Sustainable development, a promising field of action for non-financial rating agencies


  • Jean-Guy DEGOS Université de Bordeaux, Centre de recherche IRGO
  • Oussama BEN HMIDEN LUNAM Université, ESSCA School of Management


In this article, after mentioning the foundation of financial rating agencies, their development and their constitution as an oligopoly, we recall that this system, which began its growth in a modest way, became a decade after decade an unavoidable system. Indeed, it responds to an essential need, the control of states and entities using notes or comparisons to ensure their national or international legitimacy. Financial crisis have generated other means of agreement and control, such as Bâle I, II, III and soon IV, which have further strengthened the indispensable role of credit rating agencies. But today's world has realized that our future is no longer fully assured by finance, and the constraints and hopes of sustainable development have given rise to a new form of rating agencies, which are reviving competition with traditional agencies. They are not prepared to withdraw without fighting, and we are witnessing a questioning of the oligopolistic structures of this evolving market. To validate our reflections, we used the historical method and the institutional theories of Max Weber (1905) and their neo-institutional extension, well represented by Meyer & Rowan (1977), Scott (1995) and Dimaggio & Powell (1983).

Keywords. Sustainable Development, Financial rating agencies, Financial crisis.