A fully-funded PhD studentship in Management Science «Behavioral Finance and Financial Audit»
Research Lab: Magellan Research Lab
PhD supervisors: Jean-François Gajewski, Professor of Management Science (Finance)
Marco Heimann, Associate Professor
Pierre-Majorique Léger, Professor of Information Technology (HEC
Partners: HEC Montréal (Management School) and ESSCA (Business School)
Duration: September 2022 —- September 2025
Location: Lyon and Montréal
Context of the thesis
The thesis is part of the project «RemotAudit» (Auditors’ Behavior in Remote Work) which has been selected and funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as part of the AAPG2021. The project is led by the Magellan Research Lab and in collaboration with Business School ESSCA, HEC Montréal and the company Odonatech. The objective of the project «RemotAudit» is to study the impact of the growing trend of remote work induced by the COVID-19 on audit quality. Particularly, it aims to study the lasting changes in work patterns and organizations thanks to new remote work collaboration technologies.
From a scientific point of view, this project aims to extend our knowledge on the digital transformation of the auditing profession, the perception of these changes by workers and the impact on the effectiveness of the profession. It will also improve our understanding of the different biases related to human behaviors, and their link with the quality of work in financial audits.
Objective of the thesis
The 3-year thesis will contribute to have a better understanding of the perceived and objective impacts of remote work on audit quality and to mobilize new approaches, such as nudges (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008), that improve audit quality.
The methodology will mobilize a multi-method approach. It means a methodological strategy both qualitative and quantitative. Different survey and laboratory experimentation techniques will be used.
In order to propose an actionable and replicable model, the results will be discussed every year during workshops and presentations at scientific conferences.
Ultimately, the co-direction of management science and neurosciences will allow an interdisciplinary understanding of the effect of remote work on auditors.
Gajewski J.-F., Heimann M., Léger P.-M., Teye P. (2020). Nudging to Improve Financial Auditors’ Behavior: Preliminary Results of an Experimental Study. Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020, F. D. Davis et al. (Eds.).
Gajewski J.-F., Heimann M. and Meunier L. (2021). Nudges in SRI: the power of the default option. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-20.
Gajewski J.-F., Labelle L., Léger P.-M., Li L. and Sénécal S. (2015). Emotional response to financial information. Consortium on research in emotional finance: emotional, neural, and behavioral aspects of decision-making, New-York.
Gajewski J.-F. and Meunier L. (2020). Risk preferences: are students a reasonable sample to make inferences about the decision making of finance professionals? Economics Bulletin, 40(4), A261.
Hurtt R.K., Brown-Liburd H., Earley C.E. and Krishnamoorthy G. (2013). Research on auditor professional skepticism: Literature synthesis and opportunities for future research. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and theory, 32 (Supplement 1), 45-97.
Legoux R., Leger P. M., Robert J. and Boyer M. (2014). Confirmation biases in the financial analysis of IT investments. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 15(1), article 1.
McMillan J.J. and White R.A. (1993). Auditors’ belief revisions and evidence search: The effect of hypothesis frame, confirmation bias, and professional skepticism. The Accounting Review, 68(3), 443-465.
Riedl R. and Léger P.-M. (2016). Fundamentals of NeuroIS. Studies in Neuroscience, Psychology and Behavioral Economics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Thaler R.H. (2015). The power of nudges, for good and bad. The New York Times.
Thaler R.H. and Sunstein C.R. (2008). Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Yale University Press. 293 p.
– Candidates should have a Master’s degree in finance/accounting and have completed a research thesis before July 2022.
– Skills in data collection and analysis. Mastering statistical analysis software such as SPSS, SAS, R and/or Matlab will be appreciated.
– Language requirement: French- minimum C1 and English – minimum B2.
– Please send your CV and research proposal presenting the thesis project (maximum 2 pages) to Professor Jean-François Gajewski (email@example.com).
– Salary: 1977.5 € gross/month.
– Deadline for applications: 31 July 2022