Personne :
Boiral, Olivier

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Structures organisationnelles
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Université Laval. Département de management
Identifiant Canadiana

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Voici les éléments 1 - 10 sur 56
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    The quality of sustainability reports and impression management : A stakeholder perspective
    (Emerald, 2017-03-01) Boiral, Olivier; Diouf, Dominique
    Purpose The purpose of this research is to analyze the perceptions of stakeholders – more specifically, socially responsible investment (SRI) practitioners – of the quality of sustainability reports using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Design/methodology/approach This paper is based on 33 semi-structured interviews carried out with different stakeholders and experts (e.g. consultants, fund managers, analysts, consultants) in the field of SRI in Canada. Findings The perceptions of SRI practitioners shed more light on the elastic and uncertain application of the GRI principles in determining the quality of sustainability reports. Their perceptions tend to support the argument that sustainability reports reflect the impression management strategies used by companies to highlight the positive aspects of their sustainability performance and to obfuscate negative outcomes. Originality/value First, undertake empirical research on stakeholders’ perceptions – which have been largely overlooked – of the quality of sustainability reports. Second, shed new light on the impression management strategies used in sustainability reporting. Third, show the reflexivity and the degree of skepticism of practitioners with regard to the reliability of information on sustainability performance.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Accounting for the unaccountable : biodiversity reporting and impression management
    (Springer, 2014-12-16) Boiral, Olivier
    This paper explores the strategies organizations use to demonstrate their accountability for biodiversity and legitimize their impact in this area through the use of techniques of neutralization. Neutralization aims to manage stakeholder impressions on very socially sensitive issues. Based on the content analysis of 148 sustainability reports from mining organizations, the study sheds light on the successful use of rhetoric in reports on non-measurable and potentially unaccountable issues. Specifically, the study shows that mining organizations use four main techniques of neutralization when they explain their impact on biodiversity. When they address stakeholders, they defend their social legitimacy and environmental responsiveness using one of the four techniques: they claim of a net positive or neutral impact on biodiversity, they deny that they have a significant impact, they distance themselves from the impact of their actions, and they play down their responsibilities. The study contributes to the literature on corporate sustainability and accounting for stakeholders. It focuses on under-researched issues such as the management of biodiversity and the tactics used to rationalize negative impacts. The study also bridges the gap between theories about organizational legitimacy, impression management, and techniques of neutralization.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Adoption and outcomes of ISO 14001 : a systematic review
    (Blackwell Publishers, 2017-02-14) Guillaumie, Laurence; Boiral, Olivier; Heras-Saizarbitoria, Iñaki; Tayo Tene, Christian Valery
    The objective of this paper is to analyze the adoption and outcomes of the ISO 14001 standard through a systematic review of the main studies on this issue published in peer-reviewed journals between 1996 and 2015. The 94 papers analyzed make it possible to paint a comprehensive picture of the effectiveness of ISO 14001 in environmental management practices, performance in this area and social aspects such as employee awareness. The systematic review also sheds more light on the main pitfalls and success factors of the standard. Nevertheless, the similarities and even redundancies of the literature in terms of objectives, approaches and methods used tend to produce quite predictable and optimistic results, which do not reflect the complexity of the impact of ISO 14001. The paper highlights the importance of more diverse and critical approaches that might challenge the successful rhetoric of the dominant literature, which tends to focus on positive aspects and be limited to a few countries that are not representative of the wide international distribution of certification. The findings of this systematic review can also help managers in making decisions on the adoption and renewal of certification.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Audit Fees and Auditor Independence : the Case of ISO 14001 Certification
    (Wiley, 2013-04-21) Boiral, Olivier; Dogui, Kouakou; Heras-Saizarbitoria, Iñaki
    This study analyses the effects of audit fees and the clients' financial power on the independence of ISO 14001 auditors on the basis of a qualitative analysis of interviews with 36 professionals involved in the certification process. The results of the study demonstrate that most respondents support the legitimacy of the current remuneration system based on the user-pays principle, despite its business and financial ramifications, claiming that the independence of auditors is in fact ensured by the imposition of contractual duty, the observance of ethical codes, distancing the auditor from negotiations with the client, and dissociating the fee charged for the audit from the granting of the ISO 14001 certificate. However, the study demonstrates that auditors often adapt their behaviour to the client's economic context and the company size, which may call into question the prevailing opinion on the independence and impartiality of the certification process. This paper, on the one hand, discusses the manner in which auditors legitimize the current remuneration system and, on the other, describes the potential threat that it represents for their independence. The paper also highlights the similarities in this regard between the conflicts of interest in the field of environmental audits and in that of financial audits. Finally, the paper analyses a number of possible solutions to reduce the financial dependence of auditors on the audited companies.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Creating value with wastes : a model and typology of sustainability within firms
    (European Research Press,, 2011-03-15) Boiral, Olivier; Kabongo, Jean D.
    The objective of this paper is to construct a model and propose a typology of residual materialreclamation practices in manufacturing facilities. The qualitative study based on in-depthinterviews with 60 managers demonstrated that residual material reclamation can be charac-terized by six key dimensions associated with the recovery and transformation of residuals:reclaiming goals, reclaiming scope, awareness of activities, manufacturing processes,environmental management and variety of materials used. The analysis of each dimensionfrom a managerial point of view suggests ¿ve types of residual material reclamation: craft,broad consolidated, narrow consolidated, broad leverage and narrow leverage. The model andtypology expand our understanding of residual material reclamation activities withinorganizations actively involved in sustainable initiatives. This study contributes to proposingan analytical framework aimed at understanding how practices concerning residual materialreclamation are managed. Implications for organizational research and management are alsodiscussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Environmental leadership and consciousness development : a case study among canadian SMEs
    (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2013-08-07) Boiral, Olivier; Gunnlaugson, Olen; Baron, Charles
    The objective of this paper is to explore how the various stages of consciousness development of top managers can influence, in practical terms, their abilities in and commitment to environmental leadership in different types of SMEs. A case study based on 63 interviews carried out in 15 industrial SMEs showed that the organizations that displayed the most environmental management practices were mostly run by managers at a post-conventional stage of consciousness development. Conversely, the SMEs that displayed less sustainable environmental management practices were all run by managers at conventional stages of development. Drawing upon diverse examples of environmental leadership, this paper analyzes the reasons why the stages of post-conventional consciousness development of top managers seem to foster corporate greening in SMEs. The study also sheds light on the key values and abilities associated with both environmental leadership and the upper-stages of consciousness development, which include a broader and systemic perspective, long-range focus, integration of conflicting goals, collaboration with stakeholders, complexity management, collaborative learning, among others.
  • Publication
    ISO 9000 and organizational effectiveness : a systematic review
    (American Society for Quality Control, 2012-01-01) Boiral, Olivier
    Despite the many studies on the ISO 9000 standard and the growing number of certified organizations around the world, the impacts of this quality management system remain controversial. The objective of this paper is to conduct a systematic review of the best available empirical studies on the impacts of the ISO 9000 standard published between 1994 and 2008 in peer-reviewed journals. The systematic review of the 111 empirical papers selected was based on a categorization framework comprising 46 variables. Most of these papers were focused on potential benefits rather than problems, and shed light on positive impacts. Nevertheless, similarities in terms of objectives, approaches, and methods tended to produce quite predictable, homogeneous, and optimistic results. Through the overall mapping of the literature on ISO 9000 effectiveness, this systematic review highlights the need for more critical and diversified approaches likely to challenge dominant and optimistic discourses on the standard impacts. This systematic review also sheds light on the practical implications of ISO 9000 for managers based on a large array of empirical studies.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    ISO auditing and the construction of trust in auditor independence
    (Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 26 (8), 1279–1305 (2013), 2013-01-01) Gendron, Yves; Boiral, Olivier; Dogui, Kouakou
    Purpose This paper aims to examine, through a qualitative study, how auditor independence is socially constructed within the network of individuals involved in the realization of ISO 14001 audit engagements – ISO auditors, consultants, and managers of certified companies. The paper analysis focuses on the sense-making strategies used by actors within the network to develop and sustain trust (or doubt) in professional independence. Design/methodology/approach This study is predicated on a theoretical perspective centered on sense-making processes and the construction of inter-subjective meanings around claims to expertise. Interviews were conducted with 36 Canadian practitioners – including ISO auditors, managers of certification bodies, accreditation inspectors, consultants, and corporate environmental managers – to better understand how confidence into auditor independence is constituted in the flow of daily life within the small group of people involved in the surroundings of ISO 14001 audit engagements. Findings Practitioners use a range of sense-making strategies to construct and maintain the belief that IS0 14001 audits meet the professional requirements of auditor independence. As such, the constitution of confidence involves stereotyping, distancing, storytelling and procedural mechanisms that are collectively mobilized in the production of a culture of comfort surrounding the concept of auditor independence. Originality/value Through interviews with a range of actors involved in the achievement of ISO 14001 audits, the study provides insight into the production of meaning related to one of the chief claims surrounding auditing expertise, that of professional independence. This paper also points to a lack of self-criticism in the ISO auditing community since practitioners seem disinclined to adopt a reflective attitude of professional skepticism towards the claim of auditor independence.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    ISO Certificates as Organizational Degrees? : beyond the rational myths of the certification process
    (De Gruyter, 2012-06-22) Boiral, Olivier
    This paper explores both the concrete and symbolic aspects of how ISO 9000 certification audits are prepared for and passed. Based on interviews with 60 respondents employed in certified organizations, this study analyzes the process of preparing for and passing an ISO certification audit through the lens of the degree-purchasing syndrome (DPS) in education, which refers to the disconnect between the acquisition of academic degrees and the learning process they should entail. This perspective makes it possible to go beyond the neo-institutional approach to shed light on the scholastic, ethical and contradictory aspects of the ISO certification process, which remain largely unexplored in the literature. The findings debunk the rhetoric of impartiality, objectivity and rigor surrounding the ISO certification process. They also reveal the tendency to acquire ISO certification as a sort of “organizational degree” after passing a quite predictable exam, with all the pitfalls that entails, such as rote preparation, procrastination, short-term focus and cheating.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Legitimizing corporate (Un) sustainability : a case study of passive SMEs
    (SAGE Publications, 2016-10-03) Boiral, Olivier; Chassé, Sonia
    The objective of this article is to explore how decision makers in small- and medium-sized enterprises explain their lack of commitment to sustainability through various justifications. These justifications are intended to rationalize and legitimize, through socially acceptable arguments, the absence of substantial actions in this area. A case study based on 33 interviews in nine Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises showed that managers rationalize their lack of commitment to sustainability in several different ways. These can be grouped into three main types of justifications: prioritization of economic survival, looking for a scapegoat, and denial and minimization (denial of negative impacts, minimization of sustainability issues, selfproclaimed sustainability). The study contributes to bridge the gap between the literatures on neutralization theory, resistance to institutional pressures, and corporate unsustainability. It also sheds further light on the reasons underlying the lack of commitment to sustainable development and how managers justify this to themselves and others.