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

Blanc, R., Branco, M.C., Cho, C.H. and Sopt, J. (2019). "Disclosure Responses to a Corruption Scandal: The Case of Siemens AG", Journal of Business Ethics, 156(2),545-561.

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Abstract In the current study, we examine the changes in disclosure practices on compliance and the fight against corruption at Siemens AG, a large German multinational corporation, over the period 2000–2011 during which a major corruption scandal was revealed. More specifically, we conduct a content analysis of the company’s annual reports and sustainability reports during that period to investigate the changes of Siemens’ corruption and compliance disclosure using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Through the lens of legitimacy theory, stakeholder analysis, and organizational façades, we find evidence that Siemens changed its compliance and corruption disclosure practices to repair its legitimacy in the wake of the 2006 corruption scandal. We analyze these strategies more closely by using the rational, progressive, and reputation façades framework (Abrahamson and Baumard in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Decision Making, pp 437–452, 2008). Our primary findings suggest that the annual reports show peaks of disclosure amounts on corruption and compliance disclosures earlier than sustainability reports, which can be partly explained by analyzing the disclosures made about—and to—the different stakeholder groups. We find that the annual report focuses more on internal stakeholders such as employees, while the sustainability report focuses more on external stakeholders such as suppliers. We also find that the company uses the façades differently depending on which report is being analyzed.

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.

Cho, C.H., Michelon, G., Patten, D.M. and Roberts, R.W. (2015). "CSR Disclosure: The More Things Change…?", Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 28(1), 14-35.

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Abstract Purpose – CSR disclosure is receiving increased attention from the mainstream accounting research community. In general, this recently published research has failed to engage significantly with prior CSRthemed studies. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it examines whether more recent CSR reporting differs from that of the 1970s. Second, it investigates whether one of the major findings of prior CSR research – that disclosure appears to be largely a function of exposure to legitimacy factors – continues to hold in more recent reporting. Third, it examines whether, as argued within the more recent CSR-themed studies, disclosure is valued by market participants. Design/methodology/approach – Using Fortune 500 data from the late 1970s (from Ernst & Ernst, 1978) and a more recent sample (2010), we identify differences in CSR disclosure by computing adequate measures in terms of disclosure breadth and comparing them for any potential changes in the influence of legitimacy factors between 1977 and 2010. In the second stage of our analysis, we use a standard valuation model to compare the association between CSR and firm value between the two time periods. Findings – We first find that the breadth of CSR disclosure increased significantly, with respect to both environmental and social information provision. Second, we find that the relationship among legitimacy factors and CSR disclosure does not differ across our two time periods. However, our analysis focusing on environmental disclosure provides evidence that industry membership is less powerfully related to differences in reporting, but only for the weighted disclosure score. Finally, our results indicate that CSR disclosure, in apparent contrast to the arguments of the more recent mainstream investigations, is not positively valued by investors. Research limitations/implications – We explore changes in CSR disclosure only for industrial firms and as such we cannot generalize findings to companies in other industries. Similarly, we focus only on companies in the United States while different relationships may hold in other countries. Further, our disclosure metrics are limited by the availability of firm-specific information provided by Ernst & Ernst. Limitations aside, however, our findings appear to suggest that the failure of the new wave of CSR research in the mainstream accounting community to acknowledge and consider prior research into social and environmental accounting is potentially troublesome. Specifically, recent CSR disclosure research published in mainstream journals often lends credence to voluntary disclosure arguments that ignore previous contradictory findings and well-established alternative explanations for observed empirical relationships. Practical implications – This paper provides supporting evidence that the unquestioned acceptance by the new wave of CSR researchers that the disclosure is about informing investors as opposed to being a tool of legitimation and image enhancement makes it less likely that such disclosure will ever move meaningfully toward transparent accountability. Originality/value – Our study suggests that CSR disclosure, while used more extensively today than three decades ago, may still largely be driven by concerns with corporate legitimacy, and still fails to provide information that is relevant for assessing firm value. As such, the failure of the mainstream accounting community to acknowledge this possib

Mahoney, L. and Thorne, L. (2013). "The Evolution of CSR Reporting: A Longitudinal Study of Canadian Firms", Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, 17, 79-96.

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Abstract Our paper explores the evolution in the reporting of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for 115 Canadian firms (51 cross-listed on U.S. stock exchanges) throughout the seven year period of 1999–2006, which was the period before and after SOX and Bill 198 were enacted, resulting in a period of increasing pressure for CSR and CSR disclosure (Ballou, Heitger, & Landes, 2006). We examined CSR scores for Canadian firms listed only on Canadian stock exchanges and for Canadian firms cross-listed on U.S. exchanges. During this period, our analysis shows an overall decrease in CSR scores for all Canadian firms in our sample, and for both our subsamples of firms: Canadian firms cross-listed on U.S. stock exchanges and Canadian firms listed only on Canadian exchanges. Our analysis suggests that as a result of increased scrutiny facilitated by the regulatory changes, CSR disclosures become more transparent and comprehensive: CSR Strengths and CSR Weaknesses Scores both declined after 2002 resulting in an overall decline in Total CSR scores. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Cho, C.H., Freedman, M. and Patten, D.M. (2012). "Corporate Disclosure of Environmental Capital Expenditures: A Test of Alternative Theories", Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 25(3), 486-507.

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Abstract The purpose of this paper is to examine three potential explanations for the corporate choice to disclose environmental capital spending amounts. Using archival data from a sample of Fortune 500 US firms operating in industries subject to both the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) TRI program and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Hazard Communication Standards, the authors conduct quantitative threshold tests to first investigate whether disclosure appears to be a function of the materiality of the spending. Using statistical tests, including multiple regression analyses, the authors next attempt to differentiate the choice to disclose across voluntary disclosure theory and legitimacy theory arguments. First, the authors find that, for the overwhelming majority of observations, the disclosed amounts are not quantitatively material. This suggests that non‐disclosure is likely due to immateriality. Next, their findings show that disclosing firms do not exhibit improved subsequent environmental performance relative to non‐disclosing companies. Further, controlling for firm size and industry class, they find the choice to disclose is associated with worse environmental performance. The sample includes only relatively larger firms from certain industries and this limits the generalizability of the findings. Smaller firms and those from excluded industries may have other reasons to choose to disclose environmental information. Further, the authors rely on TRI data to assess pollution performance, but TRI is self‐reported and its reliability is only as good as the inputs. Finally, although environmental capital spending is potentially relevant information, this investigation does not examine other types of environmental information disclosure. This paper provides corroborating evidence that companies use the disclosure of environmental capital spending as a strategic tool to address their exposures to political and regulatory concerns. Hence, interpreting disclosed environmental information would appear to require careful understanding of the underlying motivations. This paper extends the environmental accounting and reporting literature by contributing to the unresolved question of what drives differences in the corporate disclosure of environmental information. The authors add to this body of research by investigating the disclosure of one specific piece of environmental information, the amount of capital expenditures incurred for pollution abatement and control.