A new forum for innovative thinking
The Centre produces research that is of interest to leading accounting and management periodicals. Our work would not be possible without the help of the advisory board, the Ivey Business School faculty, and a number of students and other staff.
Gibassier, D.; Rodrigue, M.; Arjalies, D-L. 2018, "'Integrated Reporting Is Like God: No One Has Met Him, but Everybody Talks About Him.' The Power of Myths in the Adoption of Management Innovations", Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, July 31(5): 1349 - 1380.
Abstract: Purpose: This paper analyzes the process through which an IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Council) pilot company adopted "integrated reporting" (IR), a management innovation that merges financial and non-financial reporting. brbr Designmethodologyapproach: We use a seven-year longitudinal ethnographic study based on semi-structured interviews, observations, and documentary evidence to analyze this multinational company's IR adoption process from its decision to become an IIRC pilot organization to the publication of its first integrated report. brbr Findings: We demonstrate that the company envisioned IR as a "rational myth" (Hatchuel, 1998 Hatchuel and Weil, 1992). This conceptualization acted as a springboard for IR adoption, with the mythical dimension residing in the promise that IR had the potential to portray global performance in light of the company's own foundational myth. The company challenged the vision of IR suggested by the IIRC to stay true to its conceptualization of IR and eventually chose to implement its own version of an integrated report. brbr Originalityvalue: We enrich previous research on integrated reporting and management innovations by showing how important it is for organizations to acknowledge the mythical dimension of the management innovations they pursue to support their adoption processes. Based on these findings, we argue that myths can play a productive role in transforming business (reporting) practices. We also identify some transition conditions that make this transformation possible and discuss the implications of these results for the future of IR, sustainability and accounting more broadly.
Arjalies, D-L.; Bansal, P. 2018, "Beyond numbers: How investment managers accommodate societal issues in financial decisions", Organization Studies, June 39(5-6): 695 - 725.
Abstract: Investment managers use financial numbers to assess the quality of their portfolios, which requires them to estimate the market value of their assetsi.e., the priced exchange for which such assets could be traded. Prior research has shown that investment managers are likely to disregard information that does not easily integrate into such analysis, such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. We undertook a three-year ethnography of an asset management company to better understand how investment managers respond to ESG criteria. We found that fixed-income investment managers attempted to include ESG criteria in their financial models by financializing the data, so that the information commensurated with their existing models. Equity investment managers, on the other hand, did not financialize ESG issues, but introduced the use of visuals, specifically emojis, to incarnate ESG issues, so that the equity managers could juxtapose ESG criteria with financial criteria. In doing so, they created a sense of dissonance between financial numbers and the visuals, which fostered creative friction. The equity managers were thus able to analyze the ESG criteria not only for their financial insights but also to retain some of the social and environmental information that could not be financialized. We discuss the implications of these findings for the research on financialization and calculative devices.
Persson, M. E.; Radcliffe, V. S.; Stein, M. J. 2018, "Elmer G. Beamer and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants: The Pursuit of a Cognitive Standard for the Accounting Profession", Accounting History, February 23(1-2): 71 - 92.
Abstract: This article investigates Elmer G Beamer’s (1909–2000) activities at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) during a 30-year period beginning in the 1950s, using a theoretical lens from the sociology of professions literature. Beamer was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1909 and trained as an accountant with Haskins & Sells after graduating from high school. He stayed with the same firm throughout his career and rose to the position of partner. While in public practice, Beamer gave unselfishly of his time to the profession. As a member of the AICPA, Beamer chaired the Committee on the Common Body of Knowledge of CPAs (Certified Public Accountants), Committee on Education and Experience Requirements, and the Ad Hoc Committee on Continuing Education. The goal of the three committees was to establish a common body of knowledge for accountants in public practice. Beamer’s efforts resulted in the 150 credit-hour requirements for CPAs and the mandate for yearly continuing professional education for accountants to maintain an active CPA license in the United States. The article draws on archival material from the Elmer G. Beamer Papers Collection at the University of Florida. The collection contains over 500 items of Beamer’s personal correspondence, committee memorandums, and writings. The article concludes with a discussion of the empirical narrative and Beamer’s role in the larger context of the professionalization of the accounting discipline in the United States.