- Responsible Investment
- Non-Financial Performance Measurement Systems
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I have been an Assistant Professor at the Ivey Business School since 2015. I belong to the ‘Managerial Accounting and Control’, ‘Sustainability’ and ‘General Management’ groups – a cross-disciplinary appointment that reflects my research and teaching. I aim to push the boundaries of knowledge and practice by investigating how the fashioning of new devices and/or collective actions can help transform markets towards sustainability. Over the past years, I have studied the emergence of responsible investing, conservation finance, impact assessment, integrated reporting, and alternative currencies.
I am currently working on the rise of financial technologies and their impacts on society and the development of Indigenous forms of business and accounting that accommodate the spiritual and cultural beliefs of Aboriginal communities. An ethnographer, I enjoy doing field research and sharing my experience with students and practitioners. My last book, co-authored with a renowned team of social scientists of finance, is available at the Oxford University Press, Chains of Finance: How Investment Management is Shaped.
My work in this area has won me several academic, teaching and professional prizes. The French Ministry for Finance and Economy has recently appointed me to the Scientific Committee of the French SRI label. I am also a board member of the French Social Investment Forum, an advisory member of the Principles for Responsible Investing and a Jury member of the FIR-PRI Finance and Sustainability Awards. Since 2017, I have also been an honorary research fellow at Cambridge, Centre for Alternative Finance.
- HBA2: Corporations&Society – Sustainable Finance
- HBA2: Assessing the Broader Impact of Business
- MBA: Sustainable Finance – Building the Business of the 21st Century
- PhD, ESSEC Business School & University Paris Ouest Nanterre la Defense
- MBA & MSc in Management, ESSEC Business School
- MPhil in Organizational Theory, University Paris Ouest Nanterre la Defense
Recent Refereed Articles
Arjalies, D-L.; Durand, R.,
(Forthcoming), "Product Categories as Judgment Devices: The Moral Awakening of the Investment Industry", Organization Science.
Abstract: Product categories are more than classification devices that organize markets; when reflecting market actors' purposes, they are also judgment devices. Taking stock of the literature on product categories and drawing on the distinction between the faculties of knowing and judging, we elaborate a framework that accounts for how and why market actors include or exclude normative attributes in a product category definition. Based on a field study of the development of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds in France, we describe the phases and conditions of a judgment framework for category definition, for both established and nascent categories. We discuss implications for research on product categories and the workings of markets more broadly.
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.
Link(s) to publication:
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.
Link(s) to publication:
Friedland, R.; Arjalies, D-L.,
2017, "The Passion of Luc Boltanski: The Destiny of Love, Violence and Institution", Research in the Sociology of Organizations, June 52: 301 - 347.
Abstract: On Justification: Economies of Worth (Boltanski & Thévenot, 19912006) was a synthetic and comprehensive parsing of common goods, goods that could and had to be justified in public. In response to Bourdieu’s critical sociology, they rather provided a robust and disciplined sociology of critique, the situated requirements of justification. They refused power and violence as integral to the operability of justification. They emphasized the ways in which conventions of worth afforded coordination, not their constitution of or by domination. They refused to make either capitalism, or the state, into primary motors of social order. Indeed, they refused social sphere, structure, or group as the ground of the good. They emphasized the cognitive capacities of agents. There was no passion, no desire, no bodily affect in these justified worlds. There wasn’t even any account of production of value, of children, or of money. And while they recognized the metaphysical aspect of the good and even used Christianity as a template for one of their cités, they rigorously excluded religion. The theory was designed to analyze moments of controversy, not quiescence or quietude. In his subsequent work, Boltanski aimed to address these absences. In this essay, we examine how Boltanski sought to restore love, violence, religion, production, and institution across five texts: Love and Justice as Competences (19902012), The New Spirit of Capitalism, co-authored with Eve Chiapello (19992007), The Foetal Condition: A Sociology of Engendering and Abortion (20042013), On Critique: A Sociology of Emancipation (20092011), and La Collection, Une Forme Neuve du Capitalisme La Mise en Valeur Economique du Passé et ses Effets (2014) co-authored with Arnaud Esquerre.
Link(s) to publication:
2014, "Challengers from within Economic Institutions: A Second-Class Social movement? A Response to Déjean, Giamporcaro, Gond, Leca and Penalva-Icher’s Comment on French SRI", Journal of Business Ethics, August 123(2): 257 - 262.
Abstract: In a recent comment made about my paper A Social Movement Perspective on Finance: How Socially Responsible Invetsment Mattered (J Bus Ethics 92:5778, 2010), published in this journal, Déjean, Giamporcaro, Gond, Leca and Penalva-Icher (J Bus Ethics 112: 205-212, 2013) strongly criticize the social movement perspective adopted on French SRI. They both contest the empirical analysis of the movement and the possibility for insiders to trigger institutional change towards sustainability. This answer aims to address the different concerns raised throughout their comment and illuminate the differences between both approaches. It first explains why SRI in France can be considered as a social movement, despite not being protest-oriented. It then reflects on the dangers of systematically associating societal change with radical activism. It concludes by elaborating on the importance of acknowledging the potential contribution of reformist movements from within the economic institutions to the enhancement of the social good.
Link(s) to publication:
Arjalies, D-L.; Mundy, J.,
2013, "The Use of Management Control Systems to Formulate and Implement CSR Strategy: A Levers of Control Perspective", Management Accounting Research, December 24(4): 284 - 300.
Abstract: Little is known about the role of management control systems (MCS) in managing the strategic processes that underpin Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). To enhance our understanding of this phenomenon, this study employs Simons’ (1995) levers of control framework to explore how organizations leverage MCS in different ways in order to drive strategic renewal and trigger organizational change while simultaneously supporting society’s broader sustainability agenda. Drawing on data gathered from France’s largest listed companies members of the CAC 40 we provide insights into the structures and processes that companies employ to design, implement and monitor their CSR strategy. In doing so, we provide evidence of the way that organisations seek to attain their CSR objectives, and of the relationship between the management of CSR and other business processes. Of particular interest is the role of the levers of control in enabling managers to identify and manage threats and opportunities associated with CSR strategy, thus forming risk management processes that support organisations in their attainment of strategic objectives. Furthermore, the study provides evidence suggesting the use of MCS has the potential to contribute to society’s broader sustainability agenda through processes that enable innovation, communication, reporting, and the identification of threats and opportunities.
Link(s) to publication:
Arjalies, D-L.; Hobeika, S.; Ponssard, J. P.; Poret, S.,
2013, "Le rôle de la labellisation dans la construction d’un marché: Le cas de l’ISR en France, [The role of labellisation in the design of a market: The case of SRI in France", Revue Francaise de Gestion, November 39(236): 93 - 107.
Abstract: French Abstract: L’Investissement Socialement Responsable (ISR) en France reste peu développé pour les investisseurs particuliers, en dépit d’une croissance forte des fonds ISR et du lancement de labels à leur intention. L’objectif de cet article est de mieux comprendre le rôle limité des labels. Notre analyse s’appuie sur l’interaction entre trois éléments: label et asymétrie d’information, choix des attributs informationnels des labels et objectifs des organismes porteurs de labellisation, concurrence induite entre labels. Deux facteurs expliquent l’impact limité des labels. D’une part, les attributs informationnels mis en évidence par les labels reflètent plus le point de vue des sociétés de gestion que celui des investisseurs particuliers. D’autre part, la distribution de l’ISR auprès des particuliers passe majoritairement par les réseaux des banques et assurances, réseaux pour lesquels il ne constitue pas un véritable axe de différenciation concurrentielle. English Abstract: The attractiveness of SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) for retail investors in France has remained limited in spite of the launch of labeling schemes and a substantial growth of SRI funds. The article analyzes why the labeling impact has been limited. Our framework is based on the interaction of three elements: labels and information asymmetry, the labeling organizations and the selection of information attributes, the induced competition between labels. Two main factors explain the limited impact of labels. First, the information attributes disclosed by the labels reflect the viewpoint of asset managers rather than the one of retail investors. Second, the distribution of SRI by banking and insurance networks is not a factor of competitive advantage.
Link(s) to publication:
2012, "Qu’est-ce que l’Investissement Socialement Responsable? [What is Socially Responsible Investment?", La Revue du Financier, January 34(193): 7 - 19.
Abstract: Cet article étudie l’évolution des formes et des objectifs de l’Investissement socialement responsable (ISR) aux États-Unis et en Europe des années 1920 jusqu’à nos jours. En s’intéressant à la fois aux fondements théoriques et aux caractéristiques des fonds ISR au cours du temps, il dresse un panorama des différents types de fonds en fonction de leur appartenance à un référentiel sociétal ou économique. En montrant la complexité et la diversité de l’ISR d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, cet article permet de mieux appréhender les enjeux de définition et de légitimation rencontrés actuellement par les professionnels du secteur de la gestion d’actifs. This article studies the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)’s forms and purposes from the 1920s until today in the United States and Europe. Studying both SRI Funds’ theoretical background and features, it provides an overview of the different types of SRI funds according to their societal or economic background. In doing so, the article offers a better understanding of the complexity and the diversity of SRI and of the problems faced today by the asset management sector.
Link(s) to publication:
Arjalies, D-L.; Goubet, C.; Ponssard, J. P.,
2011, "Approches stratégiques des émissions CO2: Les cas de l’industrie cimentière et de l’industrie chimique [Strategic Approaches of CO2 Emissions: The Cases of the Cement and Chemical Industries", Revue Francaise de Gestion, June 37(215): 123 - 146.
Abstract: French: La capacité des entreprises à transformer une contrainte environnementale en source d’opportunité stratégique est un sujet controversé dans la littérature. S’appuyant sur une étude comparative des stratégies de lutte contre les émissions CO2 mises en place par les industries cimentière et chimique, l’article démontre que la latitude des entreprises à adopter une approche proactive face au développement durable est fortement contrainte par les caractéristiques du secteur en termes de dépendance vis-à-vis des ressources naturelles, de flexibilité dans la composition du portefeuille d’activités et de structure du secteur aval. English: The ability of firms to transform an environmental constraint into a strategic opportunity has been a controversial issue in the literature. Based on a comparative study of CO2 strategies in the cement and chemical industries, the article shows that the capacity of firms to be proactive regarding sustainable development is largely constrained by the characteristics of the sector in terms of dependence on natural resources, flexibility in the composition of activities portfolio and structure of the downstream sector.
Link(s) to publication:
2010, "A Social Movement Perspective on Finance: How Socially Responsible Investment Mattered", Journal of Business Ethics, March 92(1): 57 - 78.
Abstract: This study discusses how social movements can influence economic systems. Employing a political-cultural approach to markets, it purports that compromise movements’ can help change existing institutions by proposing new ones. This study argues in favor of the role of social movements in reforming economic institutions. More precisely, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) movements can help bring SRI concerns into financial institutions. A study of how the French SRI movement has been able to change entrenched institutional logics of the French asset management sector provides wide-ranging support for these arguments. Empirical findings are drawn from a longitudinal case study (1997-2009), based on participative observation, interviews and documentary evidence. Implications for research on social movements, institutional change and SRI are outlined. Lastly, the study provides practitioners with some theoretical keys to understand the pros and cons of SRI labels’.
Honours & Awards
- 2017. Best International Paper in Social Issues in Management, Academy of Management, nominated for the Carolyn Dexter Award (all academy award), for “Product Categories as Judgment Devices: The Moral Awakening of the Investment Industry”
- 2016-now: Appointed by the French Ministry for Finance and Economy to the Scientific Committee of the “Socially Responsible Investment” (SRI) Label.
- 2016-now: Board Member “Independent Expert” of the French Social Investment Forum.
- 2012-now: Member and President of the jury of the academic prize of the FIR-PRI - Principles of Responsible Investment (UNEP Finance Initiative).
- 2014: nominated for the Syntec management consulting best article award in the category “Management / Human Resources / Organization” for ‘Arjaliès, D-L., & Mundy J. (2013), The Use of Management Control Systems to Formulate and Implement CSR Strategy: A Levers of Control Perspective, Management Accounting Research, 24(4): 284-300’.
- 2012: nominated for the Syntec management consulting best article award in the category “Management / Human Resources / Organization” for ‘Arjaliès, D-L., Goubet C. & Ponssard, J-P. (2011). Approches stratégiques des émissions CO2: Les cas de l’industrie cimentière et de l’industrie chimique, Revue Française de Gestion, 2011, 6(215): 123-146’. Translated in English in June 2013
- Best Thesis Award European FIR-PRI (French Socially Responsible Investment Forum & Principles for Responsible Investment) 2011 (€5,000).
- Highly Commendable dissertation in the EFMD Emerald 2011 Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Interdisciplinary Accounting Research (category sponsored by the Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal).
- Second prize in the 2011 European EDAMBA (European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration) Thesis Competition (€1,500). Others
- 2018. Best Paper Award, Established Scholar Category, CSEAR North America, for “Can Accounting Save Nature(s)? The Case of Endangered Species” (with D. Gibassier)
- 2006-2009 - RI Analyst, Macif Gestion (Asset Management Company), France.
- 2004-2005 - Social Economy Operations Manager, Macif (Private Mutual Insurance), France.
- 2003 - Deputy Project Manager, Companieros (Ethical Educational Programs), France.