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The Researcher’s View : Research news (autumn 2018)

The Researcher's View

The Researcher's View presents summaries of articles published in peer reviewed journals on administrative sciences, thesis recently defended in the area of public management and forthcoming events.


Article reviews

Budget and performance

Using TDABC to calculate costs in a hospital transport service

Nicolas Petit
Assistant Professor, Franco-Chinese Institute in Finance, Economics and Management (IFC), Renmin University of China

Charles Ducrocq
Professor, Université Paris Descartes, CEDAG

This paper describes an experiment in which Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC) was used to calculate transport service costs at a public hospital. It describes the method used and the results of the experiment, highlighting the potential benefits of this approach for operational management of hospital logistics. The authors analyse the use of TDABC for just one part of the hospital’s operations, revealing that the method is successful at modelling complex logistics activities without the need for complex, organisation-wide costing. The authors highlight the benefits and limitations of the method, and explain how it can be applied to other areas of public management.

The article was published in  Gestion et management public  2017/1 (Volume 5 / n° 3), p. 59-81 and is available online at:…

Management Control Tools: Value Drivers for the Public Sector?

Benjamin Dreveton
Professor, Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (IAE) Poitiers, CEREGE

This study analyses the role of management control tools in the deployment of new values for the public sector. The article studies the three-year process of introducing a performance management tool (Balanced Scorecard) in a public agency. Initially, the scorecard is presented internally as a way to “transfer” new performance management values and practices from the private to the public sector. Later on, members of the internal project team question its purpose and intent and set about embedding the organisation’s social responsibility values into the tool, creating tension with the performance values that traditionally underpin the Balance Scorecard. The study reveals the various contexts of the deployment process, from disinterest and acclimatisation to managerialisation and conflict. The author shows that, when a value is transposed into an organisation largely uncontested, there is no chance that a network of actors capable of driving the new tool forward will emerge. Conversely, deployment is likely to be more successful if “creative” tension between opposing values is maintained throughout the process.   

The article was published in Comptabilité - Contrôle - Audit 2017/3 (Tome 23), p. 9-28., and is available online at:…

A double edged sword? Use of PPPs and fiscal risks control

Frédéric Marty
Researcher, CNRS, Université Côte d’Azur, GREDEG

Complex, long-term public procurement contracts, such as public-private partnerships, can play an important part in public authorities’ risk management strategies. They cannot, however, offer absolute protection against fiscal risks because some of the risks inherent in the contract cannot be fully transferred to the private partner, and because the contractual and financial architecture itself may generate new fiscal risks that are not properly recognised in public accounts. The author explores these concepts to show how contracts of this type designed with a strong emphasis on risk mitigation expose the public authority to residual risks and, in some cases, to other specific risks. The author then goes on to examine the impact of public management approaches to managing these risks.

The article was published in Revue française d'administration publique 2017/3 (N° 163), p. 613-630, and is available online at:…  


Manager Participation in Management Control and Managerial Performance: A New Approach

Armelle Godener
Professor, Accounting, Law and Finance Department, Grenoble École de Management

Marianela Fornerino
Professor, Marketing Department, Grenoble École de Management

In this article, the authors report on a model explaining the level of managerial performance achieved through manager participation in management control processes, tested with a sample of 157 managers. In this model, manager participation has two dimensions: (1) the manager’s contribution to management control and (2) the manager’s use of the information resulting from this process. The authors observe that managers who are more involved in the management control processes make better use of the information they receive from the management accountant. Their research shows that interaction between the manager and the management accountant supports the process of turning individual knowledge into shared knowledge. They conclude by stressing that having the manager involved in management control improves the relevance of information because, when the manager and the management accountant work together, the management accountant gains a better understanding of the manager’s needs and environment and has a moral duty to adapt accordingly.

The article was published in Comptabilité - Contrôle - Audit 2017/2 (Tome 23), p. 85-110, and is available online at:…

From the political regulation of the worlds of the welfare state to that of professional worlds. The case of care and domestic services in France and Germany

Clémence Ledoux
Lecturer in Political Science, Université de Nantes

This article looks at the development of welfare state care policies over the course of three decades, revealing a trend towards tax and social security instruments (such as tax and social security exemptions, allowances and reductions, and tax credits) replacing cash benefits. The study explores the impact of tax and social security instruments on care occupations (employment status, collective bargaining agreements, etc.). Looking specifically at childminders and domestic care workers in France and Germany, the author concludes that the use of different instruments has delivered markedly different job security and professionalisation outcomes for workers in these occupations in the two countries. In particular, the author finds that domestic care workers and childminders have, over time, aligned themselves with different professional worlds in France and Germany.

The article was published in Revue française de science politique 2018/1 (Vol. 68), p. 53-76, and is available online at:…

Government-citizen relationship

What participation does to public policy. The case of the Chicago Plan for Transformation at Lathrop

Clément Boisseuil
PhD in political science, Researcher at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po

This article analyses how service user participation impacts public policy implementation, using the Lathrop Homes social housing redevelopment project in Chicago, Illinois as a case study. Residents opposed the plans when they were asked to give their views, using participatory governance tools to spawn a protest movement that blocked the project for several years. This example shows how public or private organisations that encourage user participation can lose control of the process. In this case, the chance to participate opened a window of opportunity for protest, and the tools themselves gave the protest movement all-important organisation and structure. Yet the article also highlights how complex it can be for public programmes to adapt when users are given the opportunity to have their say. The author concludes that the drawbacks of participation lie not in the way that participatory tools are used, or in the conflicts that arise from them, but rather in the failure of public authorities to learn from these processes.

The article was published in Gouvernement et action publique 2018/1 (N° 1), p. 57-84, and is available online at:…

Public sector employment

Professional digital space and HRM evolution: observation of two different cases

Hongxia Peng
Lecturer, Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (IAE), Université de Rouen Normandie, NIMEC Lab

This article looks at how new digital technologies – and the professional digital space in particular – have shaped developments in human resource management (HRM). The author argues that the professional digital space could help bring about a change in HRM practices, and that it encourages employees and managers to engage more fully with change processes. The research highlights some of the operational benefits of the digital space: boosting employee and manager engagement with change, fostering bottom-up communication that harnesses an organisation’s intellectual capital and creativity, and rethinking internal managerial practices by opening up opportunities to explore new organisational models and communication structures.

The article was published in @GRH 2017/3 (n° 24), p. 77-99, and is available online at:

Thesis reviews

Public policies for the development of solar photovoltaic energy and the impacts on dynamics of technology systems and markets

Thesis by Hyun Jin Yu, Laboratoire d'Économie de Dauphine (LEDa), supervised by Patrice Geoffron, Professor of Economics, Université Paris-Dauphine. Thesis defence date: 22 June 2016.

The market for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has grown strongly over the last decade, supported by favourable policy-making and a general shift towards cleaner energy technologies. Despite these benign conditions, the global solar PV market had experienced a period of chaos fuelled by overproduction, an industry crisis and long-lasting trade disputes. Taking these issues as its starting point, this thesis examines what public policies for the development of solar PV entail and how they affect technology system and market dynamics. The author reveals a relationship between changing political contexts and the shifting dynamics of the solar PV sector, highlighting how China’s entry into the PV sector put the brakes on a booming domestic industry. The thesis concludes with a series of domestic and international recommendations to support the sector. At the domestic level, the author emphasises self-consumption as a natural way to use solar PV power – a move that will require policy to change direction in the future. The author then outlines how collaborative efforts to harness the economic and environmental benefits of solar PV systems, at the global level, could help bring the current industry crisis to an end and reignite demand for the technology.

The thesis can be viewed online at:

Essays on human resources for health and utilization of maternal health services in sub-Saharan Africa
Thesis by Gaston Nkoumou Ngoa, Laboratoire d’Économie de Dauphine (LEDa), supervised by Philippe de Vreyer, Professor of Economics, Université Paris-Dauphine. Thesis defence date: 15 December 2017.

This thesis explores the effect of prices on healthcare professionals’ decisions and maternal health service uptake in sub-Saharan Africa. The first two chapters are concerned with how wages affect healthcare professionals’ work ethic and multiple job-holding. Based on data collected at the peripheral level of Cameroon’s health system (in Yaoundé and Douala), the author finds no correlation between healthcare professionals’ work ethic and likelihood of holding multiple jobs, and how much they are paid for their main job. This finding suggests that a high-wage policy alone cannot make healthcare professionals work harder or hold down fewer jobs. The third chapter looks at the short-term impact of the free delivery and caesarean section programme on maternal health service uptake in Senegal. The author concludes that the programme has had no discernible short-term effect on service uptake, thereby raising questions about the wisdom of hastily scaling up free healthcare programmes.

The thesis can be viewed online at:  

Stakeholder participation in the place marketing process: the case of the Auvergne Nouveau Monde brand
Thesis by Cédrine Zumbo-Lebrument, Centre d’Études et de Recherches sur les Organisations et la Stratégie (CEROS), Université Paris Nanterre, supervised by Pierre Fenies, Assistant Professor of Management Science, Université Paris Nanterre, and Éric Dacheux, Professor, Université Blaise Pascal (Clermont-II). Thesis defence date: 14 November 2017.

This CIFRE-funded thesis presents the findings of an action-research intervention involving local tourism brand “Auvergne Nouveau Monde” (ANM). The author seeks to identify, understand and evaluate the determinants of stakeholder participation in the brand’s place marketing campaign. The research draws on the fields of participatory democracy and place marketing to explain the conceptual framework behind stakeholder participation and the reasons why stakeholders choose to participate, shedding light on participatory processes and determinants that shape support for, and engagement with, a place brand. The author stresses that stakeholders will not engage if the brand owners adopt a top-down approach and impose participation arrangements on them without taking their views, and the features that make the place unique, into account. As a brand that did precisely this – imposing objectives and arrangements in a top-down manner – ANM is an interesting example. The case highlights why it is important to work from the bottom up, giving due weight to what stakeholders want and what motivates them, so they can bring the brand to life and drive engagement through participatory processes.

The thesis can be viewed online at:





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