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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Thierry Viale, Yves Gendron and Roy Suddaby

The authors study how communication agencies became important sites for the rise of measurement expertise in the government of consumer conduct following the development…

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Abstract

Purpose

The authors study how communication agencies became important sites for the rise of measurement expertise in the government of consumer conduct following the development of online consumption. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the processes by which digital measurement developed (within the agencies) as a new legitimate form of expertise, able to produce relevant and detailed knowledge about the government of web users.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors carried out a field examination in France, predicated on 100 interviews with actors involved in communication consultancy. Drawing on the concepts of governmentality and inter-jurisdictional experimentation, the authors examine how digital measurement expertise acquired legitimacy within agencies. The authors also analyze how contemporary technologies of measurement and surveillance, as operated by in-house digital experts, provide advertising specialists and advertisers with increasingly precise data on consumer conduct and thought.

Findings

The constitution and legitimization of digital measurement expertise was characterized by experimentation, culminating in the production of persuasive claims of tangibility concerning communication impact, and in relative agreement on the relevance of digital expertise in operating increasingly powerful technologies of measurement and surveillance.

Originality/value

While the role of experts in promoting and implementing neoliberal governmentality is emphasized in the literature, the study indicates that considerable work is needed to develop and legitimize expertise consequent with neoliberalism. Also, the analysis highlights that the spread of digital measurement expertise and knowledge production in the government of web users constitutes a noteworthy step in the neoliberalization of society. Behind the front of “free” conduct lies an increasingly powerful network of technologies and expertise aimed at rendering consumer conduct knowable and predictable.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

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…

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1824

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

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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Claire-France Picard, Sylvain Durocher and Yves Gendron

This paper investigates the strategic processes surrounding the development, in accounting firms, of office (re)design projects and their overarching objectives.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the strategic processes surrounding the development, in accounting firms, of office (re)design projects and their overarching objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors’ investigation relies on a series of interviews with individuals from different accounting firms involved in the decision process related to office (re)design projects. A triangular template made up of strategy, space and time informs the analysis, which the authors complement by relying on a strategy-as-practice integrated framework.

Findings

The authors found that accounting firm office (re)design projects are characterized by a strategic spatial agenda that aims to define and create present organizational time, in ways that embed a particular vision of the future. The analysis brings to light the interrelationships between strategy practitioners, strategy practices and strategic work through which the future is actualized. Office design processes involve not only the physical transformation of office space; they also promote a prominent agenda to modify, in the long run, office members' minds. Hence, office (re)design processes may be conceived of as a significant device in the socialization of accounting practitioners.

Research limitations/implications

This study underscores that spatial strategizing constitutes a major device through which the future is brought into the present. As such, the analysis provides insights not only into the processes through which space transformations take place, but also into their underlying agenda. The latter promotes the advent, in present time, of the organic office of the future.

Practical implications

This analysis brings to the fore a concrete illustration of how the strategy-space-time triangle operates in organizational life. The authors underline the key role played by strategists in charge of designing the office of the future.

Originality/value

This study extends the burgeoning literature whose analytical gaze is informed by the strategy, space, and time triangle.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

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404

Abstract

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Dogui Kouakou, Olivier Boiral and Yves Gendron

This paper aims to examine, through a qualitative study, how auditor independence is socially constructed within the network of individuals involved in the realization of…

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7817

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine, through a qualitative study, how auditor independence is socially constructed within the network of individuals involved in the realization of ISO 14001 audit engagements – ISO auditors, consultants, and managers of certified companies. The paper analysis focuses on the sense-making strategies used by actors within the network to develop and sustain trust (or doubt) in professional independence.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is predicated on a theoretical perspective centered on sense-making processes and the construction of inter-subjective meanings around claims to expertise. Interviews were conducted with 36 Canadian practitioners – including ISO auditors, managers of certification bodies, accreditation inspectors, consultants, and corporate environmental managers – to better understand how confidence into auditor independence is constituted in the flow of daily life within the small group of people involved in the surroundings of ISO 14001 audit engagements.

Findings

Practitioners use a range of sense-making strategies to construct and maintain the belief that IS0 14001 audits meet the professional requirements of auditor independence. As such, the constitution of confidence involves stereotyping, distancing, storytelling and procedural mechanisms that are collectively mobilized in the production of a culture of comfort surrounding the concept of auditor independence.

Originality/value

Through interviews with a range of actors involved in the achievement of ISO 14001 audits, the study provides insight into the production of meaning related to one of the chief claims surrounding auditing expertise, that of professional independence. This paper also points to a lack of self-criticism in the ISO auditing community since practitioners seem disinclined to adopt a reflective attitude of professional skepticism towards the claim of auditor independence.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2020

Lina Xu, Steven Dellaportas, Zhiqiang Yang and Sophia Ji

The aim of this study is to profile interdisciplinary accounting research and the facilitating role played by researchers by probing the characteristics of published…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to profile interdisciplinary accounting research and the facilitating role played by researchers by probing the characteristics of published articles in three leading interdisciplinary accounting research journals, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ); Accounting, Organizations and Society (AOS); and Critical Perspectives on Accounting (CPA).

Design/methodology/approach

Profiling analysis is undertaken with a broad scan of publication descriptors in AAAJ, AOS and CPA between 2005 and 2016. Profiling stems from identifying and quantifying the characteristics of interdisciplinary research, and with further analysis, infer generalisations about its content and the community of interdisciplinary researchers.

Findings

The published output of 1,462 articles is produced by 1,688 authors affiliated with 660 institutions in 52 countries. The two most high-ranking topics are social and environmental accounting and management accounting. The highest-ranked authors are Stephen Walker, Rob Bryer, Lee Parker and Yves Gendron. The most productive universities are the University of London, Cardiff University and the University of Manchester. The countries highly involved in interdisciplinary accounting research are the UK, USA, Australia and Canada.

Research limitations/implications

The data is restricted by the sample of manuscripts based on three interdisciplinary accounting research journals for the period 2005–2016 and does not consider manuscripts published in other accounting and non-accounting journals. Additionally, the process of analysing publication descriptors to generate categorised lists was a complex process that may not be replicated precisely by other researchers.

Practical implications

The results reported in this study can assist researchers interested in interdisciplinary research on what they may expect to read and understand.

Originality/value

The present study profiles interdisciplinary research in accounting to gain a picture of the elements that comprise interdisciplinarity, which, at present, is without empirical investigation.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2014

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…

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3851

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
Publication date: 27 October 2016

Alexandra L. Ferrentino, Meghan L. Maliga, Richard A. Bernardi and Susan M. Bosco

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications…

Abstract

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications in business-ethics and accounting’s top-40 journals this study considers research in eight accounting-ethics and public-interest journals, as well as, 34 business-ethics journals. We analyzed the contents of our 42 journals for the 25-year period between 1991 through 2015. This research documents the continued growth (Bernardi & Bean, 2007) of accounting-ethics research in both accounting-ethics and business-ethics journals. We provide data on the top-10 ethics authors in each doctoral year group, the top-50 ethics authors over the most recent 10, 20, and 25 years, and a distribution among ethics scholars for these periods. For the 25-year timeframe, our data indicate that only 665 (274) of the 5,125 accounting PhDs/DBAs (13.0% and 5.4% respectively) in Canada and the United States had authored or co-authored one (more than one) ethics article.

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-973-2

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2015

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…

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1579

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

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

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…

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4462

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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