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Cahier n°4 - Août 2014

Les cahiers de la Chaire EGE, 2014, n°4


Alexandre Rambaud : Université Paris-Dauphine
Bruno Oxibar : Maître de conférences, Université Paris-Dauphine
Elisabeth Albertini : Maître de conférences, IAE Paris Sorbonne
Olivier Charpateau : Maître de conférences, Université Paris-Dauphine
Thierry Wiedemann-Goiran : Professeur associé, IAE Paris

Normes RH et RSE

L’extension de la normalisation à la gestion des Ressources Humaines et à la Responsabilité Sociale des Entreprises s’accélère avec simultanément la multiplication des référentiels normatifs produits et l’internationalisation des entreprises. Deux principaux types de normes existent. Les normes juridiques sont fondées essentiellement sur le droit national et international. Les normes techniques sont issues d’organismes dont la finalité est de produire des référentiels non juridiques et de la promouvoir auprès plus grand nombre possible l’organisations. Dans le cadre des RH et de la RSE, il existe plus de 130 normes techniques. Les thématiques abordées sont aussi variées que la définition de la RSE, les méthodes de reporting ou la maîtrise des risques professionnels dans l’industrie du jouet en Asie. Malgré cette multiplication des normes, les champs de la RH et de la RSE ne sont pas couverts mais les redondances sont nombreuses. Pour certaines d’entre-elles, la diffusion devient si forte qu’elle pose la question de la légitimité à étendre des pratiques, des valeurs, des concepts dont l’universalité est loin d’être acquise ou même reconnue.

The «triple depreciation line» instead of the «triple bottom line»: towards a genuine integrated reporting

The «Triple Bottom Line» (TBL) is a major and increasingly used socio-environmental accounting framework. However academic critical examinations of this model have remained scarce and most importantly, no real alternatives have been developed. Thus this theoretical paper provides a contribution to fill this gap. Firstly from a critical analysis of the TBL approach, we argue that this one suffers severe limitations. In particular, it does not protect human and natural capitals. As an answer to these problems, we propose and discuss an other accounting framework, the «Triple Depreciation Line» (TDL), which extends the powerful tool of capitalist accounting for preserving the financial capital, the Historical Cost Accounting and its planned depreciation, to human and natural capitals. To this end, we analyse and redefine the concept of capital in an ecological accounting context. We clearly specify the hypothesis on which the TDL relies, to facilitate comparisons and dialogues with other accounting models.

Ethics in the letter to shareholders

This paper proposes a qualitative study of the ethical argumentation used in the “CEO’s letter” included in the annual report of 46 listed French firms. Based on an in-depth study of European and North American ethical and moral philosophy, we build a grid to analyze concepts found in the letters. The aim of the paper is to define the kind of ethical arguments presented by the CEO, and determine whether the nature of the ethics presented to the shareholders varies with business sectors and in a time of economic downturn. We scrutinized changes in the ethical arguments put forward between 2007 and 2010. The results show that listed firms do not share a “standard” approach, and use a variety of ethical argumentation in their letters to shareholders. These letters refer to several different concepts of ethics, although the most important remains the financial concept. Some firms draw on only one type of ethics, some display substitution between different ethics, and some increase and broaden the nature of their ethical argumentation. Our study enhances identification of certain stereotypes of ethical thinking configurations, which are seen to be independent of the business sector, even though we show that some sectors use specific ethical argumentation. We discuss the results and link them to practical situations, offering theoretical propositions for the corporate social responsibility field.