resilient to the crises that frequently affect all or part of the economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The argument of this paper relies on a macroanalysis of discourses surrounding the Global Financial Crisis.

Findings

Drawing on Girard and Foucault’s work, this paper argues that the resilience of neoliberalism partly ensues from the proclivity of this mode of governing to foster, for reasons that this paper seeks to highlight, spontaneous and widespread processes of scapegoating in times of turmoil. As a consequence of these processes, crises often are collectively construed as resulting from frauds: the blame is focused on specific actors whose lack of morality is denounced, and this individualizing line of interpretation protects the regime from systemic questioning.

Practical, social and political implications

Particular actors, rather than the system itself, are made accountable when things go wrong. Consequences are paramount. Today’s political economy is characterized with a proclivity toward social reproduction. While substantive change is possible in theory, considerable challenges are involved in practice in overcoming the dominance of neoliberalism in society.

Originality/value

Although Girard’s work has exerted significant influence over a number of disciplines in the social sciences, his ideas have not yet been widely used in governance and accountability-related research. Anthropological theorizations – such as those proposed by Girard – are valuable in providing us with a sense of how power develops in the economy.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article

Richard Baker

The purpose of this Special Issue of Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management is to focus on qualitative research in accounting from a North American perspective…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this Special Issue of Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management is to focus on qualitative research in accounting from a North American perspective. The goal is to highlight the possibility of greater contributions to qualitative research in accounting from researchers based in North America and to highlight some significant contributions produced by authors in North American universities in the qualitative domain.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual in nature.

Findings

This sample of North American qualitative research in accounting provides an example of some of the different types of qualitative work being done. In most respects the articles are similar to qualitative research being done in other parts of the world. Perhaps the key difference is that the research has been undertaken for the most part by senior researchers who have been able to take some risks with a research paradigm that may not be widely accepted at their universities or they may be fortunate to be located at universities which value such research.

Originality/value

The paper broadens the view of qualitative research to North America where it appears that qualitative research has been relatively undervalued in recent years.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Corporate Fraud Exposed
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-418-8

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Article

Marie-Soleil Tremblay, Yves Gendron and Bertrand Malsch

Drawing on Bourdieu’s (2001) concept of symbolic violence in his work on Masculine Domination, the purpose of this paper is to examine how perceptions of legitimacy…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on Bourdieu’s (2001) concept of symbolic violence in his work on Masculine Domination, the purpose of this paper is to examine how perceptions of legitimacy surrounding the presence of female directors are constructed in the boardroom, and the role of symbolic violence in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors carried out the investigation through a series of 32 interviews, mostly with board members in government-owned, commercially focussed companies in Québec. The study was conducted in the aftermath of the adoption of a legislative measure aiming to institute parity in the boardroom of government-owned companies.

Findings

The analysis suggests that perceptions of legitimacy are predicated on two main discourses, as conveyed through board members when interpreting the presence of female directors. In the first discursive representation, feminine gender is naturalized and mobilized by participants to support (quite oftentimes in a rather apparent positive way) the distinctive contributions that femininity can make, or cannot make, to the functioning of boards. In the second discourse (degenderizing), the question of gender disappears from the sense-making process. Women’s presence is then justified and normalized, not because of their feminine qualities, but rather and uniquely for their competencies.

Research limitations/implications

While, from a first level of analysis, the main discourses the authors unveiled may be considered as potentially enhancing women’s role and legitimacy within boards, from a deeper perspective such discourses may also be viewed as channels for symbolic violence to operate discreetly, promoting certain forms of misrecognition that continue to marginalize certain individuals or groups of people. For example, the degenderizing discourse misrecognizes that a focus on individual competency contests overlooks the social conditions under which the contesters developed their competencies.

Practical implications

Provides awareness and a basis for directors to understand and how symbolic power covertly operates in apparently rationalized structures of corporate governance and challenge assumptions.

Social implications

Implications in terms of policy making to promote board diversity are discussed. This is particularly relevant since many countries around the world are considering affirmative-action-type regulation to accelerate an otherwise dawdling trend in the nomination of women on boards.

Originality/value

The research is the first to empirically address the notion of gendering in the boardroom, focussing on the construction of meanings surrounding the “legitimate” female director. The study is also one of few giving access to a field where a critical mass is attained, allowing the authors to investigate perceptions regarding the extent to which the order of things is altered in the boardroom once formal parity is established. Finally, the study sensitizes the authors further to the pertinence of investigating how symbolic power covertly operates in today’s society, including within apparently rationalized structures of corporate governance.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article

Claire-France Picard, Sylvain Durocher and Yves Gendron

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relative cultural shift from professionalism to commercialism in the accounting profession, based on an analysis of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relative cultural shift from professionalism to commercialism in the accounting profession, based on an analysis of the promotional brochures used by the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Québec), over the last 40 years, to attract new members.

Design/methodology/approach

The study's specific objectives are: to examine accountancy's cultural representations depicted in promotional brochures; to evaluate the extent to which these representations are indicative of the commercialist shift as documented in the literature; and to establish whether the representations under study provide further insight into the nature of the cultural shift. Drawing on the semiotic approach developed by Roland Barthes, the authors' analysis is predicated on the idea that promotional brochures and advertisements, though often simple in appearance, constitute complex representations that convey meaningful information about influential values and cultural change.

Findings

The authors found that commercial values are increasingly apparent through the celebration of multidisciplinary services and the emphasis on generous compensation and high dynamism.

Originality/value

Barthes' framework was especially useful to analyze the interplay between images and text to gain insight into the historical emergence of what has become the accountant's representation of today. As such, this study points to promotional representations participating to the inculcation of a cosmopolitan culture, where the internationalization of business is supposedly natural, inevitable, and beneficial to everyone. The authors' research also highlights the increasingly significant role played by marketing experts in designing professional institutes' brochures, consistent with the broader view of marketization as a key trend within the accounting industry.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part

Cheryl R. Lehman

This paper is intended as an overview and think piece, contributing to literature identifying accounting’s impact in making things knowable. Critical accounting research…

Abstract

This paper is intended as an overview and think piece, contributing to literature identifying accounting’s impact in making things knowable. Critical accounting research has always sought alternative ways of understanding the discipline and the legacy is extended here by considering pathways forward. Accounting continually impacts public policy in what it privileges for selecting and in what it silences and neglects. Given that humans are meaning-making we have choices, and this essay interrogates accounting techniques operating as façades while disguising social impacts. Promoting qualitative accounting research that reimagines these complexities and considers moral contexts is the substance of this essay, for advancing the public interest in accounting.

Details

Resistance and Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-993-4

Keywords

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Article

Mark Eshwar Lokanan and Indy Aujla

The purpose of this paper is to argue for an integrated explanation of financial fraud. Greater emphasis must be placed on the structural and situational factors that are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue for an integrated explanation of financial fraud. Greater emphasis must be placed on the structural and situational factors that are the elements of fraud risks and fraud.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a review of the literature on the explanation of financial fraud. Both micro- and macro-theoretical explanations of fraud were analysed to allow for a broader picture of the types of individuals that were involved in fraud, the rules governing their conduct and the types of law they broke.

Findings

The main reason why people commit fraud is that their crime propensity interacts with the elements present in criminogenic environments. Indeed, because most of the research on structural theories of fraud focuses on general criminality, not much has been done in the area of financial fraud. More research needs to be carried out to excavate the subterranean cluster of narrative on fraud risks and fraud.

Research limitations/implications

To address the future contingency of fraud risks, the paper adopted a similar position of prior accounting research on financial crimes. The structural explanation of fraudulent behaviour considers individuals’ actions to be less the result of individual deviance and more the cause of societal forces. Structural theories take into consideration the individual psychology of the offenders and position it to reflect the various realities – institutional, structural and cultural life – they are caught up in. Future research must endeavour to address these concerns.

Originality/value

The manuscript is among a new stream of literature that addresses the structural elements of financial fraud.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

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Article

Frerich Buchholz, Reemda Jaeschke, Kerstin Lopatta and Karen Maas

The purpose of this paper is to examine how CEO narcissism can be related to the usage of an abnormal optimistic tone in financial disclosures. Drawing on upper echelons…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how CEO narcissism can be related to the usage of an abnormal optimistic tone in financial disclosures. Drawing on upper echelons theory, this paper suggests a link between CEO characteristics, such as narcissism, and accounting choices, such as optimistic financial reporting language.

Design/methodology/approach

To measure the narcissistic trait of a CEO, the study builds on a model using a set of 15 archival indicators. The usage of an abnormal optimistic tone is assessed quantitatively when looking at firms’ 10-K filings, where “abnormal” refers to tone that is unrelated to a firm’s performance, risk, and complexity. This approach allows for the use of firm-fixed effects for a sample of US listed firms over the period 1992-2012.

Findings

The results show that CEO narcissism is significantly positively related to abnormal optimistic tone in 10-K filings. If a highly abnormal optimistic tone is present, the level of CEO narcissism is positively related to the likelihood of future seasoned equity offerings and larger future investments in research and development.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are relevant for shareholders and stakeholders as well as auditors and legislators. All stakeholders should be aware of the overly optimistic reporting language resulting from CEO narcissism and need to make allowances for it when assessing firm performance based on financial disclosures.

Originality/value

This study is the first to show in a large-scale sample how CEO narcissism can be related to a firm’s use of optimistic language, and thus contributes to the question of how personality traits affect an organization’s financial reporting strategy.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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