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Management accounting information and the board meeting of an English further education college

Neil J. Fletcher (Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Rory J. Ridley-Duff (Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 4 July 2018

Issue publication date: 30 July 2018




This paper aims to investigate the intersection between corporate governance and management accounting information within the board meeting of an English further education college.


The empirical fieldwork uses an interventionist approach. Board members’ mental models of a management accounting boundary object are analysed.


The paper supports Parker (2007) and Cornforth and Edward’s (1999) observation that within a board meeting, collaborative “micro-management” type talk is considered to lie outside the acceptable remit of non-executive and executive board member interaction. Such an attitude can prevent an intertwining of management accounting information and other mental models of an organisation occurring. This can preclude management accounting information from rendering an organisation visible, in an expansive manner, within a boardroom.

Research limitations/implications

Interventionist researchers working within the black box of the board are encouraged to design more radical and collaborative interventions than the interview/report format used here.

Practical implications

Non-executive directors might benefit from being offered the opportunity to interact with management accounting information outside the formal board meeting and committee structure.


A deeper understanding of how directors’ mental models, boardroom behaviours and attitudes influence their interaction with management accounting information is offered. Insight into the limitations of using management accounting information in the boardroom is developed.



Research funding: The professional transcription of the interviews was paid for by the FE college studied.


Fletcher, N.J. and Ridley-Duff, R.J. (2018), "Management accounting information and the board meeting of an English further education college", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 313-340.



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