Subjects -> BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS (Total: 3853 journals)
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HUMAN RESOURCES (103 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 101 of 101 Journals sorted alphabetically
Accounting and Business Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37)
Accounting and the Public Interest     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Accounting Education: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Developing Human Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Afro-Asian Journal of Finance and Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
American Journal of Finance and Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 49)
Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 331)
Asian Review of Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Attachment & Human Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Australian Accounting Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
British Accounting Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Burnout Research     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Coaching : Theorie & Praxis     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Contemporary Accounting Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33)
Corporate Governance and Organizational Behavior Review     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Critical Perspectives on Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
EURO Journal on Decision Processes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
European Accounting Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
European Journal of Training and Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Evidence-based HRM     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
FOR Rivista per la formazione     Full-text available via subscription  
German Journal of Human Resource Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
HR Future     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Human Relations     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 66)
Human Resource and Organization Development Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Human Resource Development International     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Human Resource Development Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
Human Resource Development Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Human Resource Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 91)
Human Resource Management Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 86)
Human Resource Management Research     Open Access   (Followers: 27)
Human Resource Management Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 65)
Human Resource Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Intangible Capital     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Accounting and Finance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
International Journal of Accounting Information Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
International Journal of Behavioural Accounting and Finance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
International Journal of Critical Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Economics and Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Ethics and Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Human Capital and Information Technology Professionals     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Human Resource Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 57)
International Journal of Human Resource Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31)
International Journal of Management Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
International Journal of Management Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Accounting and Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51)
Journal of Accounting and Public Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Journal of Accounting Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Accounting Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37)
Journal of Advances in Management Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Corporate Citizenship     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Enterprising Communities People and Places in the Global Economy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Global Responsibility     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of HR intelligence     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Human Capital     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Journal of Human Development and Capabilities : A Multi-Disciplinary Journal for People-Centered Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Human Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Marketing and HR     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Journal of Organizational Effectiveness : People and Performance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Journal of Professions and Organization     Free   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Service Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Kelaniya Journal of Human Resource Management     Open Access  
New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
NHRD Network Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Open Journal of Leadership     Open Access   (Followers: 19)
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 77)
Pacific Accounting Review     Hybrid Journal  
Personality and Individual Differences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Personnel Assessment and Decisions     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Personnel Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Professions and Professionalism     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Psychologie du Travail et des Organisations     Hybrid Journal  
Public Personnel Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Quarterly National Accounts - Comptes nationaux trimestriels     Full-text available via subscription  
Research in Accounting Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Research in Human Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Review of Accounting Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Review of Public Personnel Administration     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Revista Gestión de las Personas y Tecnología     Open Access  
Revista Portuguesa e Brasileira de Gestão     Open Access  
South Asian Journal of Human Resources Management     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Southern African Journal of Accountability and Auditing Research     Full-text available via subscription  
Sri Lankan Journal of Human Resource Management     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Strategic HR Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)

           

Similar Journals
Journal Cover
Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.71
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 35  
 
Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal   * Containing 10 Open Access Open Access article(s) in this issue *
ISSN (Print) 0951-3574 - ISSN (Online) 1368-0668
Published by Emerald Homepage  [361 journals]
  • Strategic management, management control practices and public value
           creation: the strategic triangle in the Swedish public sector

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Linda Höglund, Maria Mårtensson, Kerstin Thomson
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of the conceptualisation and operationalisation of public value in practice by applying Moore's (1995) strategic triangle as an analytical framework to study strategic management and management control practices in relation to public value. The paper uses an interpretative longitudinal case study approach including qualitative methods of document studies and interviews between 2017 and 2019. In the strategic triangle, the three nodes of authorising environment, public value creation and operational capacity are interdependent, and alignment is a necessity for a strategy to be successful. But this alignment is vulnerable. The findings suggest three propositions: (1) strategic alignment is vulnerable to management control practices having a strong focus on performance measurements, (2) strategic alignment is vulnerable to standardised management control practices and (3) strategic alignment is vulnerable to politically driven management control practices. With the strategic triangle as a base, this paper tries to understand what kind of management control practices enable and/or constrain public value, as there has been a call for this kind of research. In this way it adds to earlier research on public value, to the growing interest in the strategic triangle as an analytical framework in analysing empirical material and to the request for more empirical studies on the subject. The strategic triangle also embraces political factors, government agendas and political leadership for which there has also been a call for more research.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-05-05
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4284
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • : an enquiry into NGOs' organizational identity and accountability
    • Authors: Daniela Pianezzi
      Abstract: This study offers a critical inquiry into accountability vis-à-vis organizational identity formation. It investigates how accountability evolves in the transformation of an NGO operating in the field of migration management from an informal grassroots group into a fully-fledged organization. The paper is the outcome of a participatory action research project on Welcome Refugees (WR), a UK-based NGO. The project involved documentary analysis, focus group and semi-structured interviews, field notes, and participant observation. The analysis draws from poststructuralist theorization to explain the interplay between organizational identity and different forms of NGO accountability over time. The study shows how different forms of accountability became salient over time and were experienced differently by organizational members, thus leading to competing collective identity narratives. Organizational members felt accountable to beneficiaries in different ways, and this was reflected in their identification with the organization. Some advocated a rights-based approach that partially resonated with the accountability demands of external donors, while others aimed at enacting their feelings of accountability by preserving their closeness with beneficiaries and using a need-based approach. These differences led to an identity struggle that was ultimately solved through the silencing of marginalized narratives and the adoption of an adaptive regime of accountability. The findings of the case are of practical relevance to quasi-organizations that struggle to form and maintain organizational identity in their first years of operation. Their survival depends not only on their ability to accommodate and/or resist a multiplicity of accountability demands but also on their ability to develop a shared and common understanding of identity accountability. The paper problematizes rather than takes for granted the process through which organizations acquire a viable identity and the role of accountability within them.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-30
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-06-2020-4647
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Pandemic turned into pandemonium: the effect on supply chains and the role
           of accounting information
    • Authors: Ajantha Velayutham, Asheq Razaur Rahman, Anil Narayan, Michael Wang
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the disruptive effects of COVID-19 on supply chains and question the role of accounting information in managing these supply chains in the face of such disruptive effects. The study first explains the effects of COVID-19 on the supply chains of business entities. It then explains the role of accounting information in supply chain management, questions accounting information's ability to play such a role, and makes recommendations for better accounting disclosures and accounting research for supply chains of firms. To illustrate the salient points, a case study of Fisher and Paykel Healthcare is conducted. It identifies the risks and uncertainties of supply chains exposed by COVID-19 disruptions to businesses. COVID-19 has affected Fisher and Paykel Healthcare from both the supply-side (upstream) and demand-side (downstream) perspectives. On the supply side, it has disrupted the supply of raw materials used in the manufacture of respiratory devices and the costs of importing such materials. On the demand side, it has disrupted market logistics and customer demand. This has subsequently affected production. Such disruptions can be overcome through the dissemination of appropriate accounting information for the different stages of the supply chain to the managers. Such accounting information can also be useful to external stakeholders for minimizing their risks. The study attempts to create an awareness of the supply chain uncertainties faced by managers and stakeholders arising from exogenous shocks, such as a pandemic, and how these uncertainties can be mitigated by aligning accounting information flows with the supply chain activity flows. The observations made in this paper are at a conceptual level and, therefore, can be applied to any industry.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-30
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4800
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Competing logics in a hybrid organization: ICT service provision in the
           Italian health care sector
    • Authors: Laura Maran, Alan Lowe
      Abstract: This paper reports an investigation of a hybrid ex-state-owned enterprise (ex-SOE) providing ICT (Information and Communication Technology) services in the Italian healthcare sector (in-house provision). The authors aim to offer a framing that reflects the concerns expressed in the interdisciplinary literature on hybrid SOEs from management, public administration and, more recently, accounting. This study operationalizes Besharov and Smith’s (2014) theoretical model on multiple logics to analyze institutional structures and organizational outcomes at an ICT in-house provider. It builds on extensive textual analysis of regulatory, archival, survey and interview data. The study results show that the combination of hybridity in the form of layering of multiple logics in the health care sector (Polzer et al., 2016) creates problems for the effectiveness of ICT provision. In particular, the hybrid organization the authors study remained stuck in established competing relationships despite a restructure of regional health care governance. The study findings also reflect on the design of organizational control mechanisms when balancing different logics. The identified case-study accountability practices and performance system add to the debate on hybrid organizations in the case of ex-SOEs and facilitate the understanding and management of hybrids in the public sector. The authors note policymaking implications. The authors’ operationalization of Besharov and Smith's (2014) model adds clarity to key elements of their model, notably how to identify evidence in order to disentangle notions of centrality and compatibility. By doing this, the authors’ analysis offers potential insights into both managerial design and policy prescription. The authors provide cautionary tales around institutional reorganization regarding the layered synthesis of logics within these organizations.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-30
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2019-4334
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Management accounting change as an amplifier of a leadership dispute: an
           ethnography of convergent and divergent leader–follower relations
    • Authors: Gaia Bassani, Jan A. Pfister, Cristiana Cattaneo
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of leadership in management accounting change processes and outcomes. The paper draws on an ethnographic study in a Southern European company and mobilizes leader–follower relations as a method theory to analyse the observations. The findings show how a leadership dispute between two top managers can be amplified during the management accounting change process and percolate throughout an organization. The authors identify five contested areas where the role of accounting amplifies the leadership dispute by unfolding its reach to other organizational actors. The leadership dispute can shape and reinforce a fragmented organization, with some organizational members creating convergent leader–follower relations while others divert and fragment with an increased turnover. This amplification can lead to unexpected outcomes of the change process in terms of how and by whom accounting is performed. The authors propose the study of leadership and followership as an important but, to date, largely neglected theme in management accounting research. In contrast to the prior management accounting literature, the paper departs from a leadership-centric and role-based approach and employs a co-constructionist and relational approach to leadership and followership to analyse management accounting change. In addition, it applies and extends Alvesson's (2019a) theory on “divergent relationalities” between the presumed leaders and followers. In doing so, the paper also adds to the leadership field by theorizing and integrating the situation of a leadership dispute in this novel theoretical framework.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2020-4379
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Remote working, management control changes and employee responses during
           the COVID-19 crisis
    • Authors: Gianluca F Delfino, Berend van der Kolk
      Abstract: The authors examine the impact of the sudden shift to remote working, triggered by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, on management control (MC) practices in professional service firms (PSFs). In addition, employee responses to these changes are explored. The authors carried out a field study of MC changes in PSFs in Italy, the first country in Europe that was severely impacted by COVID-19. Interviews with PSF employees form the primary data source. Pattern matching was used to identify similarities and differences and investigate how employees respond to the MC changes. As a response to the shift to remote working, managers at PSFs made various MC-related changes. For instance, they increased the number of online meetings and made use of technologies to monitor employees from a distance. Employees reacted to this by engaging in “voluntary visibilizing practices”, i.e. by trying to make sure they got noted by their superiors, for instance by doing overtime. In addition, collected evidence suggests increased stress levels among employees, changes to employee autonomy, changed perceptions of hierarchies and a weakened sense of relatedness with others in the organization. This is one of the first studies to examine the impact of the sudden shift to remote working on MC. In addition, this paper contributes by exploring employee responses to the MC-related changes. The findings add to the growing literature on MC and motivation, and the notion of voluntary visibilizing practices is mobilized to warn against over-commitment and self-exploitation.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-06-2020-4657
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Accounting, inequality and COVID-19 in Australia
    • Authors: Jane Andrew, Max Baker, James Guthrie
      Abstract: The authors explore the Australian Government's implementation of budgetary measures to manage the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, paying particular attention to how the country's history of inequality has shaped these actions, and the effect inequality may have on outcomes. In this qualitative case study of public budgeting, the authors draw on the latest research into inequality to consider the implications of policy responses to COVID-19 in Australia. In particular, we examine the short-term introduction of what we term “people-focused” budgetary measures. These appeared contrary to the dominant neoliberalist approach to Australian welfare policymaking. This paper foregrounds the relationship between budgeting, public policy and inequality and explores how decades of increasingly regressive tax systems and stagnating living wages have made both people, and the state, vulnerable to crises like COVID. There is still much to learn about the role of accounting in the shaping of growing economic inequality. In focusing on public budgeting within the context of COVID, the authors suggest ways accounting researchers can contribute to our understanding of economic inequality, both in terms of drivers and consequences. The authors hope to contribute to a growing body of accounting research that can influence social movements, political debates and policymaking, while also raising awareness of the consequences of wealth and income inequality. The authors explore ways accounting scholars might help articulate a post-COVID future that avoids recreating the inequalities of the past and present.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2020-4688
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Evaluating performance management of COVID-19 reality in three European
           countries: a pragmatic constructivist study
    • Authors: Falconer Mitchell, Hanne Nørreklit, Lennart Nørreklit, Lino Cinquini, Frederik Koeppe, Fabio Magnacca, Sara Giovanna Mauro, Morten Jakobsen, Tuomas Korhonen, Teemu Laine, Jakob Mathias Liboriussen
      Abstract: The study aims to assess the COVID-19 event in three European countries (Germany, Italy and the UK) by investigating the quality of their performance management of it. Pragmatic constructivism (PC) is employed as a lens through which the performance management of each country can be examined and compared over a period encompassing the first wave of COVID-19. Official statistics show that one of the countries has a significantly lower death rate. It developed and operated a more detailed and precise system of performance management. From the perspective of PC, this system supported efforts to build a functioning reality construction integrating facts, possibilities, values and communication. The evaluation of different national approaches to the performance management of the COVID-19 reality is novel to the literature on management accounting. PC is used as a diagnostic tool to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of the performance management of public sector activities in different countries.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4778
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • How to communicate and use accounting to ensure buy-in from stakeholders:
           lessons for organizations from governments' COVID-19 strategies
    • Authors: Charl de Villiers, Matteo Molinari
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to understand how communication strategies and the use of numbers can ensure the buy-in and cooperation of stakeholders. Drawing on legitimacy theory, this study analysis documents regarding the communication strategies of New Zealand (NZ)'s Prime Minster, Jacinda Ardern, during the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to extract lessons for organizations. The authors contrast Ardern's communications with those of Donald Trump, the President of the United States (US), as evidence that leaders do not necessarily follow these strategies. The findings show that clear, consistent and credible communications, backed up by open access to the numerical data that underlie the decisions, ensure that these decisions are seen as legitimate, ensure that citizens/stakeholders feel leaders are accountable and believe in the necessity of measures taken and that they conform to the guidelines and rules. By contrast, the strategy of attempting to withhold information, blaming others, refusing to acknowledge that there are problems and refusing to address problems lead to non-conformance by citizens/stakeholders. Business leaders could apply these lessons to the management of crises in their organizations to ensure buy-in from employees and other stakeholders. Leaders and organizations that follow these communication strategies can emerge in a stronger position than before the crisis. This paper develops a theoretical framework of strategies aimed at maintaining and disrupting legitimacy among key audiences, which can be used in future research. This paper highlighting how organizations and organizational leaders can best communicate with stakeholders using accounting, thus coming across as being accountable during crisis times. The legitimacy maintenance strategies outlined in this paper ensures that stakeholders feel leaders and the organizations they represent hold themselves accountable. This paper outlines the lessons that an organization can learn from communication strategies adopted by governments during the COVID-19 crisis. The paper extends legitimacy theory by explicitly acknowledging the ability to disrupt the legitimacy of others and including this in the authors’ theoretical framework.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4791
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • (Job)Keeping up appearances
    • Authors: Mona Nikidehaghani, Corinne Cortese
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to critique the Australian Government's JobKeeper scheme and demonstrate how accounting rationalities were intertwined with the process of governing the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adopting a Foucauldian perspective, the authors make use of public discourse to draw attention to the centrality of accounting and quantitative techniques that were used to support government interventions during the pandemic. The authors show that accounting numbers, techniques and quantitative information were mobilised by the government as a way of formulating and implementing the JobKeeper scheme, a program designed to minimise the economic impacts of COVID-19. The authors demonstrate the centrality of accounting concepts as a rhetorical device and their use by government in times of crisis.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4862
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Public universities and impacts of COVID-19 in Australia: risk disclosures
           and organisational change
    • Authors: Garry D. Carnegie, James Guthrie, Ann Martin-Sardesai
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the COVID-19 pandemic risk disclosures in a sample of annual reports of Australian public universities. These universities rely heavily on fee-paying onshore overseas students. Analysing these risk disclosures is essential to understanding the COVID-19 crisis and the implications for organisational change. Document analysis and content analysis of the 2019 annual reports of all Victorian public universities were undertaken to identify the disclosure of COVID-19 risk impacts. Applying Laughlin's Habermasian insights of change, the study explores the pathways of change adopted by universities to overcome the risk impacts. However, financial risk disclosures about income from this source were virtually non-existent. Any risk associated with COVID-19 disclosed was minimal in a qualitative, neutral and constant format. The quality of disclosures was low. Media statements, however, pointed to significant income loss and suggested a strategy of substantial cost-cutting, including employee redundancies, which we identified as morphostatic changes of universities to overcome the risk impacts. The study reveals the risk associated with sector's aggressive growth strategy, jeopardising their financial viability and quality of teaching and research. The findings provide insights to the Australian higher education sector. The low quality of external risk disclosures of these universities suggests an urgent need for transformation. Australian public universities play a crucial role in society. This role will be diminished by a failure to disclose and manage significant risks adequately.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-09-2020-4906
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Social and environmental accounting in developing countries: contextual
           challenges and insights
    • Authors: Wei Qian, Carol Tilt, Ataur Belal
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to review most recent developments of social and environmental accounting (SEA) in the context of developing countries and to offer insights for the latest research in this field. It also provides an introduction to the AAAJ special issue. The authors have undertaken a conceptual overview of the field developed in the past two decades (2001–2020) with a view to identify major themes, trends and future research directions. The overview reveals that only 43 SEA papers addressing contextual challenges of developing countries have been published in leading accounting journals in the last 20 years. The coverage of these publications is concentrated in a small number of countries and regions. Interdisciplinary accounting journals, especially AAAJ, are the main publishing outlets in this field. The topic areas are dominated by social accounting challenges, with much less focus on environmental accounting, although developing countries are particularly exposed to the threats of climate change, water pollution and biodiversity loss. The literature reviewed uses elaborating, problematising and theorising contexts as three main contextualisation approaches to analyse contextual themes framed around regulatory, political, cultural and religious, and social-economic systems. Although various conceptual lenses have been adopted in the developing country SEA literature, the use of institutional theory and its various extensions to address political and cultural complexities seems to become more prominent, as shown in most of the contributions included in this special issue. This review is limited to leading accounting journals. SEA research increasingly published in other disciplines such as in management, social and environmental areas might provide a more comprehensive view in this research field. In this paper, inter alia, the authors review and synthesise the previous literature in a conceptual framework, illustrating and highlighting the importance of contextual framing of SEA in developing countries. Based on this review, the authors propose some ideas for a future research agenda aiming to advance the field. The authors expect this paper and the special issue to act as a reference point for emerging SEA researchers from developing countries to raise more scholarly impactful enquiries in this area.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-13
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-03-2021-5172
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • The diffusion of accounting reform in Sri Lanka: an analysis of two layers
           of diffusion among three levels of government
    • Authors: Thusitha Dissanayake, Steven Dellaportas, Prem W.S. Yapa
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the implementation of accrual accounting among two layers of government in Sri Lanka. This study examines the process of diffusion and application among and between provincial governments and local governments to assess the barriers and enablers on the implementation of accrual accounting. The study relies on data collected through interviews with 30 accounting and finance personnel from all levels of government active in the diffusion process. Interviews were conducted to gather and assess their insights and perceptions on the diffusion of accrual accounting. The data are examined initially using Rogers (1995) “diffusion of innovation” theory to explain the factors influencing the diffusion and adoption of accrual accounting at two levels of government but the analysed primarily by comparing the perspectives of respondents between the different layers of government. The findings show that the adoption of accrual accounting was more effective among local governments compared with provincial governments. The lack of effective communication and engagement from the leaders of the innovation failed to persuade provincial government adopters of the true value of the accounting reform. This is contrasted with local governments who openly adopted accrual accounting but not in response to pressure from provincial government, who have oversight responsibility for local governments, but in response to funding protocols initiated by the central government to account for grant funding. The findings of the study should be interpreted with caution as the data are obtained from the narrow cohort of accounting and finance professionals and may not reflect the views or experience of all stakeholders involved in the diffusion of accrual accounting. The paper contributes to the diffusion of accounting innovation literature by examining the role of key players in different layers of government, particularly visible among provincial governments where the lack of engagement delayed its commitment to the implementation of accrual accounting.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-12
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2019-4147
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Turning around accountability
    • Authors: Yingru Li, John McKernan, Meiyi Chen
      Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to describe and analyse the nature of accountability for human rights, as enacted by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), in this time of globalization and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The authors focus on one case of alleged union-busting and unfair dismissal carried out under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tracing the action of that case, the authors show how the BHRRC provides a digital platform for dialogues of accountability. The authors use a Latourian theoretical perspective to guide the progress of the study’s analysis. The authors find that the dialogues of accountability enacted on the BHRRC platform cannot be satisfactorily characterized in terms of an old politics of hegemony, counterhegemony and counter accounts. The authors find that the accountability enacted on the platform operates in three modes: in a political mode to support the formation of issues and publics and the embedding of norms; in an organizational mode to support the (re)organizing business corporations around scripts of respect for human rights; in a moral mode to keep scruples concerning means and ends and the pursuit of better outcomes, open. The paper is novel, in that it engages with the part that accounting can play in politics conceived in Latourian terms; in its introduction, a notion of modes of accountability on the foundations of Latour’s exploration of modes of existence; in its challenge to the value of critical accounting conceived in terms of hegemony and counterhegemony.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-06
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4889
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Sustainability rating and moral fictionalism: opening the black box of
           nonfinancial agencies
    • Authors: Olivier Boiral, David Talbot, Marie-Christine Brotherton, Iñaki Heras-Saizarbitoria
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the practices, challenges and ethical issues underlying the fabric and dissemination of corporate sustainability ratings. Based on 36 semi-structured interviews with sustainability rating practitioners, the study shows the trade-offs, ethical judgments and customizable aspects involved in rating practices, which cannot rely only on formal and predefined methods. In contrast with the official optimistic rhetoric about the rationality and rigor of sustainability rating methods, agencies face serious challenges in the measurement and comparison of performance in this area, particularly in terms of the aggregation of scattered and fuzzy indicators, commercial pressures and the availability, materiality and reliability of the information collected. Despite these concerns, sustainability ratings do appear to be useful in improving corporate responsiveness and increasing investor awareness of the complex and difficult-to-measure aspects of nonfinancial reports. Rating agencies should collaborate to set up common indicators that would be easier for firms to produce and should better separate their sustainability rating production activities from other services they offer to companies (e.g. consultancy). This study contributes to the literature on the measurement and promotion of corporate sustainability by analyzing rating practices through the lens of moral fictionalism, which here refers to the human tendency to build ethical judgments on fictional but convenient and useful representations.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-04-02
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2019-4356
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Governance of professional accounting bodies: a comparative analysis
    • Authors: Paul Andon, Conor Clune
      Abstract: This study examines the governance structures, practices and related public disclosures of the world's largest professional accounting bodies (PABs). Key aims are to advance the limited available knowledge and guidance on PAB governance and highlight avenues for further research and debate on how PABs can strengthen their governance arrangements. Content analysis of extant governance arrangements for the subject PABs was conducted using a range of secondary data and guided by available international governance frameworks. The authors focused on identifying critical differences across the studied PABs. The governance recommendations and future research themes presented emerged from an analysis of relevant knowledge on governance practices from the academic literature and other sources. The paper presents a detailed comparison of PAB governance arrangements across the themes of strategic disclosures, committee arrangements and member engagement. From this analysis, 20 recommendations are presented that seek to fortify the capacity of PABs to uphold their professional and public interest responsibilities. This is the first paper to systemically examine the governance arrangements of the world's largest PABs. It thus adds to knowledge about the efficacy of extant arrangements in facilitating accountable and transparent self-regulation of PAB responsibilities. Crucial future research opportunities are also highlighted to provoke and guide long-neglected debate on PAB governance.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-30
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4756
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Organizing care during the COVID-19 pandemic: the role of accounting in
           German hospitals
    • Authors: Christian Huber, Nadine Gerhardt, Jacob T. Reilley
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to provide insight into the roles of accounting in the management of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in five German hospitals. The authors conducted three rounds of interviews, ethnographic observations of meetings and document analyses in five German hospitals between February and August 2020. The authors found that actors repeatedly used a central set of indicators (the number of beds for COVID-19 patients) when adapting a healthcare infrastructure to the pandemic. Accounting figures allowed actors to problematize prior configurations, organize processes to make uncertainty plannable and virtualize changes to resume treating non-COVID-19 patients. The authors offer suggestions about scenario planning and interorganizational learning which have implications for healthcare practitioners. The authors contribute to the accounting in crisis literature by adding an organization-focused study. Adding nuance to key themes in the literature, they show how the organizations and the field level interact and how organizing locally preceded economizing. They also offer a nonbinary answer to the question of whether or not changes revert back to “normal” after a crisis event.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-30
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4882
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Public engagement and dialogic accounting through social media during
           COVID-19 crisis: a missed opportunity'

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Stefano Landi, Antonio Costantini, Marco Fasan, Michele Bonazzi
      Abstract: The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate why and how public health agencies employed social media during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak to foster public engagement and dialogic accounting. The authors analysed the official Facebook pages of the leading public agencies for health crisis in Italy, United Kingdom and New Zealand and they collected data on the number of posts, popularity, commitment and followers before and during the outbreak. The authors also performed a content analysis to identify the topics covered by the posts. Empirical results suggest that social media has been extensively used as a public engagement tool in all three countries under analysis but – because of legitimacy threats and resource scarcity – it has also been used as a dialogic accounting tool only in New Zealand. Findings suggest that fake news developed more extensively in contexts where the public body did not foster dialogic accounting. Public agencies may be interested in knowing the pros and cons of using social media as a public engagement and dialogic accounting tool. They may also leverage on dialogic accounting to limit fake news. This study is one of the first to look at the nature and role of social media as an accountability tool during public health crises. In many contexts, COVID-19 forced for the first time public health agencies to heavily engage with the public and to develop new skills, so this study paves the way for numerous future research ideas.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-25
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4884
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • The impact of a humanitarian disaster on the working approach of
           accountants: a study of contingent effects
    • Authors: Jonida Carungu, Roberto Di Pietra, Matteo Molinari
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how a humanitarian disaster as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shapes the working approach of accountants. This research is motivated by the call for more in-depth analyses of how COVID-19 affects the work, role and human condition of accountants. The study aims to discover the contingent effects, based on the contingency theory, on accountants' work due to a disaster like COVID-19. This is a qualitative study with an action research approach. The research relies on semi-structured interviews and the active participation of a co-author in a professional organisation under investigation. Data collected are analysed using thematic analysis through an inductive interpretative approach. The contingent shock embodies both a reactive and adaptive approach in the accountants' professional work. From a theoretical perspective, this study identifies nine contingent phases related to shock. The accountants' experience helps to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic contingently shapes the working approach of accountants with both short- and long-term organisational implications. Based on the literature survey, this is the first study to adopt an action research approach to engage with the complex dynamics involved in the social context of COVID-19 by discovering the effective actions, reactions, changes and solutions to problems experienced by professional accountants. This approach helps to build knowledge that enhances professional, and community practises by answering the call for multidisciplinary contributions in accounting to address the global COVID-19 crisis, its impacts and opportunities for future research.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-17
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4789
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Biased by design – the case of horizontal accountability in a hybrid
           organization

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Tomi Rajala, Petra Kokko
      Abstract: This study examines unexplored horizontal accountability types between public, private and third sector actors within a hybrid organization. The case organization was applying a novel alliance model to generate service paths for heterogeneous clientele consuming cultural, educational, health and social services. It was first to do so in Finland. This research is on a case study that used documents and interviews to examine the design of the horizontal accountability. The descriptive analysis focused on identifying what type of formal accountability system was designed (i.e. who is the account holder, and who is accountable and for what and why). An imbalanced accountability system was identified because accountability obligations were unevenly distributed between public, private and third sector actors. The private sector was the most accountable for performance, and the third sector (i.e. voluntary sector) was the least accountable. As account holders, the public, private and third sector actors were judging their conduct as account providers. This created a biased horizontal accountability system. The hybrid's accountability system was dynamic because the contracts made to establish the hybrid included opportunities to change horizontal accountability if future changes to the external environment affect too drastically the potential to achieve the hybrid's goals. Three new concepts are proposed for studying dysfunctional accountability systems: dynamic, biased and horizontally imbalanced accountability.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-16
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4272
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Into the woods of corporate fairytales and environmental reporting
    • Authors: Leanne J. Morrison, Alan Lowe
      Abstract: Using a dialogic approach to narrative analysis through the lens of fairytale, this paper explores the shared construction of corporate environmental stories. The analysis provided aims to reveal the narrative messaging which is implicit in corporate reporting, to contrast corporate and stakeholder narratives and to bring attention to the ubiquity of storytelling in corporate communications. This paper examines a series of events in which a single case company plays the central role. The environmental section of the case company's sustainability report is examined through the lens of fairytale analysis. Next, two counter accounts are constructed which foreground multiple stakeholder accounts and retold as fairytales. The dialogic nature of accounts plays a critical role in how stakeholders understand the environmental impacts of a company. Storytelling mechanisms have been used to shape the perspective and sympathies of the report reader in favour of the company. We use these same mechanisms to create two collective counter accounts which display different sympathies. This research reveals how the narrative nature of corporate reports may be used to fabricate a particular perspective through storytelling. By doing so, it challenges the authority of the version of events provided by the company and gives voice to collective counter accounts which are shared by and can be disseminated to other stakeholders. This paper provides a unique perspective to understanding corporate environmental reporting and the stories shared by and with external stakeholders by drawing from a novel link between fairytale, storytelling and counter accounting.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-15
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-03-2020-4466
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Institutionalisation of weak conceptions of sustainability in the United
           Nations Clean Development Mechanism: empirical evidence from Malaysian
           organisations
    • Authors: Ann Marie Sidhu, Jane Gibbon
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine how accounting for sustainable development (SD) in Malaysian organisations decouples economic growth from ecological consequences. The research analyses the empirical evidence of organisational responses and actions that purport to support SD in a developing country. This study uses a discursive model of institutional theory to examine the relationship between texts, discourse and action within Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) organisations. This study uses both qualitative content and interpretive textual analysis of Malaysian organisations project design documents (PDDs) and interview transcripts to interpret and determine the “conceptions” of SD. Documentation and interviews with Malaysian CDM organisations show that SD conceptions range from “business as usual” to weak ecological modernisation. The key narratives are both economic and technocratic but have little to do with SD concerns about ecological limitations and social equity. The empirical evidence provides insights into the motivations and challenges of a developing country's commitment to SD. We perform the study in an accountability space other than corporate financial reporting. Unlike external corporate reports, PDDs are closer to the underlying organisational reality as they are internal project documents made publicly accessible through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, allowing for a more transparent evaluation. The evidence shows how the organisational approach to SD is institutionalised through the mediating role of discourse and texts used by the actors within the CDM.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-09
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2019-4108
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Accountability and governance in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals:
           conceptualising how governments create value
    • Authors: Subhash Abhayawansa, Carol A. Adams, Cristina Neesham
      Abstract: Drawing on Adams (2017a) conceptualisation of value creation by organisations published in the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, the purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptualisation of how national governments can create value for society and the economy through their approach to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An initial conceptual framework was developed from literature situated at the intersection of accountability, public policy and sustainability/sustainable development. The authors' review of extant research on national policy development on value creation, sustainability and the SDGs identified gaps in (understanding of) approaches to national accountability and national governance (by state and civil society) processes. The subsequent thematic analysis of 164 written submissions made to the Australian Senate inquiry on the SDGs between December 2017 and March 2018, together with transcripts of five public hearings where 49 individuals and organisations appeared as witnesses during the second half of 2018, focussed on addressing these gaps. Input to the Australian Senate Inquiry on the SDGs overwhelmingly emphasised the importance of transparency and stakeholder participation in accountability systems, commenting on data gathering, measuring and communicating. There was an emphasis on the need to involve all parts of society, including business, investors and civil society, and for strong central co-ordination by the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. These data allowed the authors to refine the conceptualisation of how national governments can enhance social and economic value through a focus on the UN SDGs and their approach to accounting, accountability and governance. The findings have implications: for national governments in developing approaches to achieve sustainable development; and, for supranational bodies such as the UN in developing agreements, frameworks and guidance for national governments. Building on the extant literature about how global governance should be engaged to improve accountability in achieving the SDGs, the conceptual framework developed through the study shifts focus to national governance and accountability, and provides a blueprint for national governments to create value for the economy and society in the face of global sustainable development issues.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-09
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2020-4667
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Accounting for modern slavery risk in the time of COVID-19: challenges and
           opportunities
    • Authors: Katherine Leanne Christ, Roger Leonard Burritt
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affects corporate modern slavery accounting, auditing and accountability, and how a business can take advantage of this situation to ensure a more robust and effective modern slavery response in the long-term. Drawing on recent literature and available statistics about modern slavery in the context of COVID-19 comment is provided on the challenges and opportunities for researchers and business. Given the additional invisibility of modern slavery in a COVID-19 environment as victims move into unemployment and back into vulnerable positions where they are exploited the challenge is how accounting, auditing and accountability can help business break this cycle. Capabilities for business to track and trace victims of modern slavery will be reduced because of the pandemic. Opportunities exist for gathering data and building internal awareness about the problem of modern slavery in supply chains and to reassess operational risk and investment in modern slavery reduction. With the pause in external reporting opportunity exists to obtain views of external stakeholders. Because of the relatively short period of the COVID-19 pandemic to date, numeric data on impacts are largely unavailable. This is the first paper to consider the challenges and opportunities of COVID-19 on accounting for modern slavery in business. Directions for future research are also considered.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-09
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4726
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Institutional work and the interplay of stability and change in public
           budgeting reform: the case of public universities in Iran
    • Authors: Farzaneh Jalali Aliabadi, Muhammad Bilal Farooq, Umesh Sharma, Dessalegn Getie Mihret
      Abstract: The purpose of this study is to understand the efforts of key social actors in influencing the reform of Iranian public universities budgeting system, from incremental to performance-based budgeting (PBB), the tensions that arose as competing efforts of institutional change were undertaken, and ultimately the impact of these efforts on the extent to which the Iranian government transitioned to a system of PBB in public universities. Data comprises of semi-structured interviews with managers and experts involved in the budget setting process and an analysis of budgetary policy documents, reports and archival material such as legislation. An institutional work lens is employed to interpret the findings. While actors advocating the change were engaged in institutional work directed at disrupting the old budgetary rules by disassociating the rules moral foundations and creating new budgetary rules (through new legislation), universities undertook subtle resistance by engaging in extended evaluation of the new proposed PBB rules thereby maintaining the old budgetary rules. The reforms undertaken to introduce PBB in Iranian universities achieved minimal success whereby incremental budgeting continued to constitute by far a larger percentage of the budget allocation formula for university budgets. This finding illustrates change and continuity in university budgetary systems resulting from institutional work of actors competing to control the basis of resource allocation under the proposed PBB system by proposing contradicting models. The findings highlight the importance of understanding the interplay of institutional work undertaken by competing social actors as they seek to advance their goals in shaping budgetary reforms in the public-sector. Such an understanding may inform policy makers who intend to introduce major reforms in public-sector budgeting approaches. Unlike prior studies that largely focused on how organization-level budgeting practices responded to changes in public budgeting rules (i.e. at the site of implementation of the rules), this paper highlights how strategies of change and resistance are played out at the site of setting budgetary norms.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-02
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4261
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • The impact of accounting disturbances on organizational micro-practices in
           the schools' sector in England
    • Authors: Stuart Green, Laurence Ferry
      Abstract: This paper considers the nature and effect of accounting disturbances on organizational micro-practices in three secondary schools in England. A close application of a developed model of Habermasian colonization provides a framing for both the ways in which accounting is implicated in organizational change and the effect of accounting disturbances on organizational micro-practices. Qualitative field studies at three secondary schools were used to gather empirical detail in the form of interview data and documentary evidence. A total of 24 semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers and bursars. Accounting disturbances that were constitutive-transactional in nature had the greatest influence on organizational micro-practices. Behavioural responses to accounting disturbances can be organizationally ambiguous, subtle and subject to change over time. More field studies are needed, and there is scope to develop a longitudinal perspective to better understand the impact of accounting disturbances over time. By framing the processes of accounting change using a developed model of Habermasian colonization, contributions are provided by illuminating aspects of both the processes of accounting colonization and the impact of accounting on organizational micro-practices. The findings also add to prior appreciations of reciprocal colonization, creative transformation of accounting disturbances and how accounting can be enabling.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-03-01
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2020-4668
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • “Contra omnes et singulos a via domini aberrantes”: accounting for
           confession and pastoral power during the Roman Inquisition (1550–1572)
    • Authors: Michele Bigoni, Valerio Antonelli, Warwick Funnell, Emanuela Mattia Cafaro
      Abstract: The study investigates the use of accounting information in the form of a confession as a tool for telling the truth about oneself and reinforcing power relations in the context of the Roman Inquisition. The study adopts Foucault's understanding of pastoral power, confession and truth-telling to analyse the accounting practices of the Tribunal of the Inquisition in the 16th century Dukedom of Ferrara. Detailed accounting books were not simply a means for pursuing an efficient use of resources, but a tool to force the Inquisitor to open his conscience and provide an account of his actions to his superiors. Accounting practices were an identifying and subjectifying practice which helped the Inquisitor to shape his Christian identity and internalise self-discipline. This in turn reinforced the centralisation of the power of the Church at a time of great crisis. The use of accounting for forcing individuals to tell the truth about themselves can inform investigations into the use of accounting records as confessional tools in different contexts, especially when a religious institution seeks to reinforce its power. The study documents the important but less discernible contributions of accounting to the formation of Western subjectivity at a time which Foucault considers critical in the development of modern governmental practices. The study considers a critical but unexplored episode in Western religious history. It offers an investigation of the macro impact of religion on accounting practices. It also adds to the literature recognising the confessional properties of written information by explicitly focusing on the use of financial information as a form of confession that has profound power implications.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-23
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-06-2020-4638
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Triggering sustainability communication in a B2B context: combining action
           research and sensemaking

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Oana Apostol, Marileena Mäkelä, Katariina Heikkilä, Maria Höyssä, Helka Kalliomäki, Leena Jokinen, Jouni Saarni
      Abstract: The paper explores processes associated with the adoption of corporate sustainability communication in a B2B context. It employs a combined action research and sensemaking approach to document moments that precede the initiation of external sustainability communication. The paper is the outcome of an action research project, where we examine the case of one industrial company that was silent on its multiple sustainability-related practices, but recently decided to become more transparent to the outside world. A processual approach to sensemaking is adopted to show how organisational and non-organisational members actively participated in meaning co-construction. Corporate silence can be disrupted by triggering events that cause moments of sudden realisation for organisational members, eventually leading to the initiation of sensemaking processes inside the organisation. Once this occurs, the possibility of externally communicating sustainability appears a feasible and strategic approach to pursue. We document how different actors are involved in meaning co-construction and how the entire process of sensemaking unfolds. A sensemaking approach sheds light on the complexity of sustainability communication, where multiple actors are involved. This is a useful approach to consider in order to couple sustainability with other organisational practices. Moreover, sensemaking opens a window of opportunity for various societal actors' interventions to shape the role and content of sustainability communication. The paper offers an original, theoretically informed methodological contribution to the literature on sustainability communication by coupling a sensemaking approach with action research. The approach is employed to examine the role of internal organisational actors in sustainability reporting processes, an area that has received scant attention.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-19
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2019-4125
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Pushing the limits of accountability: big data analytics containing and
           controlling COVID-19 in South Korea
    • Authors: Paul D. Ahn, Danture Wickramasinghe
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how big data analytics pushed the limits of individuals' accountability as South Korea tried to control and contain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The authors draw upon Deleuzo-Guattarian framework elaborating how a surveillant assemblage was rhizomatically created and operated to monitor a segment of the population holding them accountable. Publicly available secondary data, such as press release from the government and media coverage, were used. A COVID-19 Smart Management System and a Self-Quarantine Safety Protection App constituted a surveillance assemblage operating in a “state-form”. This comprises the central government departments, local councils, policing systems, providers of telecommunication and financial services, and independent groups of people. This assemblage pushed the limits of accountability as individuals who tested positive or might bear possible future risks of the infection and transmission were held accountable for their locations and health conditions. Policymakers may consider constructing this type of state-form for containing and controlling pandemics, such as COVID-19, while dealing with the issue of undermined privacy. The mass may consider to what extent individuals' personal information should be protected and how to hold the governments accountable for the legitimate use of such information. While accountability studies have largely focussed on formal organisations, the authors illustrated how a broader context of a state-form, harnessing big data analytics, pushes the limits of accountability.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-19
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4829
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Testing times: governing a pandemic with numbers
    • Authors: Salman Ahmad, Ciaran Connolly, Istemi Demirag
      Abstract: Using Dean's (2010) analytics of government, this research explores how regimes of governing practices are linked to the underlying policy rationalities in dealing with the UK government's COVID-19 testing policies as a strategy for governing at a distance, including how targets were set and operationalized. This paper draws on the UK government's policy documents, other official publications (plans) and parliamentary discourse, together with publicly available media information related to its COVID-19 policies. This research reveals that, with respect to the governance of COVID-19 in the UK, testing has the dual role of inscription for the government's performance and classification for the pandemic risks. The analysis illustrates that the central role of testing is as a technology for classification for identifying and monitoring the virus-related risks. Moreover, our discourse analysis suggests that initially COVID-19 testing was used by the UK government more for performance communication, with the classificatory role of testing and its performativity as a strategic device evolving and only being acknowledged by government gradually as the underlying testing infrastructure was developed. This paper is based upon publicly available reports and other information of a single country's attempts to control COVID-19 over a relatively short period of time. This paper provides a critical understanding of the role of (accounting) numbers in developing an effective government policy for governing COVID-19.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-19
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2020-4863
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Management controls and crisis: evidence from the banking sector
    • Authors: Pall Rikhardsson, Carsten Rohde, Leif Christensen, Catherine E. Batt
      Abstract: This paper investigates the use of management controls when environmental uncertainty and hostility increase abruptly. Specifically, it explores this in the context of the 2008 financial crisis in six banks located in two countries. The paper is based on 26 qualitative interviews with selected managers employed by the six banks. Eight interview guides were developed based on the typology of controls in Malmi and Brown (2008). Respondents explained which changes in management controls occurred after the crisis. Both organic and mechanistic management controls were mobilized at the same time to deal with the change. The use of controls played three main roles: (1) guide and control behavior, (2) change internal and external perceptions and (3) discharge accountability. Finally, control use during a crisis evolves as individual managers design and implement controls. There is no “grand design” rationally guiding the design of the overall system of controls. The use of management controls in dealing with an increase in uncertainty and hostility cannot be labeled either organic or mechanistic, but will depend on the specific type of change in environmental characteristics. Management controls evolve by interaction with outside actors, as well as internal techniques.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-16
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2020-4400
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • NGO responses to financial evaluation: auditability, purification and
           performance
    • Authors: Bruno Cazenave, Jeremy Morales
      Abstract: Literature has widely studied the financial accountability pressures on NGOs but rarely analysed how NGOs respond to them. This paper studies one large humanitarian NGO to address this question. It investigates the NGO's responses to understand the extent to which NGOs are able to regain control over their own work and turn the frames of evaluation and accountability to their own advantage. This article draws on a case study of one of the largest French humanitarian NGOs. Interviews and observation (both participant and non-participant) were conducted in the financial department of the NGO. These data are supplemented with field-level contextual interviews. In the NGO studied, institutional pressure is largely mediated by compliance audits. The paper thus traces the consequences of compliance audits for the NGO's central finance teams and describes how they respond. The findings detail three responses to evaluation. First, to respond to the burden of evaluation, the organisation makes itself auditable and develops preparedness. Second, to respond to the anxiety of evaluation, the organisation engages in a process of purification and succumbs to the allure of the single figure. Third, building on its newly acquired auditability and purity, the organisation performs itself as a “corporatised NGO”. Together, these three responses constitute the NGO as an “entrepreneur” competing for eligibility, and financial literacy and managerialism become crucial to respond to pressure from institutional funders. This paper extends the understanding of organisational responses to evaluation. The authors show the influence of evaluation systems on NGOs, but also how NGOs can react to regain control over their work and turn the frames of evaluation and accountability to their own advantage. However, despite several decades of calls for broader conceptions of NGO accountability, the case NGO prefers to promote a very narrow view of its performance, based solely on accounting compliance. It takes some pride in its ability to comply with funders' and auditors' demands. Turning a simple matter of compliance into a display of good performance, it builds a strategy and competitive advantage on its ability to respond competently to evaluation.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-15
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2020-4397
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Spirituality, happiness and auditors' commitment: an interbeing
           perspective
    • Authors: Sujoko Efferin, Christopher Christian Hutomo
      Abstract: This study attempts to explore the meaning and implication of spirituality in an accounting firm by using a Buddhist perspective of interbeing. It explains how the happiness of individuals (auditors, partners, clients and auditor family members); organisational performance and growth and auditors' commitment are interconnected and impermanent. This study employed an interpretive case study in an Indonesian accounting firm. The researchers explored the collective and individual feelings, thoughts, actions and experiences of the firm's actors. The data collection methods were interviews, participant observations and documentary analysis. Leadership plays a major role in cultivating spirituality in an accounting firm. The spirituality increases auditors' commitment, (conditional) happiness and performance resulting in client satisfaction and the firm's growth. From an interbeing perspective, partners, auditors and clients are interconnected and impermanent. A firm's growth creates a growing sense of unhappiness due to the diminishing of auditors' comfort zone. Spirituality in the workplace can only engender conditional happiness and organisational commitment that offset the importance of material rewards and career prospects. To reach ultimate (unconditional) happiness, one requires a continuous spiritual development. The insights gained from this study need enrichment from cases in different contexts, e.g. multinational firms with members from different countries and cultures. This study develops the discourse of emancipation in the accounting literature by taking into account spirituality and happiness.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-09
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2020-4385
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Emergence of corporate political activities in the guise of social
           responsibility: dispatches from a developing economy
    • Authors: Javed Siddiqui, Melita Mehjabeen, Pamela Stapleton
      Abstract: The objective of this paper is to investigate the emergence of corporate political activities (CPAs) in the form of social responsibility in the banking sector in Bangladesh. The use of institutional logics allows the authors to explore not only the motivations underlying this sudden shift in corporate approach towards corporate social reporting (CSR) disclosure but also to investigate whether a logical plurality exists in this new approach. The analysis is based on 21 in-depth interviews with policymakers, regulatory bodies and top management and members of boards of directors in the banking sector. The findings of this study are both consistent with and different to those of Uddin et al. (2018). While their findings show that Bangladeshi companies engage in CSR activities primarily to demonstrate their allegiance with the ruling political regime driven by notions of traditionalism, this study’s findings show the existence of a logical pluralism across industries in the manner they engage with CSR activities and disclosures. In addition to the dominant market logic, the authors also find the co-existence of community and family logics shaping the nature of CSR disclosures made by banking companies in Bangladesh. The authors contribute to the accounting and management literature by providing first-hand evidence of the motivations underlying the emergence of CPAs in the context of a developing country. The adoption of an alternative theoretical framework allows the authors to identify the multiple logics that dictate corporate attitude towards CSR engagement and disclosure.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-01-21
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2019-4087
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • The paradox of accounting for cultural heritage: a longitudinal study on
           the financial reporting of heritage assets of major Australian public
           cultural institutions (1992–2019)

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Paolo Ferri, Shannon I.L. Sidaway, Garry D. Carnegie
      Abstract: The monetary valuation of cultural heritage of a selection of 16 major public, not-for-profit Australian cultural institutions is examined over a period of almost three decades (1992–2019) to understand how they have responded to the paradoxical tensions of heritage valuation for financial reporting purposes. Accounting for cultural heritage is an intrinsically paradoxical practice; it involves a conflict of two opposite ways of attributing value: the traditional accounting and the heritage professionals (or curatorial) approaches. In analysing the annual reports and other documentary sources through qualitative content analysis, the study explores how different actors responded to the conceptual and technical contradictions posed by the monetary valuation of “heritage assets”, the accounting phraseology of accounting standards. Four phases emerge from the analysis undertaken of the empirical material, each characterised by a distinctive nature of the paradox, the institutional responses discerned and the outcomes. Although a persisting heterogeneity in the practice of accounting for cultural heritage is evident, responses by cultural institutions are shown to have minimised, so far, the negative impacts of monetary valuation in terms of commercialisation of deaccessioning decisions and distorted accountability. In applying the theoretical lens of paradox theory in the context of the financial reporting of heritage, as assets, the study enhances an understanding of the challenges and responses by major public cultural institutions in a country that has led this development globally, providing insights to accounting standard setters arising from the accounting practices observed.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-01-20
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2019-3807
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • (Counter) accounting for hybrid organising: a case of the Great Exhibition
           of the North
    • Authors: Laurence Ferry, Richard Slack
      Abstract: Hybrid organising faces a fundamental challenge in managing multiple and conflicting logics. Prior studies have evidenced the performative role of accounting within such a context largely in support of neoliberal hegemony and economic logic. Mindful of such conflict and the support towards economic logic, drawing on universal accountings, this study provides insights from counter accounting and its potential to serve pluralism and the emancipation of marginalised constituencies. The research examined The Great Exhibition of the North (GEOTN), England's largest event in 2018, which utilised themes of art, design and innovation to support a regeneration and economic growth agenda. This was led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) a hybrid organisation combining logics for economic and social legacies, whose accounts are contrasted to counter accounts from a social movement; The Other Great Exhibition of the North, “OtherGEN”. The study involved 30 in-depth semi-structured interviews, detailed observation and documentation review providing account and counter account of the event. The findings reveal that GEOTN promoted an agenda offering a duality of economic and social logics through the arts and culture delivering a lasting economic and social legacy. This employed traditional accountings and associated performance targets and measurement through a formal evaluation framework. Emergent tensions were apparent evidencing a more dominant economic logic. The purported use of culture was portrayed as artwashing by a counter account narrative enmeshed in a backdrop of austerity. This wider accounting highlights the need for reflection on logic plurality and enables challenge to the performative role of traditional accounting in hybrid organising. Universal accountings, such as counter accounting, can be advanced to unpack “faked” logics duality in hybrid organising. This reveals the emancipatory potential of accountings and the need for dialogic reflection. Hybrid organising requires careful consideration of accounting as a universal praxis to support social and economic pluralism and democratic ideals.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-01-19
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2019-4303
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Disaster governance and hybrid organizations: accounting, performance
           challenges and evacuee housing

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Massimo Sargiacomo, Stephen P. Walker
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how public/private hybrid and ambiguous organizations played pivotal roles in a governmental programme of housing reconstruction following a major earthquake in central Italy in 2009. Venturing beyond the boundaries of institutional isomorphism and using a Foucauldian approach, the longitudinal analysis seeks to illuminate accounting and performance challenges and provide insights to the calculative techniques associated with evacuee housing. In “act 1” this paper investigates the role of a consortium created during the recovery stage of the disaster to construct temporary housing. In “act 2” attention shifts to consortia established for the reconstruction of buildings in devastated communities. The total observation period is 11 years. 31 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 key-actors. A broad range of official documents was also consulted. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake a comprehensive reporting system was established to facilitate the construction of 19 new towns for 15,000 evacuees. The mix of accountants, engineers and architects who developed the system and a building prototype evidences the assembly of diverse calculative techniques by different experts and the de-territorialization of subject disciplines. During reconstruction technologies of government included the introduction of standardised systems and vocabularies that homogenised administrative procedures among diverse experts. This paper provides academics and policymakers with insights to accounting, performance management and accountability in hybrid organizations in the largely unexplored realm of post-disaster evacuee housing. Further studies are needed to examine the politics of calculation in similar contexts. This paper fills a gap in the literature by exploring the role played by individual experts working for hybrid organizations. Further, by exploring actual practices over an extended period of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, the study highlights how experts intervened to solve problems at the meso-political level and at the micro-organizational level.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-01-19
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2019-4323
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Corporate reporting to the crown: a longitudinal case from colonial Africa
    • Authors: Sean Bradley Power, Niamh M. Brennan
      Abstract: A royal charter of incorporation imposing public benefit/social responsibilities established the privately owned British South Africa Company (BSAC), in return for power to exploit a huge territory using low-cost local labour. This study explores the dual principal–agent problem of how the BSAC used annual report narratives to report on its conflicting economic responsibilities to investors versus its public benefit charter responsibilities to the British Crown. Having digitised the dataset, the research analyses narratives from 29 BSAC annual reports spanning a continuous 35-year royal charter period, using computer-aided keyword content analysis to identify economic-orientated versus public benefit-orientated annual report narratives. The research analyses how the annual report narratives shifted according to four key contextual periods by reference to the changing influence of private investors versus the British Crown. There are two key findings. First, economic primacy. At no point do public benefit disclosures outweigh economic disclosures. Second, the BSAC's meso-corporate context and macro-social/political context can explain patterns in public benefit disclosures. The motivation for producing public benefit information is not altruism. Rather, commercial interests motivate disclosure. The BSAC used its annual reports to sustain what proved ultimately unsustainable – royal charter-style colonialism. This accounting history study contributes to an understanding of corporate narrative reporting using one of the earliest known cases of such analysis and shows how accounting plays a central role in facilitating a company in sustaining its interests. This 100-year lookback may be a portend of the future for modern-day annual report corporate social responsibility narratives in, say, mining and oil and gas company corporate reports, especially if these natural resources run out.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-01-12
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-09-2019-4166
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • The “long term” as an instrument for deploying neoliberalism: the case
           of the myth of long-term compensation
    • Authors: Terhi Chakhovich
      Abstract: This study locates one surprisingly powerful ally of neoliberalism enabling its proliferation in certain contexts, the discursive notion of the “long term” (LT). Earlier literature has shown that neoliberalism is concerned with investors' decision-making that has been claimed to be based on LT forecasts. This research explains this focus on the “long term.” Share-based compensation (SBC) is investigated in one case company. The data consist of interviews with executives, board members, analysts and owners and also of archival data on the executives' performance measurement and compensation. Much research equates “share-based compensation” with “long-term compensation,” and the present study terms this relation “the myth of long-term compensation.” It is demonstrated that multiple features of share-based plans, characteristics of the management in question and contextual factors of the company and its governance tie in with the time orientation of such compensation. Multiple contradictions and irregularities in the literature on SBC are analyzed, undermining the claim that SBC is invariably LT oriented. Relying on Barthes' work, the study illustrates how LT SBC is a myth contributing to the ideology of neoliberalism. It is proposed that the terms “share-based compensation” and “long term” be distinguished from each other for analytical and practical purposes. SBC, and thus neoliberalism, can sometimes be linked to the short term. “Long term” is illustrated as a significant instrument for deploying ideologies.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-01-05
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2018-3783
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Regulation as a force for hybrid organization: evidence from the
           Bonneville Power Administration (1980–2012)
    • Authors: Amanda M. Convery, Matt Kaufman
      Abstract: This case study highlights state-logic influence on hybrid organizations and institutionally complex environments through acts of regulation (and deregulation). This study presents a 30-year narrative case focused on the significant social achievements of the Bonneville Power Administration within the Northwest United States. It combines the analysis of historical documentation, annual reports issued by the organization and interviews with firm management to observe the wax and wane of regulatory influence through time. The presented case suggests two ways regulation projects state-logic influence onto hybrid organizations. First, it imposes a “floor” level of baseline social activity that must be met despite pressure from market logic stakeholders. Second, it imposes formal administrative procedures that require interaction with, and often approval from, key social stakeholders. Administrative procedures provide a series of public forums used to promote additional social resource allocation in excess of baseline regulatory mandates. A narrative case covering a 30-year period will by necessity have to prioritize breadth of analysis over depth. This is a limitation of the analysis presented, but it also provides an opportunity to observe the oscillating impact of state and market-logic influence through time. The study findings have several implications for the growing accounting literature on institutional complexity and hybrid organization. First, the authors highlight the ways regulation shapes institutionally complex spaces and, as a result, the hybrid organizations formed within those environments. Second, the exogenous nature of regulatory mandates indicate hybrid firms could emerge as both a voluntary and an involuntary adaptation to institutionally complex environments. Finally, this study highlights opportunities to further one’s understanding how state logics influence hybrid organizations through the study of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-01-04
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-12-2019-4327
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2021)
       
  • Inscriptions without boundaries: how action at a distance is enabled on
           social media

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Cecilia Gullberg, Noomi Weinryb
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of inscriptions on social media in enabling action at a distance. The purpose is addressed by investigating how and by what mechanisms inscriptions on social media can shape action at a distance. We conduct a qualitative analysis of the Facebook page of a crowdfunded grassroots initiative, where the founders and their stakeholders interact. We identify two mechanisms by which inscriptions on social media can shape action at a distance: a flow of micro-level inscriptions and a joint stabilisation of inscriptions. By signalling achievement, creating a sense of closeness and highlighting powerful explanations, these mechanisms guide what action at a distance is taken and by whom. Action thereby becomes a mutual exercise between centres of calculation and distant peripheries, highly intertwined with the stability of inscriptions. The two mechanisms indicate the importance of the boundaryless nature of the inscriptions in shaping action at a distance. Our findings indicate new forms of inscriptions and, consequently, of novel conditions for action at a distance. These insights add to the literature on Web 2.0 and accounting, which has mainly revolved around the relationship between centres of calculation and distant peripheries that act upon each other rather than around the inscriptions that enable such action.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2021-02-17
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2020-4663
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Exploring the evolving motives underlying corporate social responsibility
           (CSR) disclosures in developing countries: the case of “political CSR”
           reporting

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: M. Karim Sorour, Philip J. Shrives, Ahmed Ayman El-Sakhawy, Teerooven Soobaroyen
      Abstract: This paper seeks to investigate to what extent (and why) CSR reporting in developing countries reflect instrumental and/or “political CSR” motivations and the types of organisational legitimacy sought in these circumstances. We adopt a theoretical framework based on neo-institutional theory, “political CSR” framework and types of organisational legitimacy. This interpretive research is set in the Egyptian context post-2011 revolution. We first carry out a content analysis of web disclosures for 40 banks in 2013 and 2016 to ascertain the nature of CSR activities and any changes over time. Second, we draw on 21 interviews to tease out the implications of the change in societal expectations due to the revolution and to deepen our understanding of the organisational motivations underlying CSR reporting. Following the 2011 revolution, the banks’ CSR reporting practices have gradually shifted from a largely instrumental “business-case” perspective towards a more substantive recognition of a wider set of societal challenges consistent with a political CSR perspective. Overall, the maintaining/gaining of legitimacy is gradually bound to the communication of accounts about the multi-faceted socially valued consequences or structures performed by banks. Our interview data shows that participants reflected on the legitimation challenges brought by the revolution and the limits of transactional strategies involving traditional constituents, with a preference for pursuing consequential and structural forms of moral legitimacy. This study demonstrates a constructive shift by businesses towards engaging with the new social rules in response to sociopolitical changes and the need to achieve moral legitimacy. Hence, policymakers and stakeholders could consider engaging with different economic sectors to foster more transparent, accountable, and impactful CSR practices. We highlight the implications of Scherer and Palazzo’s political CSR approach for accountability and CSR reporting. CSR reporting in some developing countries has typically been seen as peripheral or a symbolic exercise primarily concerned with placating stakeholders and/or promoting shareholders’ interests. We suggest that researchers need to be instead attuned to the possibility of a blend of instrumental and normative motivations.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-12-30
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2019-4080
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • Public value and the planet: accounting in ecological reconstitution
    • Authors: Hendrik Vollmer
      Abstract: This paper explores the role of accounting in ecological reconstitution and draws attention to the public value as a topic of strategic interest for developing it. The process of ecological reconstitution described by Latour in the “Politics of Nature” is traced towards a distinct set of accounting practices. These accounting practices, designated here as full-tax accounting, offer indications of the changing shape and role of accounting in ecological renewal. Full-tax accounting extends the planetary public towards the inclusion of nonhuman planetarians. It establishes matters of care in multimodal accounts and haunts constitutional processes with the spectre of exclusion. Starting with full-tax accounting, public-value accountants emerge as curators of matters of care. The association of accounting in ecological reconstitution with matters of care highlights the mediating and immersive effects of accounting practice, inviting accounting scholars to explore these effects more systematically. Accountants need to reconsider their stewardship role in relation to the fundamental uncertainties implied in planetary public-value accounting, support the process of ecological reconstitution by associating themselves with matters of care and develop ethics of exclusion. Broad alliances among planetary accountants are needed to extend the terms of ecological reconstitution, to gain and preserve attunement to matters of care and defend these attunements, in the atmospheric politics of ecological renewal, against regressive tendencies. In problematising public value, the paper draws attention to a convergence of interests among scholars in accounting, public sector research and the environmental humanities. It presents a case for planetary accounting in ecological reconstitution that calls for participation from across disciplines, professions, arts and environmental activism.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-12-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4283
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • Network control and balanced scorecard as inscriptions in
           purchaser–provider arrangements: insights from a hybrid government
           agency
    • Authors: Nur Haiza Muhammad Zawawi, Zahirul Hoque
      Abstract: This article examines the power of management control mechanisms as “inscriptions” for bringing the interests of organisations within a purchaser–provider network into alignment. The study contributes to accounting and accountability literature in hybrid organisations by applying actor-network theory to a case study organisation. This enables an analysis of how a government agency, operating as a social service provider to the community, developed and used management control mechanisms in its intra-organisational units to ensure its operations were aligned with the expectations of inter-organisational networks in a purchaser–provider context. Data were collected using open-ended interviews and by examining internal accounting and management reports, government archival records and newspaper articles. Analysis of the results demonstrates that inter-organisational network control was internalised within the provider organisation because of the ability of the controls to function as inscriptions that influenced organisational actions. The authors conclude that the network control travelled across boundaries over time and was assimilated by the provider organisation to become its internal management control mechanisms. A single case study of a government service provider agency may limit the generalisation of the findings to other hybrid entities or networks. The significant practical essence of this study lies in the diversity within the results that offer a rich representation of the impact of purchaser–provider arrangements on internal organisational systems within a hybrid public sector setting. The outcomes enhance knowledge of how a hybrid government agency developed, mobilised and institutionalised its management control mechanisms to ensure the activities of one party are consistent with the other parties' expectations within a network.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-12-16
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4242
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • Institutional logics and practice variations in sustainability reporting:
           evidence from an emerging field
    • Authors: Zeeshan Mahmood, Shahzad Uddin
      Abstract: This paper aims to deepen the understanding of logics and practice variation in sustainability reporting in an emerging field. This paper adopts the institutional logics perspective and its conceptualization of society as an inter-institutional system as a theoretical lens to understand reasons for the presence of and variation in sustainability reporting. The empirical findings are based on analysis of 28 semi-structured interviews with significant social actors, and extensive documentary evidence focusing on eight companies pioneering sustainability reporting in Pakistan. This paper confirms the presence of multiple co-existing logics in sustainability practices and lack of a dominant logic. Sustainability reporting practices are underpinned by a combination of market and corporate (business logics), state (regulatory logics), professional (transparency logics) and community (responsibility logics) institutional orders. It is argued that institutional heterogeneity (variations in logics) drives the diversity of motivations for and variations in sustainability reporting practices. The paper offers a deeper theoretical explanation of how various logics dominate sustainability reporting in a field where the institutionalization of practice is in its infancy. Understanding the conditions that influence the logics of corporate decision-makers will provide new insights into what motivates firms to engage in sustainability reporting. A broader understanding of sustainability reporting in emerging fields will foster its intended use to increase transparency, accountability and sustainability performance. This paper contributes to relatively scarce but growing empirical research on emerging fields. Its major contribution lies in its focus on how multiple and conflicting institutional logics are instantiated at the organizational level, leading to wide practice variations, especially in an emerging field. In doing so, it advances the institutional logics debate on practice variations within the accounting literature.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-12-02
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2019-4086
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • The houbara bustard: a thematic analysis of a bird's threatened extinction
           and a government's accountability failure
    • Authors: Ralph Adler, Mansi Mansi, Rakesh Pandey
      Abstract: This paper provides a thematic analysis of an IUCN Red-Listed bird, the houbara bustard, which Pakistan uses as a fungible resource to appease its wealthy Arab benefactors. Thematic analysis of relevant media reports and government ministry and NGO websites comprise the study's data. Media reports were located using Dow Jones' Factiva database. Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues wealthy Arabs special permits for hunting the houbara bustard as a “soft” foreign diplomacy strategy aimed at propping up the country's fragile economy. Although illegal under international and Pakistan's own wildlife laws, resource dependence theory helps explain how various country-specific issues (e.g. dysfunctional political and judicial systems) enable Pakistan's unlawful exchange of hunting permits for Arab oil and short-term financing. Surrogate accountability and agencement are examined as two means for arresting the bird's trajectory toward extinction. Media reports comprise the primary data. Pakistani government officials were approached for interviews, but failed to reply. Although unfortunate, the pervasive corruption and mistrust that characterise Pakistan's culture would have likely tainted the responses. For this reason, media reports were always the primary data sought. The present study extends prior literature by exploring how country context can subvert the transferability of social and political approaches used in developed countries to address environmental accounting issues and challenges. As this study shows, a developing country's economic vulnerability, combined with its dysfunctional political systems, impotent judiciary and feckless regulatory mechanisms, can undermine legislation meant to protect the country's natural environment, in general, and a threatened bird's existence, in particular.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-11-12
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2019-4113
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • The diffusion of sustainability key performance indicators in a developing
           country context
    • Authors: Prabanga Thoradeniya, Aldónio Ferreira, Janet Lee, Rebecca Tan
      Abstract: Drawing upon Abrahamson's (1991) typology of innovation diffusion, this study aims to investigate the factors underpinning diffusion of sustainability key performance indicators (SKPIs) in a developing country. A qualitative study was conducted in Sri Lanka involving semi-structured interviews with managers, as users of SKPIs (demand-side), and both consultants and academics, as agents in diffusion process (supply-side). Diffusion of SKPIs was found to be driven by efficient-choice considerations, with fashion motives intertwined with these. The diffusion was influenced by developing country context issues relating to market competition, education, government and culture. It was somewhat surprising that market forces played a key role to the extent they did. Minimal stakeholder pressure was found to undermine the diffusion process, contrasting with developed countries in which key stakeholders act as catalysts. The developing country context appears to slow down the pace, rather than alter the pattern, of diffusion of SKPIs. This study is limited by its focus on SKPI adopters, which does not permit to draw insights regarding motivations of non-adopters. This study draws upon Abrahamson's typology to explore the diffusion of SKPIs in the poorly understood developing country context. The findings provide insights into driving forces behind diffusion of SKPIs, suggesting the developing country context creates “stickiness” that influences pace rather than the pattern of diffusion of SKPIs.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-11-10
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2019-4106
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • The past is never dead: the role of imprints in shaping social and
           environmental reporting in a post-communist context
    • Authors: Nadia Albu, Cătălin Nicolae Albu, Oana Apostol, Charles H. Cho
      Abstract: Mobilizing a theoretical framework combining institutional logics and “imprinting” lenses, this paper provides an in-depth contextualized analysis of how historical imprints affect social and environmental reporting (SER) practices in Romania, a post-communist country in Eastern Europe. The authors conduct a qualitative field study with a diverse dataset including regulations, publicly available reports and interviews with multiple actors involved in the SER field in Romania. The authors follow a reflexive approach in constructing the narratives by mobilizing their personal experience and understanding of the field to analyze the rich empirical material. The authors identify a blend of logics that combine local and Western conceptualizations of business responsibilities and explain how the transition from a communist ideology to the free market economy affected SER practices in Romania. The authors also highlight four major imprints and document their longitudinal development, evidencing three main patterns: persistence, transformation and decay. The authors find that the deep connections that form between logics and imprints explain the cohabitation of logics rather than their straight replacement. The paper contributes by evidencing the role of imprints' dynamics in the institutionalization of SER logics. The authors claim that the persistence (decay) of imprints from a former regime such as communism hinders (facilitates) the institutionalization of Western SER logics. Transformation instead has more uncertain effects. The pattern that an imprint takes hinges upon its usefulness for business interests.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-11-10
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2019-4131
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • Social accounting in the context of profound political, social and
           economic crisis: the case of the Arab Spring
    • Authors: Muhammad Al Mahameed, Ataur Belal, Florian Gebreiter, Alan Lowe
      Abstract: This paper explores how social accounting operates in the context of profound political, social and economic crises. Specifically, it examines how companies constructed strategies of action to produce and organise social accounting practices under different sociopolitical and economic contexts prior to and after the Arab Spring. The paper draws on Swidler's theory of “Culture Toolkit” and 43 semi-structured interviews with 17 firms and their stakeholders in the Arab region. The study argues that context influences social accounting practices by shaping a cultural toolkit of habits, skills and styles from which companies develop their social accounting related strategies of action. During “settled” periods, companies draw on resources to develop their social accounting practices whilst they seek knowledge and feedback on boundaries and expectations of the socio-political and economic contexts. During “unsettled” periods, companies begin to adopt highly organised meaning systems (i.e. ideologies) from which new ways and methods of social accounting practices are deployed. The paper contributes to the extant literature by providing insights into social accounting practices in the under-explored context of the profound political, social and economic crises that followed the Arab Spring. In addition, we introduce Swidler's Culture Toolkit theory to the accounting literature.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-11-06
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2019-4129
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • “The frog in the pan”: relational transformation of public values in
           the UK tax authority
    • Authors: Sara C. Closs-Davies, Koen P.R. Bartels, Doris M. Merkl-Davies
      Abstract: The authors aim to contribute to conceptual and empirical understanding of publicness in public sector accounting research by analysing how accounting technologies facilitated the transformation of public values of the UK tax authority. The authors develop a conceptual framework for analysing public values in terms of relational power. Combining governmentality and actor–network theory, the authors focus on the complex relationships through which human and non-human actors interact and the public values that emerge from these evolving socio-material networks. Based on a critical-interpretivist ethnographic study of interviews, documents and secondary survey data, the authors identify the emergent properties of accounting technologies in their case study. The authors explain how accounting technologies facilitated the transformation of public values in the tax authority by reshaping relational power. Traditional public values were eroded and replaced by neoliberal values through a gradual change process (“frog in the pan”) of (1) disconnecting workers and citizens both spatially and socially; (2) losing touch with the embodied nature of tax administration; and (3) yielding to a dehumanising performance management system. Neoliberal accounting technologies transformed the texture of relationships in such a way that workers and citizens became disempowered from effective, accountable and humane tax administration. Further research is needed that gains wider access to tax authority workers, extends the scope of the empirical data and provides comparisons with other tax authorities and public sector organisations. The authors show that a relational approach to public values enables identification of what is “valuable” and how public sector organisations can become “value-able”. The authors offer an interdisciplinary conceptualisation of publicness based on public administration literature, develop a relational conceptualisation of public values and provide original empirical evidence about the changing publicness of the UK tax authority.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-10-30
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4280
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • Hybrid organizations and an ethic of accountability: the role of
           accountability systems in constructing responsible hybridity
    • Authors: Lisa Baudot, Jesse Dillard, Nadra Pencle
      Abstract: Building on the research program of Dillard and Brown (2015) and Dillard and Vinnari (2019), specifically related to an “ethic of accountability,” this paper recognizes accountability systems as key to how organizations conceptualize their responsibility to society. The objective is to explore how managers of hybrid organizations conceptualize responsibility and the role of accountability systems in their conceptualization. This paper studies hybrid organizations that are for-profit entities with explicitly recognized non-economic imperatives. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with managers of organizations that pursue certification as a B-Corporation, often in conjunction with a legal designation as a benefit corporation. Managers of the hybrid organizations evidenced a broader responsibility logic that extends beyond responsibility to shareholders. This pluralistic orientation and broader set of objectives are expressed in a set of certification standards that represent an accountability system that both enables and constrains the way responsibility is understood. The accountability system reflects a “felt” accountability to the “other” manifested, for example, as generational accountability, with the other (re)created relative to the certification standards. Certifications and standards represent accounting-based accountability systems that produce a type of accountability in which the certification becomes the overall objective nudging out efforts to take accountability-based accounting seriously (Dillard and Vinnari, 2019). At the same time, the hybrids under study, while not perfect exemplars, incline toward an ethic of accountability (Dillard and Brown, 2014) that moves them closer to accountability-based accounting. The findings reveal perspectives of managers embedded in hybrid organizations, illustrating their experiences of responsibility and accountability systems in practice (Grossi et al., 2019). The insights can be extended to other hybrid contexts where accountability systems may be used to demonstrate multiple performance objectives. We also recognize the irony in the need for an organization to be required to attain a special license to operate in a more responsible manner.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-10-09
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4287
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • Political interference in private entities' financial reporting and the
           public interest: evidence from the Spanish financial crisis
    • Authors: Begoña Giner, Araceli Mora
      Abstract: The study aims to show how the public interest has been argued to justify the political interference in the accounting of financial entities as a tool to face a critical financial situation in a country. And to offer a different perspective of the publicness notion that focuses on the field of financial accounting for private entities. The paper draws on legal and political arguments referred to the public interest that consider the balancing approach, and so goes beyond the traditional agency framework, to explain politicians' influence on financial reporting. The behavior of the newly elected Spanish government, which issued accounting impairment rules for banks is described, and the accounting practices of a highly politically connected financial entity—Bankia—are used to illustrate the consequences of that intervention. The paper evidences that the government intervention, which implied non-compliance with IFRS, was in line with its economic goals, led to the financial sector bailout and avoided the rescue of the country. This is what we call “breaking rules to achieve the public interest”, which is also consistent with a big-bath behavior to justify the bailout and legitimate the decision to breach IFRS. The silence of enforcers is consistent with the balancing approach that suggests compliance costs from a breach of rules are perceived less relevant after a high-level decision. This is a country-specific study based on a single case study that limits the generalizability of the findings. This research provides a new angle to consider the political motivations to intervene in accounting in the private sector, as well as the enforcers' motivations to allow it. From an interdisciplinary perspective, it shows how politicians have argued the “public interest” to use (and abuse) to intervene in accounting rules, as well as to influence the accounting practice of a highly politically connected bank. It also highlights the potential long-term unintended consequences of these actions.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-09-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-11-2019-4271
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • Understanding systemic change in the context of the social and
           environmental disclosures of a conservation organisation in a developing
           country
    • Authors: Grant Samkin, Christa Wingard
      Abstract: This uses a framework of systemic change to understand the contextual factors including stakeholder, social, political, cultural and economic, which contribute to the social and environmental narratives of a conservation organisation that has and continues to undergo transformation. The social and environmental disclosure annual report narratives for a 27-year period were coded to a framework of systemic change. The end of apartheid in 1994 meant that South African society required transformation. This transformation impacts and drives the social and environmental accounting disclosures made by SANParks. The social and environmental disclosures coded against a framework of systemic change, fluctuated over the period of the study as the format of the annual reports changed. The systems view was the most frequently disclosed category. The political ecology subcategory which details the power relationships showed the most disclosures. However, 25 years after the end of apartheid, the transformation process remains incomplete. Although the evidence in the paper does not support Joseph and Reigelut (2010) contention that the framework of systemic change is an iterative process, it nevertheless provides a useful vehicle for analysing the rich annual report narratives of an organisation that has undergone and continues to undergo transformation. This paper makes two primary contributions. First, to the limited developing country social and environmental accounting literature. Second, the development, refinement and application of a framework of systemic change to social and environmental disclosures.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-09-22
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-05-2019-4010
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print, No. ahead-of-print (2020)
       
  • The influence of the Chinese government's political ideology in the field
           of corporate environmental reporting

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Hui Situ, Carol Tilt, Pi-Shen Seet
      Abstract: In a state capitalist country such as China, an important influence on company reporting is the government, which can influence company decision-making. The nature and impact of how the Chinese government uses its symbolic power to promote corporate environmental reporting (CER) have been under-studied, and therefore, this paper aims to address this gap in the literature by investigating the various strategies the Chinese government uses to influence CER and how political ideology plays a key role. This study uses discourse analysis to examine the annual reports and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports from seven Chinese companies between 2007 and 2011. And the data analysis presented is informed by Bourdieu's conceptualisation of symbolic power. The Chinese government, through exercising the symbolic power, manages to build consensus, so that the Chinese government's political ideology becomes the habitus which is deeply embedded in the companies' perception of practices. In China, the government dominates the field and owns the economic capital. In order to accumulate symbolic capital, companies must adhere to political ideology, which helps them maintain and improve their social position and ultimately reward them with more economic capital. The findings show that the CER provided by Chinese companies is a symbolic product of this process. The paper provides contributions around the themes of symbolic power wielded by the government that influence not only state-owned enterprises (SOEs) but also firms in the private sector. This paper also provides an important contribution to understanding, in the context of a strong ideologically based political system (such as China), how political ideology influences companies' decision-making in the field of CER.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-09-29
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-09-2016-2697
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 9 (2020)
       
  • Role and implementation of sustainability management control tools:
           critical aspects in the Italian context

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Katia Corsi, Brunella Arru
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to show the relevance attributed to sustainability management control tools (SMCTs) and their real use. Mainly, this study aims to shed light on the approaches, motivations and difficulties encountered in SMCTs adoption by the most sustainable Italian companies, as well as their effectiveness. Using a pre-structured qualitative survey method, the authors grasped information about external and internal dimensions of sustainability management in light of institutional and resource-based view theories. Data are elaborated with two methods: a regime analysis to assess the relevance of SMCTs and a descriptive analysis to investigate the “aim”, “which” and “how” of the SMCTs' use by companies listed in sustainability indices. Informal SMCTs prevailed over formal ones. There is a discrepancy between attention paid to some tools praised in the literature and their knowledge and use. In addition, a significant gap exists between what is desired and what is achieved in terms of effectiveness. Further, although sustainability management is primarily oriented towards the external perspective, SMCTs can be key to improving both the disclosure and management of sustainability. The criteria for the selection of the sample resulted in a small number of analysed companies, which allowed us to gain insight into what happens inside the listed Italian companies in the most important sustainability indices. These companies have sustainability-oriented management, which also probably safeguards their advantage linked to inclusion in these indices. This paper provides food for thought for companies engaged in non-financial disclosure and for those who aim to implement SMCTs. It shows the need to reinforce formal sustainability control tools, also through dissemination of major knowledge about the implementation of these tools, and to encourage sponsorship from top levels of management. Compared with SMCT research using a theoretical or case study approach, this study uniquely undertakes extensive research on the perceived effectiveness of SMCTs in achieving sustainability goals and the difficulties in implementing them, thereby highlighting a discrepancy between some tools emphasised in the literature and those infrequently used in sustainability-oriented companies.
      Citation: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
      PubDate: 2020-09-22
      DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-02-2019-3887
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 9 (2020)
       
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