Eccles, Robert G.
Eccles, Robert G.
Office—Advisory Capital Partners, 505 S. Flagler Dr., Ste. 1450, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
Writer, editor, financial professional, consultant, and educator. Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA, professor, 1979-93, served as chairman, Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Area; Advisory Capital Partners, founder and president, 1993—. PricewaterhouseCoopers, senior fellow.
(Editor, with Leonard A. Schlesinger and John J. Gabarro) Managing Behavior in Organizations: Text, Cases, Readings, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1983.
The Transfer Pricing Problem: A Theory for Practice, Lexington Books (Lexington, MA), 1985.
(With Dwight B. Crane) Doing Deals: Investment Banks at Work, Harvard Business School Press (Boston, MA), 1988.
(Editor, with Nitin Nohria) Networks and Organizations: Structure, Form, and Action, Harvard Business School Press (Boston, MA), 1992.
(With Nitin Nohria and James D. Berkley) Beyond the Hype: Rediscovering the Essence of Management, Harvard Business School Press (Boston, MA), 1992.
(With others) The ValueReporting Revolution: Moving beyond the Earnings Game, Wiley (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr.) Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting, Wiley (New York, NY), 2002.
Writer, editor, and educator Robert G. Eccles is a financial professional and consultant who writes on issues related to management, company valuation, and corporate behavior. A tenured professor at the Harvard Business School for fourteen years, Eccles developed a pioneering research method for locating and identifying communication gaps in capital markets. He is founder of Advisory Capital Partners, a consultancy that provides strategic, financial, and organizational advice to companies at all levels of growth in the financial services, health care, and professional services industries.
In Beyond the Hype: Rediscovering the Essence of Management, Eccles and coauthors Nitin Nohria and James D. Berkley reexamine some of the basic characteristics of managers and propose an energetic management style based on action and involvement. They base their conclusions on a variety of extensive interviews conducted on-site and on careful analysis of managerial dynamics in a variety of companies. In the end, the manager they envision should be "flexible, pragmatic and skilled in [using] language," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
The ValueReporting Revolution: Moving beyond the Earnings Game offers a new perspective on the methods and hallmarks used to determine a company's value, with a focus on information created outside of the stock market and beyond what the data companies are legally compelled to report. Because traditional value reporting measures only tangible assets, Eccles suggests, it is an outdated method of determining the worth of a company. Instead, a better evaluation of company value can be made by assessing intangible factors that help define a company's true position in the marketplace. Eccles "proposes a system of corporate reporting based on 'market-driven' information—things that help create value, such as customer satisfaction, product quality, employee training, market share, and other factors that add to, or detract from, a company's competitiveness," commented Alan Levinsohn in Strategic Finance. Levinsohn called the book "a handy compendium: excellently researched, well organized, and clearly written."
With Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting, Eccles and coauthor Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., address the drastic erosion of public confidence in corporate financial reporting and related areas in the wake of high-profile corporate scandals, accountancy malfeasance, and other financial misdealings of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The authors concern themselves with creating more accessible, transparent methods of corporate reporting that will help restore a badly battered public trust in the honesty and accuracy of business information. They propose a three-tier model that makes the greatest use of current technology for efficiency and accountability. The first tier of this model requires adopting of global accounting standards throughout the world and establishing an organization to oversee and enforce those standards within the United States. Second, the authors call for reporting standards designed to be applied to specific industries, and to be used consistently. Third, they ask for the establishment of guidelines for the reporting of company-specific information such as business strategies, planning, corporate governance structures, compensation policies, and performance standards. Among Eccles and DiPiazza's other suggestions, they ask for accountants to be more concerned with intangible methods for valuing companies. They endorse the use of technologies such as XBRL, or Extensible Business Reporting Language, a consistent electronic coding language designed for assembling and disseminating financial information. A reviewer in Accounting Today called Building Public Trust "an urgent call to action to solve a crisis of historic proportions." Eccles and DiPiazza offer "an insightful model of how corporate reporting and corporate governance could be improved to establish greater transparency in reporting practices—how to get beyond scandals like Enron, WorldCom and similar recent cases," commented Robert Colman in CMA Management. "The authors offer sound solutions to raising the quality of corporate reporting in order to help win back the public trust in the information being produced and reported to users," commented Robert Kawa in the CPA Journal. Reviewer Stanley Person, writing in the Journal of Accountancy, called the work an "interesting, educational book," while Colman concluded it is a "valuable, concise reference for companies that are looking for ways to improve their corporate reporting model."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Accountancy Ireland, February, 2002, review of The ValueReporting Revolution: Moving beyond the Earnings Game, p. 42; August, 2002, review of Building Public Trust: The Future of Corporate Reporting, p. 38.
Accounting Technology, September, 2002, review of Building Public Trust, p. 49.
Accounting Today, August 5, 2002, Glenn Cheney, "PwC's DiPiazza and Eccles Propose New Accounting Model," review of Building Public Trust, p. 14; September 2, 2002, J. Edward Ketz, "Building Public Trust Hit and Miss," review of Building Public Trust, p. 8; September 2, 2002, review of Building Public Trust, p. 34.
CMA Management, November, 2002, Robert Colman, review of Building Public Trust, p. 44.
CPA Journal, February, 2003, Robert Kawa, review of Building Public Trust, p. 19.
Dallas Business Journal, May 18, 2001, Hala Habal, "Book: Information Gaps Pose Market Threat (Outdated Corporate Reporting Is a Problem)," review of The ValueReporting Revolution, p. 23.
Directors & Boards, fall, 2002, Kayla J. Gillan, review of Building Public Trust, p. 12.
Journal of Accountancy, December, 2002, Stanley Person, review of Building Public Trust, p. 89.
Long Island Business News, July 12, 2002, review of Building Public Trust, p. 25A.
Publishers Weekly, October 26, 1992, review of Beyond the Hype: Rediscovering the Essence of Management, p. 51.
Strategic Finance, May, 2001, Alan Levinsohn, review of The ValueReporting Revolution, p. 21.
A.M. Best Company Web site,http://www.ambest.com/ (November 1, 2006), biography of Robert G. Eccles.
Kurtzman Group Web site,http://www.kurtzmangroup.com/ (November 1, 2006), biography of Robert G. Eccles.
Leading Authorities,http://www.leadingauthorities.com/ (November 1, 2006), biography of Robert G. Eccles.*