Research Program 2017-09-13T14:54:50+00:00

The CPA International Research Chair in Management Control produces work that meets academic standards while keeping the relevance of its research for practitioners, students and citizens at the center of its concerns. Its research program mainly revolves around three topics:

The study of innovative management control and cost management practices

Élodie Allain, Hugues Boisvert, Alexander Mersereau, Samuel Sponem, Sophie Tessier

Simons’ work [1] has greatly renewed “management control” by emphasizing usage conditions of control systems by managers beyond the existence (or lack thereof) of such formal control systems. They have highlighted the diversity of practices in this field. This work complements older research that puts forward latent roles of accounting mechanisms.[2] However, the integration of these various theories remains rudimentary and we only have a limited overview regarding the evolutionary dynamics of control systems and the way managers use them to meet conflicting expectations.The goal of the Chair’s first research area is to understand how these conflicting expectations impact the use of control mechanisms by managers by focusing on issues such as:

  • How do organizations successfully develop systems to control the implementation of strategies without discouraging innovation?
  • How do economic ideas influence the use of control mechanisms?
  • How do organizations manage to produce control and cost management mechanisms that satisfy their various stakeholders while helping decision making?
  • How do new mechanisms and tools meet the needs of organizations?

Recent publications

Malsch, Bernard et Sophie Tessier (2015). « Journal ranking effects on junior academics: Identity fragmentation and politicization », Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 26, p. 84-98.
Allain, Élodie et Michel Gervais (2014). « Traceability of time consumption for costing service transactions », Advances in Management Accounting, vol. 23, p. 253-281.
Gervais, Michel et Élodie Allain (2014). « Réflexion sur les calculs de coûts complets en comptabilité de gestion », Recherches en Sciences de Gestion, vol. 3, no 102, 2014, p. 119-150.
Tessier, Sophie (2014). « Managing management controls », dans David Otley et Kim Soin (dir.), Management control and uncertainty, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, p. 149-161.
Tessier, Sophie (2013). « Un contrôle de gestion basé sur la culture: Le cas de la société Timpson », Gestion, vol. 38, no 1, p. 56-65.
Lambert, Caroline et Samuel Sponem (2012). « Roles, Authority and Involvement of the Management Accounting Function: A Multiple Case-study Perspective », European Accounting Review, vol. 21, no 3, p. 565-589.
Tessier, Sophie et David Otley (2012). « A conceptual development of Simons’ Levers of Control framework Management », Accounting Research, vol. 23, no 3, p. 171-185.
Tessier, Sophie et David Otley (2012). « From management control to the management of controls », Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no 5, p. 776-805.
Cisneros, Luis et Sophie Tessier (2011). « Dirigeant-fondateur versus dirigeant-successeur : une comparaison du style de gestion des dirigeants de PME familiales »,  Análisis Organizacional y Turismo, vol. 2, no 1, p. 6-34.
Allain, Élodie (2010). « La modélisation des activités de services par le Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing », dans Michel Gervais (dir.), La comptabilité de gestion par les méthodes d’équivalence, Paris, Économica, p. 143-161.
Sponem, Samuel (2010). « Diversité des pratiques de contrôle budgétaire: approches contingentes et néo-institutionnelles », Finance Contrôle Stratégie, vol. 13, no 3, p. 115–153.
Sponem, Samuel et Caroline Lambert (2010). « Pratiques budgétaires, rôles et critiques du budget. Perception des DAF et des contrôleurs de gestion. » Comptabilité Contrôle Audit, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 159–194.

The study of issues and impacts regarding the dissemination of management control and cost management mechanisms in non-profit organizations

Claude Laurin, Michel Vézina, Samuel Sponem, Johanne Turbide

Laying down objectives and choosing cost management indicators and methods in non-profit organizations is often problematic. The importance that must be given to management control and cost management has thus become a major concern for practitioners and researchers alike because, among other reasons, such mechanisms involve stakeholders more diverse than in other organizations, they have numerous potential adverse effects and    the objectives of public sector managers are sometimes difficult to define. Driving public action through results and costing does not necessarily question the values of public service but raises questions about its impacts, including in terms of the ethics, identity and value of public sector managers.

This raises questions about issues such as:

  • How do these control mechanisms impact professional groups in the public sector?
  • Do they transform the logic behind public action?

Recent publications

Chatelain-Ponroy, Stéphanie, Eynaud, Philippe, & Sponem, Samuel 2014. La gouvernance associative : entre diversité et normalisation. Dans Burlaud, Alain (dir.), Comptabilité, Finance et Politique. De la pratique à la théorie : l’art de la conceptualisation. Mélanges en l’honneur du Professeur Christian Hoarau, ECS, p. 219–226.
Châtelain-Ponroy, Stéphanie, Stéphanie Mignot-Gérard, Christine Musselin et Samuel Sponem (2014a). « La prise de décision stratégique dans les organisations publiques collégiales », dans Bachir Mazouz (dir.), La stratégie des organisations de l’Έtat, Québec, Presses universitaires du Québec, p. 137-158.
Châtelain-Ponroy, Stéphanie, Stéphanie Mignot-Gérard, Christine Musselin et Samuel Sponem (2014b). « The impact of recent reforms on the institutional governance of French universities », dans Shattock, Michel (dir.), International Trends in University Governance: Autonomy, Self-Government and the Distribution of Authority, Abingdon, Routledge, p. 67-88.
Châtelain-Ponroy, Stéphanie, Stéphanie Mignot-Gérard, Christine Musselin et Samuel Sponem (2014c). « The use of indicators in French universities. Bibliometrics: Use and Abuse in the Review of Research Performance », London, Portland Press Limited, Wenner-Gren International Series, vol. 87, p. 129-141.
Turbide, Johanne et Claude Laurin (2014). « Governance in the arts and cultural non-profit sector: vigilance or indifference? » Administrative Sciences, vol. 4, no 4, p. 413-432.
Châtelain-Ponroy, Stéphanie, Mignot-Gérard, Christine Musselin et Samuel Sponem (2013). « De l’opposition ” politiques / administratifs ” au clivage ” centre / périphérie ” : les divergences de perception des outils de mesure dans les universités », Politiques et Management Public, vol. 30, no 4, p. 495-518.
Boardman, Anthony E., Claude Laurin, Mark A. Moore et Aidan R. Vining (2013). « Efficiency, Profitability and Welfare Gains from the Canadian National Railway Privatization ». Research in Transportation and Business Management, Vol. 6, p. 19-30.
Laurin, Claude et Sachenne Wagner (2011). « Implementing new public management : the Case of Employment Services in Québec », Canadian Public Administration, vol. 54, no 1, p. 23-40.

The study of the work of accountants and controllers

Hugues Boisvert, Lambert Jerman, Caroline Lambert, Alexander Mersereau, Samuel Sponem

Producing accounting information involves more than just basic technique. It is a complex practice carried out by people, organizations and institutions, including professions. The conditions of this practice affect the reliability, relevance and impact of accounting, control and costing mechanisms.

The Chair will therefore focus on the work of management accountants and controllers:

  • What is the work of accountant and controllers?
  • How are they positioned within organizations?
  • What dilemmas are they facing?

Recent publications

Morales, Jérémy et Caroline Lambert (2013). « Dirty work and the construction of identity: An ethnographic study of management accounting practices », Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol. 38, no 3, p. 228-244.
Lambert, Caroline et Samuel Sponem (2012). « Roles, Authority and Involvement of the Management Accounting Function: A Multiple Case-study Perspective », European Accounting Review, vol. 21, no 3, p. 565–589.
Lambert, Caroline et Éric Pezet (2012). « Accounting and the making of the Homo Liberalis », Foucault Studies, vol. 13, p. 67-81.
Caron, Marie-Andrée, Hugues Boisvert et Alexander Mersereau (2011). « Le rôle du contrôleur revisité : une perspective nord-américaine », Comptabilité, Contrôle, Audit – la revue de l’Association francophone de comptabilitévol. 1, 123-154.
Lambert, Caroline et Éric Pezet (2011). « The making of the management accountant. Becoming the producer of truthful knowledge”, Accounting, Organizations and Society », vol. 35, no 1, p. 10-30.
Lambert, Caroline (2010). « Le contrôleur de gestion et son manager », dans Berland, Nicolas et Yves de Rongé (dir.), Contrôle de gestion, Perspectives stratégiques et managériales, Montreuil, Pearson, p. 97-120.
Lambert, Caroline, Samuel Sponem et Pierre Raguideau (2010). « Le contrôleur de gestion, un business partner? », dans Berland, Nicolas et François-Xavier Simon (dir.), Le contrôle de gestion en mouvement. État de l’art et meilleures pratiques, Paris, Eyrolles, p. 157–163.


[1] Simons, Robert (1995). Levers of control: how managers use innovative control systems to drive strategic renewal, Boston, Harvard Business School Press, 217 p.

[2] Burchell, Stuart, Colin Clubb, Anthony Hopwood, John Hughes et Janine Nahaplet (1980). « The roles of accounting in organizations and society », Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol. 5, no 1, p. 5–27.