Faculty Directory

Nicole Thibodeau

Nicole Thibodeau

"Managers need to be aware of the rules and regulations that affect them, accounting or otherwise.  And just as importantly, they need to understand the value and the limits of the financial and nonfinancial information that they receive and use each day to make decisions and to communicate."

Download Nicole Thibodeau's CV.

Message

As an academic interested in business and economics, I am fascinated by the uses of financial and nonfinancial information internally and externally and by their influence on individuals and organizations.  And I am particularly curious about the role of such information in governmental and healthcare organizations and how it is similar and different from its role in for profit seeking organizations and how this role is evolving in this era of transformation.

As an instructor, I am just as, if not more, curious and passionate.  My role is to help the student of accounting to become more familiar with the language of accounting, its underpinnings and particularly how it is used, its effects as well as its value and limits for decision-making. Regardless of the level, I believe that my role is to make concepts real and understandable so that the student leaves the class with a good grasp of basic concepts and is comfortable applying them. As such, I enjoy the challenge of simplifying the complex and making the abstract real to the student.

Biography

A graduate of the Katz Graduate School of Business of the University of Pittsburgh, Nicole received her PhD in 2003. She obtained her BBA in 1988 from Laval University in Quebec, Canada. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), the American Accounting Association (AAA) and of the Canadian Academic Accounting Association (CAAA).  Prior to her Willamette appointment, Nicole was a member of the faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School’s (NPS) Graduate School of Business and Public Policy in Monterey, California which she joined in July 2005 after having spent over 5 years as a member of Laval University’s School of Accountancy. Nicole also worked in public accounting for over six years, four years of which she was also involved in the CICA’s Uniform Final Exam (UFE) annual evaluation process and Laval University’s preparation program for the UFE. Her research focuses on the role of accounting information and incentives in public sector and healthcare organizations.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • B.B.A., Universite Laval (Quebec)

Selected Personal Interests

Outdoors

I enjoy being active, especially exploring outdoors: bicycling, hiking, trekking and sometimes climbing (hopefully more of that to come). It's especially wonderful if there is a great view along the way or interesting wildlife such as when exploring in a kayak. A motorcycle ride is also good for the soul and the senses and beats the car any day. Though I am very much a novice in terms of traveling and adventures, I do cherish every opportunity that I get to go out, be it a small or big trip, as much for the experience as for moments shared with great friends or with new acquaintances who share the same passion. Some notable favorites include finishing the 2001 Pittsburgh marathon without any prior running experience, hiking in the Himalayas to the base camp of Mount Everest (pictured to the left), and more recently, backpacking in the Mount Whitney area - summiting Mt. Langley and almost summiting Mt. Whitney as well as circumnavigating the central sierras through Yosemite and up to King’s Canyon on my Harley Davidson Sportster.  

Locally, I am very much a gym enthusiast who regularly needs the solitude and the intensity of a workout (and the rhythm of the music on the Ipod) to clear my mind and to build strength and energy. Running (especially if it’s cold and raining), bicycling and spinning sessions also complement workouts. The endorphins that come from a great hike, workout, ride, run or paddle, are powerful energizers and motivators.

Academic Statement

An accountant by trade turned academic, I believe that information is one of the key resources of any organization. Indeed, information pervades markets and organizations everywhere. Whether in for profit, not-for-profit or governmental organizations, members exchange and produce an incredible amount of information internally and externally. Some of that information is used deliberately for decision making, some of it is not used at all while other information ends up being used for purposes or ends other than those intended.  This is particularly true in this age of information technology where the boundaries of nations and organizations are not so clear.  Indeed, we are very much in an age of experimentation and transformation of financial and product markets where information technology has burst these boundaries. Witness the internationalization of financial accounting rules (GAAP), the development of financial and nonfinancial accounting in government,  increased scrutiny and regulation in the US following the Enron/Worldcom accounting scandals as well the healthcare crisis, all of which emanate from demands for accountability and involve significant changes in regulations and in ways of doing business. Managers need to be aware of the rules and regulations that affect them, accounting or otherwise.  And just as importantly, they need to understand the value and the limits of the financial and nonfinancial information that they receive and use each day to make decisions and to communicate.

Courses Taught

Strategic Management Controls in the Full Time MBA, Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting in the MBA for Professionals, and financial reporting in the Full time MBA.

Research Interests

The role and effect of accounting (financial and nonfinancial) information in organizations from a managerial economics perspective, especially:

  • Strategic performance management, incentive contracts, organizational design and reforms particularly in the context of public sector and healthcare organizations and in relation to institutional constraints
  • Financial accounting and reporting (esp. teaching)

Selected Publications and Working Papers

“The Long-Run Performance of Decentralized Agencies in Quebec: A Multidimensional Assessment” with Claude Laurin and Marie-Eve Quenneville of the Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), forthcoming as chapter 8 in “Comparative Research on Public Sector Organization”, edited by Per Lægreid and Koen Verhoest, Governance and Public Management series, series editors Win van de Donk and Gerard Timsit, Palgrave.

“Value Creation in Public Enterprises: An Empirical Analysis of Coordinated Organizational Changes in the VA Hospital System” with John Harry Evans and Nandu Nagarajan, University of Pittsburgh and Jeff Whittle, VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, 2007. The Accounting Review, 82 (2): 483-502.

“An Empirical Assessment of the Effect of Pre-Notification and Follow-up on Mail Survey Response Rates in Management Accounting Studies” with Jean-François Henri, Université Laval, October 2006 (Status: 2nd round at the Journal of Management Accounting Research) [Link to Article]

“La comptabilité intermédiaire”, with N. Chlala, Ménard, L., Gagnon-Valotaire, D. Kieso, D. E., Weygandt, J. J., Warfield, T. D., Callimaci, A., Giroux, G., McGraw, E. Racette, E. and Robert, A. Les Éditions du Renouveau Pédagogique, Montréal, 2004. (This intermediate financial accounting textbook won the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports’ award for best textbook, 2005-2006.)

“Specialized Health Care Services Abroad”, Report to the Health Care and Social Services Ministry, Government of Quebec, November 2003