Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting

ISSN: 1401-338X

Article publication date: 5 April 2011



Roslender, R. (2011), "Editorial", Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Vol. 15 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/jhrca.2011.31615aaa.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Volume 15, Issue 1

This year marks the 15th year of the Journal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting’s (JHRCA) existence. The foundation of the journal was the culmination of a project initiated by members of faculty at the School of Business at the University of Stockholm, who in 1988 founded the Personnel Economics Institute as focus for their interests in researching accounting for people. In 1996, two issues were published. The first contained a number of papers on the broad topic of human resource accounting, a field that had continued to flourish across Scandinavia long after its virtual disappearance from the North American accounting research agenda in the late 1970s. The second issue brought together a collection of papers on utility analysis, a field that initially emerged in the early 1960s as a complement to both human asset accounting and human capital economics. Edited by Ulf Johanson and Hunter Mabon, respectively, both issues can be accessed online via the journal’s home page.

In mid-December 2010, the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published a summary of the responses to its future of narrative reporting consultation initiative. These will be combined with the responses to related consultations, with an announcement promised as part of the Budget Statement in March. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ feasibility study on human capital reporting is scheduled for publication very soon after this, The Accounting for People 2.0 pressure group is actively continuing its lobbying work within the UK business community in the belief that the decision to abandon the earlier 2003 initiative was not widely supported even at that time. Readers interested in lending their support to the group’s work are encouraged to access its evolving web site. With any luck, the UK may see the re-emergence of an unstoppable accounting for people bandwagon by the summer of this year.

The current issue contains three papers that span a range of topics. The first paper, by Niels Sandalgaard, Per Nikolaj Bukh and Carsten Stig Poulsen, is firmly in the traditions of management control research and considers survey evidence on the interaction between motivational disposition and participative budgeting activity among managers within a Scandinavian bank. The principal findings of the study are that those managers with a high need for power or a low need for affiliation are likely to exhibit greater levels of budget goal commitment, while those managers with a low need for power or a high need for affiliation are less likely to be attracted to budget participation. John Dumay and Suresh Cuganesan’s paper is a further contribution to the growing literature on intellectual capital narratives. The authors identify and employ a novel approach to making sense of intellectual capital narratives, which provides a means by which the value creation capacity of intellectual capital is highlighted thereby allowing better informed management interventions in such processes.

Per Nikolaj Bukh is also the co-author of the third paper in the issue, on this occasion together with his University of Aalborg colleague and long-time research partner, Christian Nielsen. The paper reports the findings of a qualitative study of how different stakeholders, i.e. financial analysts, fund managers and the members of the senior management of a Scandinavian medical devices’ business, produce and consume strategic information in respect possible investment decisions. The study finds that the information that these stakeholders are concerned with plays quite different roles for each group. While the interests of managers were more closely related to the company, fund managers were more focused on predicting stock prices. The interests of the financial analyst were found to vary according to whether they might be designated long-term oriented or “trigger” oriented.

The unfortunate decision to cancel the proposed JHRCA conference planned for April was taken only very reluctantly. While it was going to be possible to mount a full programme of high-quality papers at the event, the difficulty lay with the limited level of interest on the part of non-presenting participants. A number of the papers that were accepted for presentation at the conference will now enter the normal review process and in due course will hopefully appear in print within future issues of the journal. Many thanks to all of those who invested their time in promoting the event over the past year. I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months and years at similar events across the world.

Finally, can I take the opportunity to remind readers and/or prospective contributors that quite soon after this issue of the journal appears, I will have moved to the School of Business at the University of Dundee. My new contact details will be provided on the journal’s webpage as soon as these are available.

Robin Roslender

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