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Challenging the meaning of globalisation in Tunisian context: Social representation for public accountants

Wafa Khlif (Department of Management Control, Accounting and Auditing, Toulouse Business School, Barcelona, Spain)
Sami El Omari (Department of Management Control, Accounting and Auditing, Toulouse Business School, Toulouse, France)
Helmi Hammami (Department of Finance and Accounting, Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 12 March 2019

Issue publication date: 27 November 2019

257

Abstract

Purpose

In accounting, several studied Arab countries are keen to acquire the dominant Western thinking categories that justify and normalize the exerted domination, especially when it comes to globalized practices. This paper aims to challenge this assumption by examining the dynamics of globalization and its effects through new theoretical perspectives and through new empirical terrain.

Design/methodology/approach

It builds on the concept of “globalization from below”, which emerges from the network of individual development of daily routines, systems and practices, far from international institutions pressure. It uses social representation theory to inform the centrality of a particular social group. The study uses a survey, which was on a sample group of 214 Tunisian public accountants and uses the hierarchical evocation method and an attitudinal scale.

Findings

The results are twofold: first, Tunisian public accounts lack a stable and common understanding to globalization; second, there are ambivalent positive/negative attitudes towards globalization among accounting professionals.

Originality/value

The dynamic Tunisian context, along with the absence of a stable collective meaning to the concept of globalization among accountants, shows the complexity of such cases, vacillating between international institutions’ domination and the emergence of emancipatory accounting practices inspired by and developed for local socioeconomic entities, if supported by specific factors.

Keywords

Citation

Khlif, W., El Omari, S. and Hammami, H. (2019), "Challenging the meaning of globalisation in Tunisian context: Social representation for public accountants", Society and Business Review, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 320-337. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-12-2018-0147

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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