Publications Database

Welcome to the new Schulich Peer-Reviewed Publication Database!

The database is currently in beta-testing and will be updated with more features as time goes on. In the meantime, stakeholders are free to explore our faculty’s numerous works. The left-hand panel affords the ability to search by the following:

  • Faculty Member’s Name;
  • Area of Expertise;
  • Whether the Publication is Open-Access (free for public download);
  • Journal Name; and
  • Date Range.

At present, the database covers publications from 2012 to 2020, but will extend further back in the future. In addition to listing publications, the database includes two types of impact metrics: Altmetrics and Plum. The database will be updated annually with most recent publications from our faculty.

If you have any questions or input, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Search Results

Cho, C.H., Laine, N., Roberts, R. and Rodrigue, M. (2018). "The Frontstage and Backstage of Corporate Sustainability Reporting: Evidence from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Bill", Journal of Business Ethics, 152(3), 865-883.

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Abstract While proponents of sustainability reporting believe in its potential to help corporations be accountable and transparent about their social and environmental impacts, there has been growing criticism asserting that such reporting schemes are utilized primarily as impression management tools. Drawing on Erving Goffman’s (1959) self-presentation theory and its frontstage/backstage analogy, we contrast the frontstage sustainability discourse of a sample of large U.S. oil and gas firms to their backstage corporate political activities in the context of the passage of the American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act, also known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Bill. The ANWR Bill was designed to allow oil exploration within the most sensitive environmental areas in the Refuge and this bill was vigorously debated in the United States Congress in 2005 and 2006. Our results suggest that the firms’ sustainability discourse on environmental stewardship and responsibility contrasts sharply with their less visible but proactive political strategies targeted to facilitate the passage of the ANWR Bill. This study thus contributes to the social and environmental accounting and accountability literature by highlighting the relevance of Goffman’s frontstage/backstage analogy in uncovering and documenting further the deceptive nature of the discourse contained in stand-alone sustainability reports. In addition, it seeks to contribute to the overall understanding of the multifaceted nature of sustainability reporting by placing it in relation to corporate political activities.

Nègre, E., Verdier, M-A., Cho, C.H. and Patten, D. (2017). "Disclosure Strategies and Investor Reactions to Downsizing Announcements: A Legitimacy Perspective", Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 36(3), 239-257.

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Abstract In this paper, we focus on a relatively underexplored aspect of sustainability—workforce reductions. We investigate the determinants and consequences of the decisions made by French firms to use press releases in order to announce downsizing operations. We also examine whether the content of press releases has an impact on investor reactions to downsizing announcements. Particularly in the French context, downsizing operations reflect negatively on corporate social responsibility with respect to employees, and we anticipate that French managers will use disclosure strategies to counter a potential legitimacy threat. Our sample consists of 227 downsizing operations announced between 2007 and 2012 by 119 French listed firms. We find that the disclosure of press releases is driven by both contextual and legitimacy factors. We also find that press releases are associated with more negative reactions to downsizing announcements than when there is no press release, particularly in the case of proactive operations (i.e., implemented by firms with improving performance). A content analysis of press releases indicates that firms, on average, engage in a reactive impression management strategy in their disclosure that consists of attributing downsizing operations to external factors. Moreover, investors penalize the use of proactive arguments, particularly when they are used to justify proactive operations. Overall, our results show that, in the French case, disclosure strategies and their consequences on the financial markets relate to a legitimacy perspective.

Abraham, S. and Bamber, M. (2017). "The Q&A: Under Surveillance", Accounting, Organizations and Society, 58, 15-31.

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Abstract Drawing on theories of surveillance and interaction ritual, we explore the incentives (disincentives) to analyst participation during the question-and-answer session (Q&A) which concludes firms’ results presentations. Analysis of our qualitative data shows that interrogation strategies and behaviours are influenced by a combination of regulatory and ritual codes. Furthermore, the presence of surveillance technologies and networks exacerbate the risks and rewards faced by analysts during this interactive information exchange. In turn, we find that the common conceptualisation of the Q&A as an ostensibly economic event, underpinned by information retrieval, is overly simplistic. The gaze of surveillance transforms the Q&A into a dramaturgical encounter, where impression management techniques are important. From this, we develop a descriptive framework to explain public interrogation strategies and behaviours. Our work will help future researchers better understand investor-manager meetings. Furthermore, we propose that our descriptive framework has extensions to similar public interrogation settings.

Anderson, K. and Saxton, G. (2016). "Babies, Smiles, and Status Symbols: The PersuasiveBabies, Smiles, and Status Symbols: The Persuasive Effects of Images in Small-Entrepreneur Crowdfunding Requests Effects of Images in Small-Entrepreneur Crowdfunding Requests", International Journal of Communication, 10, 1764-1785.

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Abstract This article examines the persuasive effects of images in the context of online peer-topeer microfinance. The theoretical framework—based in self-presentation and impression management—relates micro-entrepreneurs’ loan-request image choices to lending decisions and lenders’ perceptions of the borrower’s trustworthiness and need. We explore effects of three specific visuals: (1) genuine enjoyment (Duchenne) smiles; (2) material status symbols; and (3) babies, children, and husbands. Using loan-request image data from 323 women micro-entrepreneurs on the website, results suggest smiling behavior is not associated with funding speed. However, loan-request images that include a baby are associated with significantly quicker funding, and those that include a man or an indication of relative material well-being are associated with delays in the average funding speed.

Brivot, M., Cho, C.H. and Kuhn, J. (2015). "Marketing or Parrhesia? A Longitudinal Study of the AICPA Leaders’ Communications in Times of Public Trust, Crisis Management and Trust Repair", Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 31(1), 23-43.

Abstract This paper examines how the U.S. accounting profession, through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), sought to restore its damaged reputation and re-legitimize its claim to self-regulation after the Enron scandal. We do so by analyzing the content of AICPA leaders’ web communications to members and outsiders of the Institute between 1997 and 2010 and draw upon the concepts of logics and discourse. We argue that the marketing language surrounding the AICPA's “Vision Project” prior to Enron (1997–2001) is not durably supplanted by the language of parrhesia, celebrated during the Enron crisis management episode (2002–2004) – it reemerges after 2005, juxtaposed to parrhesia. This study contributes to increasing our understanding of the institutional complexity of the accounting professional field by suggesting that this complexity is, in part, cultivated and reproduced by AICPA leaders’ navigation between different conceptions of being an accountant. Institutional complexity can thus be viewed as a resource, rather than a constraint, which provides flexible impression management opportunities.

Bozzolan, S., Cho, C.H. and Michelon, G. (2015). "Impression Management and Organizational Audiences: The FIAT Group Case", Journal of Business Ethics, 126(1), 143-165.

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Abstract In this paper we investigate whether, and how, corporate management strategically uses disclosure to manage the perceptions of different organizational audiences. In particular, we examine the interactions between the FIAT Group and three of its key organizational audiences—the local press, the international press, and the financial analysts, which are characterized by different levels of salience for the company. We focus on both how management reacts to the optimism level existing within each audience and how the narrative disclosure tone adopted by FIAT influences the ex-post optimism in the local and international press or in the financial analyst community. We investigate the disclosure of the FIAT Group over a 6-year period (2004–2009), during which 70 price-sensitive press releases were published. On the basis of 1,887 (331) news articles published in Italian (international) newspapers and 411 analyst reports, we report evidence of different strategic patterns in the interaction processes between FIAT and its audiences. Our findings also indicate some differences in the way FIAT is affected by, and in turn, affects the sentiment of each audience, thus highlighting that the salience of the stakeholder is an important driver of the adoption of impression management techniques. Taken together, our findings point to issues related to setting the ‘‘tone at the top’’ and potential ethical matters.

Chen, J.C., Cho, C.H. and Patten, D.M. (2014). "Initiating Disclosure of Environmental Liability Information: An Empirical Analysis of Firm Choice", Journal of Business Ethics, 125(4), 681-692.

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Abstract This paper investigates potential motivations for late adopting U.S. companies to begin disclosing environmental liability amounts in their financial statements. Based on a review of 10-K reports filed from 1998 through 2012, inclusive, we identified 55 firms initiating environmental liability disclosure over the period, with all but three doing so by 2006. Focusing on the disclosers up through 2006, we argue that the companies may have used the disclosure as a tool of impression management to avoid potential stakeholder mis-estimation of previously undisclosed liability exposures. We first compute tests to identify firms that may have begun the disclosure due to (1) materiality and (2) concerns of having proprietary costs imposed upon them due to changes in their environmental media coverage and environmental performance, and we find very few cases where these explanations might hold. For the remaining companies, we compared their newly disclosed liability amount, on average, with the mean level of environmental liability being disclosed by other firms in the year prior to the sample companies’ initiation, and find that it is significantly smaller, thus supporting our impression management argument. Finally, we find that overall level of environmental liability amounts was consistently decreasing over the time frame examined, suggesting that earlier adoption would have made more sense. However, it may also explain why almost no new firms began disclosing after the mid-2000s.

Cho, C.H., Michelon, G. and Patten, D.M. (2012). "Enhancement and Obfuscation Through the Use of Graphs in Sustainability Reports: An International Comparison", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 3(1), 74-88.

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Abstract The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of graphs in corporate sustainability reports and attempt to determine, first, whether the use of graphs appears to be associated with attempts at impression management, and second, whether differences across three levels of reporting regulatory structure are associated with differences in the level of impression management.