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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

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Article

Melanie Roussy and Marion Brivot

The purpose of this paper is to characterize how those who perform (internal auditors), mandate (audit committee (AC) members), use (AC members and external auditors) and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize how those who perform (internal auditors), mandate (audit committee (AC) members), use (AC members and external auditors) and normalize (the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)) internal audit work, respectively make sense of the notion of “internal audit quality” (IAQ).

Design/methodology/approach

This study is predicated on the meta-analysis of extant literature on IAQ, 56 interviews with internal auditors and AC members of public or para-public sector organizations in Canada, and archival documents published by the IIA, analyzed in the light of framing theory.

Findings

Four interpretative schemes (or frames) emerge from the analysis, called “manager,” “éminence grise,” “professional” and “watchdog.” They respectively correspond to internal auditors’, AC members’, the IIA’s and external auditors’ viewpoints and suggest radically different perspectives on how IAQ should be defined and controlled (via input, throughput, output or professional controls).

Research limitations/implications

Empirically, the authors focus on rare research data. Theoretically, the authors delineate four previously undocumented competing frames of IAQ.

Practical implications

Practically, the various governance actors involved in assessing IAQ can learn from the study that they should confront their views to better coordinate their quality control efforts.

Originality/value

Highlighting the contrast between these frames is important because, so far, extant literature has predominantly focussed on only one perspective on IAQ, that of external auditors. The authors suggest that IAQ is more polysemous and complex than previously acknowledged, which justifies the qualitative and interpretive approach.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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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

Keywords

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Article

Mouna Hazgui and Yves Gendron

The purpose of this paper is to extend research on contemporary forms of oversight surrounding professional work in an era characterized by increased skepticism regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend research on contemporary forms of oversight surrounding professional work in an era characterized by increased skepticism regarding professional claims and the rise of independent regulatory authorities. The authors investigate the interplay between key actors as well as the shifting role boundaries in a distinct regulatory space, following the introduction of a new public oversight framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis draws on the notions of regulatory space and boundary work to better understand the development of independent audit oversight in France. The authors adopted an interpretive approach to conduct a longitudinal case study based on 33 interviews and documentary data produced from 2003 to 2012.

Findings

The study provides a narrative of the boundary work carried out by the French audit profession as it tried to reinvent its role in the new regulatory order. In the case, boundary work engendered a hybrid regulatory pattern, named “co-regulation,” reflecting both the logic of independent regulation and the logic of self-regulation. The main consequence of this is that zones of mutual involvement were constructed – thereby suggesting that to become a reality, independent oversight of professional work needs to accept some operational dependence from professionals.

Originality/value

The study illustrates the elusiveness of boundaries surrounding actors’ role within contemporary forms of professional regulation. More generally, hybrid development suggests that professions are proactive and, to some extent, successful when it comes to developing alliances and manipulating changes within their regulatory space.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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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

Keywords

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