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Framing a Franchise – Financial Disclosure, non-GAAP Earnings, and Equity Valuation in the Formation of a Socio-Technical Agencement Open Access


Other title
Financial Analysts
Socio-Technical Agencement
pro forma earnings
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Fox, Kenneth A
Supervisor and department
Cooper, David J (Accounting)
Examining committee member and department
Gehman, Joel (Strategic Management and Organization)
Deephouse, David (Strategic Management and Organization)
Cooper, David J (Accounting)
Catusus, Bino (Accounting)
Suddaby, Roy (Strategic Management and Organization)
Faculty of Business
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This dissertation provides a qualitative case study of a Canadian Public company, its financial reporting, its interaction with financial analysts, and the valuation modeling conducted by the analysts. Presented in four empirical chapters, the corporate practices and processes that lead to the identification and calculation of non-GAAP (i.e., pro forma) earnings measures, the communication of those measures to financial analysts through conference calls, and the use of those measures in the analyst’ equity valuation models is described. In providing a detailed description of these individual processes, the dissertation contributes to the accounting literature that has been lacking in such an examination of the micro-processes of financial reporting and valuation. Taken as a whole, the dissertation contributes to the literature on calculation and distributed financial cognition that examines the framing processes that are implicated in the construction of a socio-technical agencement. Relying on empirical data gathered from interviews with managers and financial analysts, content analysis of corporate financial disclosure, conference call transcripts, analysts’ reports, and analysts’ models, the dissertation provides a unique study of the financial reporting and valuation processes from start to finish. This study joins a small and emerging body of research that extends the contribution of Actor-Network Theory’s sociology of translation to the study of financial markets, and is unique in its application of that perspective to the study of corporate financial reporting. This dissertation finds that corporate financial reporting evolves and changes, and voluntary reporting practices are adopted and adapted, through interaction with important financial statement users, financial analysts. Rather than the uni-directional influence of one on the other studied in much of the mainstream accounting research, corporate reporting practices are a collaborative effort, as managers change their reporting to meet user’s needs. Building upon this finding of collaborative practices, the dissertation also finds that the resulting key metric taken as representative of the performance of the company is also the result of collaboration. The formation of a socio-technical agencement that establishes a list of entities for consideration in calculation, rearranges them, and associates them in chains of calculations supported by managers, analysts, and their devices underpins the analysts’ “franchise”. This franchise is the result of the achievement of distributed action, which is calculation.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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