Christel Dumas
Teaching Assistant, ICHEC Brussels Management School; and PhD Candidate, Gent University
christel.dumas@ichec.be

Research Area:
Dominant conventions, collective beliefs, isomorphism, responsible investment, media studies

Christel Dumas is Teacher Assistant at ICHEC Brussels Management School, where she teaches and researches in the area of finance. She is a PhD candidate at Gent University,preparing a thesis on the mainstreaming of responsible investment (RI), in collaboration with Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. She was awarded the FIR finance and sustainability prize and research grant for this research. She also worked 9 years in corporate governance, first as an analyst and then as a manager, at Deminor and RiskMetrics (now MSCI).


From occupy Wall Street to mainstream: A question of beliefs and coordination

Abstract
Collective beliefs are one of the forces that shape institutional arrangements, particularly in financial markets, but are under-studied. We identified collective beliefs for the emerging field of responsible investment (RI) based on its media coverage in the financial press between 1985 and 2010, including an in-depth content analysis of a selected sample of 89 articles. Using convention theory, this paper reports the multiplicity of salient representations based on which investors will coordinate they actions: the collective beliefs for RI. A first level result decomposes the history of responsible investment into five successive RI periods. A second level result highlights collective beliefs for RI which drive the mimetic process of conventions. The case of RI mainstreaming illustrates the importance of studying mimetic processes at a meso-level, in addition to the standard, organizational level mimetic processes. Indeed, the meso-level focus and self-referential nature of conventions address some limits of institutional isomorphism when it comes to financial markets, which is one of several ways in which convention theory and neo-institutional theory can contribute to each other.

Download the Presentation
(PDF)

Bringing responsible investment into the mainstream. Does it make a difference?
Although socially responsible investment is not new, it is still unclear how it can make a difference. Most research so far focuses on the financial return of responsible investment, rather than on its contribution to the prosperity of society in non-financial terms. One question that remains to be answered is whether SRI truly challenges mainstream finance, or whether it is a way for mainstream finance to address and appease critiques from civil society. This article contributes to the discussion on whether SRI challenges mainstream finance by exploring its potential as a change agent. For a series of test situations identified around SRI, we study the justification of responsible investment over the recent SRI periods (2001-2012) as well as the resolution of the disputes in terms of compromise of arrangement as defined by Boltanski and Thévenot (2006 [1991]). This approach shows that a contribution of responsible investment to society is the questioning, justification work and conflict resolution around investment practices. The analysis shows that while there are tests of SRI on a variety of topics, not all these tests are relevant or truly challenging for mainstream finance. The issue of tools used in SRI is one area where the dispute challenges mainstream finance and thereby provide opportunities for change.

Download the Presentation (PDF)


Menu CONFERENCE HOME
Menu
ABOUT
Menu
PROGRAM
Menu
PRESENTERS & PAPERS
Menu
KEYNOTES & PANELISTS
Menu
WORKSHOPS
Menu
REGISTER
Menu
STUDENT and GUEST REGISTRATION
Menu
UPDATES & SOCIAL MEDIA
Menu
VENUE & LOCATION
Menu
ACCOMMODATIONS
Menu
PARTNERS
Menu
PAST CONFERENCES
Menu
CONTACT
©2014 Created by CBERN