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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2017

Michel Coulmont, Sylvie Berthelot and Marc-Antoine Paul

The purpose of this study is to document the concrete practices put in place by United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) affiliated firms and their application of the UNGC…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to document the concrete practices put in place by United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) affiliated firms and their application of the UNGC Communication on Progress (COP).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the practices implemented by firms on the Fortune 500 list that have affiliated with the UNGC and issued a COP separate from their annual report or a sustainable development report. According to the UNGC, the COP policy sets out a description of practical actions the company has taken or plans to take to implement the ten principles.

Findings

The findings tend to show that firms affiliated with the UNGC use a variety of practices to integrate these principles. Many adopt policies based on an international standard relating to a UNGC principle. However, the reporting process supported by the UNGC does not seem to fully promote the widespread application of these practices.

Originality/value

The documentation of these practices will serve as a reference for any business interested in adopting the UNGC principles or for government and non-government organisations, including accounting standard setters, aiming to promote and support the universal principles on human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. In addition, the study reveals weaknesses in the UNGC COP policy that could limit more extensive application of these practices.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Michel Coulmont, Kamille Lambert and Sylvie Berthelot

Despite the global nature of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), a platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible and sustainable corporate policies…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the global nature of the UN Global Compact (UNGC), a platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible and sustainable corporate policies and practices, the participation of organisations is unequally distributed across societies. This paper aims to explore the relationship between national cultures, as defined by Hofstede, and organisations voluntarily affiliating with the UNGC.

Design/methodology/approach

This study tests the relationship between national culture and firm affiliation with the UNGC using data derived from Hofstede’s works and information available on the UNGC website and other websites and accounting databases, covering 282 firms in 30 countries on 4 continents.

Findings

The results indicate that firms in countries with high individualism or high masculinity rankings are more likely to affiliate with the UNGC. In addition, organisations in countries with less uncertainty avoidance, short-term orientation and high restraint are also more likely to affiliate with the UNGC.

Originality/value

The results are interesting for initiatives like the UNGC. The development strategies and democratisation tools developed by this initiative will have to take into account the specific cultural features of different countries.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Sustainability Disclosure: State of the Art and New Directions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-341-9

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Sylvie Berthelot, Claude Francoeur and Réal Labelle

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between corporate governance practices or mechanisms and firm value, as measured by accounting and market data.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between corporate governance practices or mechanisms and firm value, as measured by accounting and market data.

Design/methodology/approach

Partial least square analyses were performed on a sample of 355 observations from 199 Canadian listed companies. The greater variability allowed under the Canadian principles‐based institutional setting than under the rules‐based USA SOX environment is well‐suited for these tests.

Findings

Results suggest that some governance practices, namely the percentage of independent directors on the board, the use of stock options and the frequency of board meetings are significantly and negatively related to the firm's net book value or income. However, most individual governance practices appear to have no significant impact on the firms’ market value.

Research limitations/implications

The potential interrelationships between corporate governance practices and contextual variables are not specifically taken into account, except for the firms’ industrial sector. It is also possible that certain governance mechanisms jointly impact firm value.

Practical implications

This study does not support the current emphasis by regulators on governance practices which mainly concern the monitoring function of the board as opposed to its strategic one.

Originality/value

The paper uses Canada as a laboratory where companies are “invited” rather than “required” to follow corporate governance best practices. This greater corporate discretion in the choice of governance practices provides the variability necessary to test the effect of governance on firm value. Furthermore, in the interest of triangulation, a model seldom seen in the governance literature is used to examine the impact of governance mechanisms on firm value and performance, as measured by accounting and market data.

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Sylvie Berthelot, Tania Morris and Cameron Morrill

This paper aims to examine whether the corporate governance rankings published by a market information intermediary are reflected in the values that investors accord to firms.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether the corporate governance rankings published by a market information intermediary are reflected in the values that investors accord to firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Panel data from 289 Canadian firms in the four‐year period 2002‐2005 were analyzed using a price model.

Findings

The results suggest that the corporate governance rankings published by the market information intermediary are related to not only firm market value, but also to accounting results.

Practical implications

This study provides empirical observations that would be useful for various organizations involved in the regulation of corporate governance practices and the standardization of relevant data elements.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by demonstrating that information published by an information intermediary is reflected in firm market values. Moreover, this information appears to be related to the accounting results. Thus, good governance rankings are reflected in the accounting results.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 9 May 2012

Anne Fortin and Sylvie Berthelot

This study uses an experimental approach to examine how the perceptions and decisions of prospective nonprofessional investors are influenced by risk disclosures in the…

Abstract

This study uses an experimental approach to examine how the perceptions and decisions of prospective nonprofessional investors are influenced by risk disclosures in the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A). The between-subjects experiment used 157 MBA students as nonprofessional investors. The participants were given a firm's financial statements. In addition, the experimental group received the section on risk in the MD&A, whereas the control group did not receive any part of the MD&A. The participants were then asked to make several investment assessments and a final investment decision. The results show that the information included in the risk section of the MD&A has a significant negative effect on perceptions of the firm's future performance, a significant positive influence on perceptions of the stock's risk, and a marginally significant negative effect on the investment decision. The effect on the investment decision is mediated by respondents' perceptions of the firm's future performance and stock risk. By providing evidence on the effect of risk disclosures on nonprofessional investors' investment decision-making process, this study can help professional bodies and national market regulators understand how some market participants react to risk information provided under their regulations. In fact, the results indicate that there is little to be gained by firms voluntarily providing these risk disclosures. This would seem to support the fact that disclosure of risk information needs to be mandated by market regulators.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-758-1

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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2016

Sylvie Berthelot and Janet Morrill

We document the relationship between size, the presence of a full-time accountant, strategy, and the adoption of management control systems (MCSs) in small- and…

Abstract

Purpose

We document the relationship between size, the presence of a full-time accountant, strategy, and the adoption of management control systems (MCSs) in small- and medium-sized Canadian manufacturing enterprises (SMEs).

Methodology/approach

Using survey results from 247 Canadian SMEs, we use partial least squares to holistically test our model and also present data for each MCS.

Findings

We find that the presence of a professional accountant is strongly associated with the adoption of MCSs and is a significant explanatory variable more often than either size or strategy.

Research limitations/implications

While the impact of organization and strategy has been extensively studied within large organizations, we investigate these relationships within SMEs. Additionally, we investigate the impact of having a full-time accountant, a constraint unique to SMEs due to their limited resources.

Limitations include the fact that we likely have a significant survivor bias as the average age of our sample firms was 30 years. Our analysis of nonresponse bias does not allow us to conclude that such a bias did not exist. Also, it is possible that some respondents believed they had a certain MCS when others might think they did not.

Practical implications

This study will be of interest to owners/managers of manufacturing SMEs, their advisors, and economic development agencies. Our study also has implications for accounting education as most students will work for SMEs.

Originality/value

Few studies have documented the MCSs adopted by North American SMEs, and none have considered the impact of the presence of a full-time accountant.

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Book part
Publication date: 3 November 2015

Abstract

Details

Sustainability Disclosure: State of the Art and New Directions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-341-9

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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2016

Abstract

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-972-5

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Book part
Publication date: 9 May 2012

Abstract

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-758-1

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