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Transitioning business school accounting from binary divide to unified national system: A historical case study

Maryam Safari (School of Accounting, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Lee David Parker (School of Accounting, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




This paper aims to provide a historical case study of strategic changes in accounting at an Australian university’s business school department during 1972-1992 when it was repositioning itself in the early stages of major changes in the Australian and international tertiary accounting education environment. The study is conducted within the context of the university history within which the department operated as well as major government policy and global education shifts shaping university structures and focus.


This study offers a historical analysis of early stage changes in university focus at the business school’s accounting department, developed through departmental and university reports and oral history interviews. A narrative analytical methodology is adopted to portray a history of an academic accounting department in transition.


This case study illuminates the impacts of and responses to the beginning of marketisation and globalisation of higher education, and the commercialisation of universities and explains the strategic implementation processes in one university’s business school departmental during a period of significant formative change in the Australian accounting education landscape.


This study deepens our understanding of environmental, structural, educational and research changes at the operational departmental level of academic institutions, paying particular attention to the organisational culture and human capital dimensions.



Safari, M. and Parker, L.D. (2017), "Transitioning business school accounting from binary divide to unified national system: A historical case study", Journal of Management History, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 337-367.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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