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Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal
Number of Followers: 34  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1368-0668
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  • Rethinking performativity
    • Pages: 930 - 956
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 930-956, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to advance a critical realist perspective on performativity and use it to examine how novel conceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have performative effects. Design/methodology/approach To illustrate how the authors’ critical realist understanding of performativity can play out, the authors offer a field study of an Australian packaging company and engage in retroductive and retrodictive theorising. Findings In contrast to most prior accounting research, the authors advance a structuralist understanding of performativity that pays more systematic attention to the causal relationships that underpin performative tendencies. The authors explain how such tendencies are conditioned by pre-existing, social structures, conceptualised in terms of multiple, intersecting norm circles. The authors illustrate their argument empirically by showing how specific conceptions of CSR, centred on the notion of “shared value”, were cemented by the interplay between the causal powers embedded in such norm circles and how this suppressed alternative conceptions of this phenomenon. Research limitations/implications The findings draw attention to the structural boundary conditions under which particular conceptions of CSR can be expected to become performative. Greater attention to such boundary conditions, denoting the social structures that reinforce and counteract performative tendencies, is required to further cumulative, yet context-sensitive, theory development on this topic. Originality/value The paper is the first to adopt a critical realist perspective on performativity in the accounting literature. This perspective strikes a middle path between the highly constructivist ontology, adopted in most accounting research concerned with performativity and realist criticisms of this ontological position for de-emphasising the influence of pre-existing, objective realities on performativity.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-31T08:16:20Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2017-3247
       
  • Do sources of occupational community impact corporate internal
           control' The case of CFOs in the high-tech industry
    • Pages: 957 - 983
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 957-983, June 2019.
      Purpose The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), despite being a critical organization member responsible for ensuring quality of financial reporting, audit and compliance, is under-researched. Grouped as a member of top management teams (TMS) in studies, factors influencing decision making in this group rely on static measures of characteristics without regard for dynamic and longitudinal influences of career trajectories and industry occupational group memberships. The relationship between the high-tech industry as a site of notable reported internal control (IC) weakness and influences on CFOs requires closer examination. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach The study draws together the upper echelons theory and occupational communities (OCs) to explore the impact of shared values and behavioral norms from different sources on executive decision making. Internal and external sources of OC are proposed and their influence on activities with respect to corporate IC is tested. The sample of 1,573 firm/year observations includes high-tech firms listed on major US exchanges was developed using data from five distinct databases. Executives’ biographic information was manually collected. Findings Results indicate that senior financial executives belong not only to their firm and its culture but also to OCs that extend beyond the firm. Membership in professional credential granting occupational groups has less impact on effective IC than experience in the high-tech industry. In combination, multiple OCs show evidence of compound and counteracting effects on IC. The OC that arises in the high-tech industry makes a measurable positive difference in the quality of IC in sample firms, in contrast with the OC among credentialed accounting and financial professionals. Research limitations/implications This quantitative study of OC reveals the differential impact of different sources of OC and contributes to the literature on TMS a new framework for examining decision making. OC is typically studied through qualitative methods and, thus, potential exists to further explore the specific nature and dynamics of the OCs identified in this study. Practical implications The study highlights the role of broad affiliations and networks among senior financial executives which may have bearing on their ability to effectively manage IC. The role of these networks may also partially explain instances of CFO failure and thus dismissal. Knowledge of the role of OC may help boards of directors in the selection and promotion of senior financial officers of the firm. Originality/value The paper offers a different perspective on professional accounting expertise in one specific industry where incidence of IC weakness is high relative to other industries. Study results expand recent research on TMS to include sociological impacts of cohort groups. Despite generally weaker IC in the high-tech sector, this study demonstrates the value of exploring group membership within the industry as an important predictor of behavior. The result is a new perspective to CFO decision making which illustrates the relevance of OCs among upper echelons. The implications of findings for CFO recruitment and promotion are borne out in recent instances of senior financial executive failure in the sector.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T06:38:02Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-06-2016-2594
       
  • Institutional drivers of environmental management accounting adoption in
           public sector water organisations
    • Pages: 984 - 1012
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 984-1012, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the influences on the adoption of environmental management accounting (EMA) in corporatised water supply organisations, from an institutional theory perspective, drawing on the concepts of reflexive isomorphism and institutional logics. Design/methodology/approach The primary research involves case analysis of three companies in the Australian water supply industry, drawing on interviews, internal documents and publicly available documents, including annual reports. Findings Two key drivers for the adoption and emergence of EMA are: the emergence of a government regulator in the form of the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and community expectations with regard to environmental performance and disclosure. The water organisations were found to be reflexively isomorphic, while seeking to align their commercial logic to “sustainability” and “ensuring community expectations” logics to the legitimate adoption of EMA. Originality/value The paper contributes to the literature by providing case study evidence of the intentions and motivations of management in adopting EMA, and the nature of that adoption process over an extended period. Further, it provides empirical evidence of the applicability of reflexive isomorphism in the context of EMA and institutional logics.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-31T08:27:22Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-09-2017-3145
       
  • Substantive and symbolic strategies sustaining the environmentally
           friendly ideology
    • Pages: 1013 - 1042
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1013-1042, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to longitudinally explore the symbolic and substantive ideological strategies located in ENGIE’s environmental discourse while considering the specific negative media context surrounding the company’s environmental activities. Design/methodology/approach Thompson’s (2007) and Eagleton’s (2007) theorizations are used to build an extended ideological framework to analyze ENGIE’s environmental talk from 2001 to 2015. Findings ENGIE drew extensively on a combination of symbolic and substantive ideological strategies in its annual and sustainability reports while ignoring several major issues raised in the press. Its substantive ideological mode of operation included actions for the environment, innovation, partnerships and educating stakeholders/staff, while its symbolic ideological mode of operation used issue identification, legal compliance, rationalization, stakeholders’ responsibilization and unification. Both ideological modes of operation worked synergistically to cast a positive light on ENGIE’s environmental activities, sustaining the ideology of a company that reconciles the irreconcilable despite negative press coverage. Originality/value This paper develops the notion of environmentally friendly ideology to analyze the environmental discourse of a polluting company. It is the first to use both Thompson’s and Eagleton’s ideological frameworks to make sense of corporate environmental discourse. Linking corporate discourse with media coverage, it further contributes to the burgeoning literature that interpretively distinguishes between symbolic and substantive ideological strategies by highlighting the company’s progressive shift from symbolic to more substantive disclosure.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-14T08:34:27Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-02-2018-3343
       
  • Matter of opinion
    • Pages: 1043 - 1072
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1043-1072, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the socio-political role of materiality assessment in sustainability reporting literature and discuss the potential of materiality assessment to advance more inclusive accounting and reporting practices, in particular critical dialogic accounting. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on literature on the concept of materiality together with insights from stakeholder engagement, commensuration and critical dialogic accounting the paper analyses disclosure on materiality in sustainability reports. Empirically, qualitative content analysis is used to analyse 44 sustainability reports from the leading companies. Findings The authors argue that, first, the technic-rational approach to materiality portrays the assessment as a neutral and value-free measurement, and second, the materiality matrix presents the multiple stakeholders as having a unified understanding of what is considered important in corporate sustainability. Thus, the technic-rational approach to the materiality assessment, reinforced with the use of the matrix is a value-laden judgement of what matters in corporate sustainability and narrows down rather than opens up the complexity of the assessment of material sustainability issues, stakeholder engagement and the societal pursuit of sustainable development. Originality/value The understandings and implications of the concept of materiality are ambiguous and wide-reaching, as, through constituting the legitimised set of claims and information on corporate sustainable performance, it impacts our understanding of sustainable development at large, and affects the corporate and policy-level transition towards sustainability. Exploring insights from critical dialogic accounting help us to elaborate on the conceptions and practical implications of materiality assessment that enhance stakeholder engagement in a democratic, rather than managerial, spirit.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-02T06:44:47Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2016-2788
       
  • Enabling management control systems, situated learning and intellectual
           capital development
    • Pages: 1073 - 1097
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1073-1097, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how an enabling management control system (MCS) affected intellectual capital (IC) development in an organisation. The study explores the effect of a change from a coercive to an enabling control system on situated learning and the development of IC. Design/methodology/approach A case study was conducted in a large manufacturing organisation to explore the effect of a redesigned MCS on IC development. Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit understanding of the effect of the new system on situated learning and valuable local knowledge and relationship development. Findings The enabling way in which the MCS was designed introduced empowerment and accountability for financial and operational performance at all levels of the organisational hierarchy, which stimulated situated learning in a way that developed the organisation’s IC. Originality/value New insight is provided into the way management accounting practice can deliver valuable outcomes to organisations. First, into how MCSs design can stimulate the development of valuable local knowledge and relationships as IC. Second, into how MCS design can affect non-management employees. While prior studies have focussed on managers, this research is novel in showing how enabling controls affect non-management employees.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-31T08:18:01Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-02-2013-1237
       
  • Contesting commensuration
    • Pages: 1098 - 1116
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1098-1116, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore how actors subjected to public performance evaluations may “contest commensuration,” i.e. may seek to influence how such ratings and rankings will be construed among important stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative study of press releases, and interviews with department heads, is used as a basis for the analysis. Findings The empirically derived taxonomy of public responses to a state-initiated performance evaluation of educational programs shows that actors may mobilize an array of commensuration management tactics so as to maintain or improve one’s relative positional status. Such tactics may have at least three different foci, namely, on the comparison object (i.e. on the new grouping of actors), the comparison dimension (i.e. the standardized format for comparison) and the comparison rate (i.e. the rate received), respectively. The authors also find that not only are threats to positional status likely to spur commensuration management tactics, but also the opportunity to exploit a good rate. Originality/value The paper augments recent research that has problematized the so-called “reactive conformance thesis” by focusing on how evaluated organizations may directly try to influence external stakeholders through public responses. The study is also one of the first that analytically disentangles how they may skillfully exploit different forms of “plasticity” that are inherent in any type of commensuration.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-31T08:23:22Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-09-2016-2717
       
  • Marching with the volunteers
    • Pages: 1117 - 1145
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1117-1145, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of volunteers and its impact on related accountability practices towards beneficiaries by a large humanitarian non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Indonesia. Design/methodology/approach The authors adopted a qualitative case study design. The empirical evidence comes from rich fieldwork carried out in an Indonesian NGO. The authors collected the evidence mainly via 46 interviews and five focus groups. Findings The authors found that the case NGO drew heavily on the social and cultural capitals of volunteers in the process of serving its beneficiaries, which, in turn, facilitated the enhancement of its accountability to the beneficiaries. The authors also found that volunteers play a bridging role to reduce the distance between NGOs and beneficiaries. Research limitations/implications For NGO managers, this study provides necessary empirical evidence on the positive role played by the volunteers in the development and operationalisation of accountability to the beneficiaries. In the authors’ case, beneficiary accountability is enhanced by the social conduct and practices performed by the NGO’s numerous volunteers. Beneficiary accountability is of significant concern to the policy makers too. This study shows that volunteers and NGO can work in a reciprocal relationship where social and cultural capital can be mobilised to each other’s advantage. To facilitate beneficiary accountability, NGOs can draw on the socio-cultural capitals held by the volunteers who appear to share the same norms and expectations with the beneficiaries. This process can also lead to the building of social and cultural capital by the volunteers themselves as they achieve great satisfaction and gain valuable experience in this process that could lead to greater satisfaction in their spiritual and material lives. Originality/value The authors extend the previous literature on beneficiary accountability by highlighting the under-researched role of volunteers in such accountability practices. In this paper, the authors first discuss the facilitating role of volunteers in enhancing NGOs’ accountability towards beneficiaries. Then, this is illustrated empirically. In addition, the authors argue that although Bourdieusian concepts like field and capital have been widely used in the analysis of various organisational practices the concept of habitus received limited attention particularly from the context of developing countries. The authors undertake an examination of the habitus of volunteers in the Indonesian case organisation and explore their linkages with the field and associated capitals.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-10T08:29:45Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-10-2016-2727
       
  • Accounting and the enactment of power: municipal reform by Peter Leopold
           1774–1775
    • Pages: 1146 - 1174
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1146-1174, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to understand the enduring, fundamental contributions of accounting practices in the pursuit of decentralization by governments, with an examination of Peter Leopold’s reform of the municipalities in the late eighteenth century in Italy. Design/methodology/approach An extensive textual analysis of the very comprehensive collection of primary sources of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany during the de’ Medici and Hapsburg-Lorraine’s rule identified the reasons for Peter Leopold’s decision to decentralize his government’s authority and responsibilities. A systemic comparison of the 1765–1766 and 1775–1776 financial reports of the Municipality of Castrocaro and Terra del Sole disclosed the importance of the micro-practices of accounting and reporting for the reform. Findings In the context of the eighteenth century enlightenment, Peter Leopold legitimized his reform by the introduction of a modern style of government based on the rationalization of the municipal administrative system and decentralization of central authority and responsibility. The reform was made feasible by the substitution of a birth right principle with an economic discourse which linked tax payments to property ownership. This had the unintended consequence of increased taxes, higher municipal expenditures and possible inequalities between municipalities. Research limitations/implications The findings of the study are dependent on the resources which have survived and are now preserved in the official archives of Galeata and Florence. This work contributes to the extant literature on administrative reforms in a crucial period for the redefinition of sovereignty by the ruling classes, with the rise of the modern State. It extends historical understanding of the public sector with a focus on local government in the eighteenth century in a non-Anglo-Saxon context. Practical implications The examination of the reform of Peter Leopold contributes to an enhanced understanding of present-day decentralization by governments in the context of the new public management (NPM). It provides to NPM advocates a broader temporal and contextual understanding of the impact of current decentralization reforms. Originality/value Few accounting studies have considered the micro-aspects of decentralization reforms at the municipal level and tried to identify their impact on the wealth of the population. Moreover, Peter Leopold’s reform is considered one of the most innovative and enlightened of the eighteenth century, while the remainder of Europe was still overwhelmingly committed to the centralization of administrative apparatuses. Finally, this study relates to the multi-disciplinary debate about the recognition, qualification and accountization of the impact of decentralization of responsibility for the delivery of government services.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-31T08:25:23Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-10-2017-3180
       
  • Environmental management accounting practices in Australian cotton farming
    • Pages: 1175 - 1202
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1175-1202, June 2019.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between the belief-based factors (attitude, subjective norm (SN) and perceived behavioural control (PBC)) and environmental management accounting (EMA) practices. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), the study develops a structural model and uses partial least squares (PLS) technique to analyse data collected based on a survey of the Australian cotton farmers. Findings The findings indicate that while attitude and PBC significantly influence farmers’ intention to adopt EMA practices, SN has a significant indirect influence on EMA practices through farmers’ attitude and PBC. Further, the study reveals that while the intention of more environmentally friendly farmers is largely influenced by attitude and SN, the intention of less environmentally friendly farmers is primarily driven by PBC. Practical implications The study provides important insights into the role of attitude, SN and PBC in motivating farmers towards adopting EMA practices. Such insights could also help farmers in designing effective EMA practices. Originality/value This study contributes to very limited EMA literature on TPB by integrating three belief-based factors namely attitude, SN and PBC.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-05-02T06:42:49Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-04-2018-3465
       
  • Literature and insights Editorial
    • Pages: 1203 - 1203
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1203-1203, June 2019.

      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T06:38:45Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-05-2019-046
       
  • Unethical pro-organizational behavior
    • Pages: 1204 - 1206
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1204-1206, June 2019.

      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T06:38:45Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-05-2019-043
       
  • Praise poem… in praise of an accountant
    • Pages: 1207 - 1208
      Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 32, Issue 4, Page 1207-1208, June 2019.

      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-18T06:38:45Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-05-2019-045
       
  • Professionalization in Asia – whence and whither
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to assess the impact of the 1999 Special Issue on Professionalization in Asia in the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ); and second, more generally to review research on this topic post-1999. Design/methodology/approach The paper starts with a discussion of the research articles of the Special Issue. It then identifies research that has cited papers in the Special Issue and which focusses on professionalization in Asia to identify relevant subsequent research. In addition, a literature search is conducted to locate post-1999 work that has not cited papers from the Special Issue but has investigated the same topic area. Analyzing both sets of work enables an integrated review of the field and aids the identification of future research opportunities. The study covers published research articles and books on professionalization projects in Asia from 1999 to 2018. In this paper, reference to Asia focusses on East Asia (including countries such as China and Japan), South Asia (including countries such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka), and South East Asia (including countries such as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam). Given the elapsed time of near 20 years, there has been sufficient time for research to be published. Therefore, the review focusses on published output only and does not discuss unpublished theses, conference proceedings nor working papers. Findings First, the Special Issue of AAAJ in 1999 generally adopted a critical lens and studied professionalization as projects of market closure and collective mobility. The corporatist framework of Puxty et al. (1987) provided a useful framing to analyze the influence of states, markets and communities on professionalization. Second, the Special Issue has helped to spur interest in understanding professionalization in the region. Post-1999, there are studies of countries not covered in the Special Issue. Third, the themes identified in the Special Issue continue to be relevant and are examined in post-1999 work: the active role of the state, the legacies of colonization, the activities of transnational accounting bodies; and to a lesser degree, the influence of transnational accounting firms. Finally, future research could usefully focus on: the distinctive and more expansive role of Asian state agencies; the conduct of deeper comparative research; the role of accounting firms in the region; and the impact of transnational agencies such as the International Federation of Accountants and the World Bank. Research limitations/implications There are three limitations. First, the review of literature omits unpublished research such as PhD theses and working papers. Second, it focusses only on research published in English. As a result, some work may be excluded. Third, it assesses the contribution of a single issue (i.e. the 1999 AAAJ Special Issue) and does not discuss work that preceded 1999. Originality/value This paper is aimed at assessing the impact of the 1999 Special Issue but also presents a wide-ranging analytical review of published research on accounting professionalization in Asia since 1999. The paper identifies several areas for future research and proposes a modified model of state-market-community-profession relations. In particular, the paper emphasizes the large and distinctive roles of Asian state agencies and the activities of transnational actors (both those within the profession as well as those that are external).
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-27T11:01:46Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-04-2018-3454
       
  • The question of research relevance: a university management perspective
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the issue of research relevance from the frame of reference of university leaders. Its specific aim is to gain insights into how “relevance” is conceptualised, and the underlying assumptions upon which such conceptualizations are based. Design/methodology/approach Adopting an inductive approach, the study collects and analyses data from semi-structured interviews with 31 senior research-related university leaders, and archival sources in five Australian universities. Findings Research relevance is primarily viewed as a means of responding to government and political imperatives, as a pathway to ensuring university legitimacy, and as a means of generating further resources. The authors apply this understanding to develop a framework that adopts a nuanced view of relevance, reflecting what is driving research, and to whom research is principally targeted. Research limitations/implications The evidence-base upon which the study is based represents a relatively small number of university leaders of Australian universities. Moreover, restricting the investigation to a few senior hierarchical levels nonetheless offers insights into high level organisational drivers hitherto neglected in the accounting research literature on university strategy, governance and accountability. While not addressing perceptions across the university population, this study focusses on and unpacks the social construction of relevance of this select group as research policy makers. Originality/value As one of the few empirically informed investigations exploring the issue of research relevance from the perspective of university leaders, this study provides insights rather than “answers”. Its findings therefore serve as a foundational basis for further empirical and theoretical enquiry.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-24T10:54:22Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2018-3325
       
  • Assessing the effectiveness of financial regulation in the English
           Football League
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide an assessment of the effectiveness of the Salary Cost Management Protocol, a form of financial regulation introduced by the English Football League in 2004 to improve the financial sustainability of professional football (i.e. soccer) clubs. Design/methodology/approach The analytical approach is to assess the effect of the regulation from evidence of change in measures of the financial performance of clubs drawing on three criteria: profitability, liquidity and solvency. A unique database was created from the published financial statements and notes to the accounts of the clubs in the Tier 4 league (known since 2004 as League Two) from 1994 to 2014 to encapsulate the 10-year period before and after the regulation was introduced. To show trends in the data within the study period, the data are reported in graphical form. The statistical significance of change in both the slope and intercepts for trends between breaks of interest in the data is estimated by linear regression. Findings The results show that financial regulation failed to significantly improve the profitability or the solvency of football clubs in League Two. Whilst the liquidity of the clubs improved in response to the introduction of the financial regulation, the results show this was only in the year in which the financial regulation was introduced. Research limitations/implications The results extend theoretical debate on financial regulation in sports leagues by moving beyond the assumption that financial regulation is a “technical exercise” to provide an alternative way of thinking about financial regulation as a “legitimising exercise”. Originality/value This is the first study to assess the impact of financial regulation for football league clubs over a longitudinal period. It is also extends previous research in which only single aspects of the financial sustainability of football clubs, such as insolvency, have been considered.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-24T10:52:44Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2017-3288
       
  • Progress
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the development of engagement research in pursuit of improved sustainability accounting and performance and to identify issues in the further development of this field. In particular, the authors consider the implications of this research for practice, policy and theory following the publication of a special issue on the topic in 2007 in the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. Design/methodology/approach The authors performed a systematic review of the relevant literature in selected accounting journals for the 11 year period 2007–2017 inclusive. The authors identified the methods, topics and theories addressed by researchers and the academic journals that are more likely to publish engagement research. Findings The authors found a significant increase in engagement work over the decade since publication of the special issue and a marked increase in the volume and complexity of data collected in studies. There is a marked difference in the openness of different journals to engagement research and the type of engagement research published across accounting journals. Contrary to the argument made by critics of engagement research the authors found that this field of research not only uses theory, but develops theory. Research limitations/implications Through the examination of methods and theories used and topics considered, the authors identify avenues for further research – and the journals likely to be receptive to it. Practical implications The study demonstrates that the collective body of engagement research aimed at improving sustainability accounting and performance has significant potential to inform practice and policy developments with the same aim. Originality/value The study examines an emerging approach in an emerging field of research with significant academic, practice and policy potential.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-24T09:24:13Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-03-2018-3399
       
  • Strategizing in English hospitals: accounting, practical coping and
           strategic intent
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the intricate ways in which accounting is implicated in the unfolding of strategizing in a pluralistic setting. The authors treat strategizing as a practical coping mechanism which begins in response to a problem and unfolds over time into an episode. This approach enables the authors to explore strategizing pathways and the ways they can mobilise accounting to advance from practical coping to explicit strategic intent. Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with Clinical Directors, Business Managers and Finance personnel at three NHS hospitals. Documents were also collected, such as business cases and financial reports. The authors employed theories on strategizing agency, episodes and practical coping to select examples of strategizing and indicate how strategizing is constructed and performed. The authors present the results of this qualitative analysis in three strategizing narratives. Findings The analysis highlights how Clinical Directors’ strategizing with accounting, in response to their financial problems, can take on contesting, conforming and circumventing modes. As the strategizing pathway unfolds, accounting acts as an obligatory passage point through which Clinical Directors pursue their strategic intent. Along each pathway the authors identify, first, where practical coping takes on a clear strategic intent and, second, whether this emergent strategy proves efficacious. Originality/value The authors contribute to the nascent body of accounting and strategizing studies through seeing strategizing with accounting, not as the formulation of explicit organisational strategy as “done” in board rooms and strategy meetings, but as an impromptu response to a critical financial problem within a localised organisational setting. In response to a problem, actors may realise their immanent strategizing through their engagement with accounting practices.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-24T09:21:39Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2017-3211
       
  • Understanding how managers institutionalise sustainability reporting
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore how sustainability reporting managers (SRMs) institutionalise sustainability reporting within organisations. Design/methodology/approach In total, 35 semi-structured interviews with SRMs in Australia and New Zealand were analysed using an institutional work perspective. Findings SRMs’ institutional work can be categorised into four phases with each phase representing a different approach to sustainability reporting. Organisations transition from phase one to four as they achieve a higher level of maturity and a deeper embedding and routinisation of sustainability reporting. These include educating and advocacy work undertaken by engaging with managers (phase one), transitioning to a decentralised sustainability reporting process (phase two), transitioning to leaner, focussed, materiality driven sustainability reporting (phase three), and using sustainability key performance indicators and materiality assessment reports for planning, decision-making, goal setting, performance appraisal, and incentives (phase four). However, SRMs face challenges including their inexperience, limited time and resources, lack of management commitment to sustainability reporting and low external interest in sustainability reporting. The study identifies ten reasons why material issues are not always (adequately) disclosed. Practical implications This study recommends more training and development for SRMs, and that regulation be considered to mandate the disclosure of the materiality assessments in sustainability reports. Originality/value This research extends the existing literature examining how sustainability reports are prepared and sheds further light on how a materiality assessment is undertaken. The study identifies ten reasons for the non-disclosure of material matters, including but not limited to, legitimacy motives. Researchers can use these reasons to refine their methods for evaluating published sustainability reports. At a theoretical level, the study provides four observations that institutional researchers should consider when examining forms of institutional work.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-24T07:05:34Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-06-2017-2958
       
  • Exploring the transformative potential of management control systems in
           organisational change towards sustainability
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of management control systems (MCS) in organisational change towards sustainability. In particular, it examines the extent to which MCS may be instrumental in transformative organisational change in this sphere. Design/methodology/approach Through an in-depth case study of an Australian multinational corporation in the property sector, this paper explores the possibilities for MCS to influence organisational change towards a multi-bottom-line, balanced approach to social and environmental challenges facing corporations. MCS are conceptualised using Simons’ (1995) Levers of Control framework. On the question of sustainability, the approach adopted in this paper contrasts with much of the prior literature that largely takes a predominantly pragmatist approach and equates sustainability performance with financial performance. The prior literature generally reports a positive role for MCS in organisational change efforts. By contrast, drawing on the typology developed by Hopwood et al. (2005), this paper views sustainability as requiring a balancing of economic, social and environmental concerns. Findings The findings indicate that although MCS are not irrelevant, they do not play a transformative role in enabling deep-seated organisational change towards sustainability. The critical literature on the nature of MCS is drawn upon to explore the reasons for the observed non-role. Originality/value The analysis sheds light on factors that may influence the effectiveness of conventional notions of MCS in organisational change. The findings contribute to the debate regarding the suitability of continued efforts at using conventional notions of management accounting and MCS in enabling organisational change towards greater social and environmental sustainability. The paper also highlights the value of a critical examination of the usefulness of management accounting and control practices in the context of organisational change towards sustainability.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-12T08:39:28Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-04-2016-2536
       
  • Accounting, performance management systems and accountability changes in
           knowledge-intensive public organizations
    • Abstract: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to synthesize insights from previous accounting, performance measurement (PM) and accountability research into the rapidly emerging field of knowledge-intensive public organizations (KIPOs). In so doing, it draws upon insights from previous literature and other papers included in this special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. Design/methodology/approach The paper reviews academic analysis and insights provided in the academic literature on accounting, PM and accountability changes in KIPOs, such as universities and healthcare organizations, and paves the way for future research in this area. Findings The literature review shows that a growing number of studies are focusing on the hybridization of different KIPOs, not only in terms of accounting tools (e.g. performance indicators, budgeting and reporting) but also in relation to individual actors (e.g. professionals and managers) that may have divergent values and thus act according to multiple logics. It highlights many areas in which further robust academic research is needed to guide developments of hybrid organizations in policy and practice. Research limitations/implications This paper provides academics, regulators and decision makers with relevant insights into issues and aspects of accounting, PM and accountability in hybrid organizations that need further theoretical development and empirical evidence to help inform improvements in policy and practice. Originality/value The paper provides the growing number of academic researchers in this emerging area with a literature review and agenda upon which they can build their research.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2019-06-12T08:37:48Z
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-02-2019-3869
       
 
 
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