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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2009

Robin Roslender

The paper sets out to identify the key role that Jan‐Erik Grojer's work on human resource costing and accounting played in linking initial developments in accounting for

Abstract

Purpose

The paper sets out to identify the key role that Jan‐Erik Grojer's work on human resource costing and accounting played in linking initial developments in accounting for people with the more recent advances associated with the emergence of the intellectual capital concept.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is in the form of an essay that briefly considers the history of approaches to the challenge of accounting for people.

Findings

The recent developments associated with intellectual capital highlight the importance and value of adopting a rather wider conception of accounting for people.

Originality/value

The paper provides a provocative introduction to the topic of accounting for people and as such may be of value to both newcomers to the field and those who are simply intrigued by the idea itself.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Eric G. Flamholtz, Ulf Johanson and Robin Roslender

The paper celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Flamholtz’s seminal paper on the Human Resource Accounting approach to taking people into account

Abstract

Purpose

The paper celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Flamholtz’s seminal paper on the Human Resource Accounting approach to taking people into account, providing a critical review of its progress since that time and offering some thoughts on how the project might now be beneficially shaped.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an authoritative review of the progress of the accounting for people project to date.

Findings

The continuing exploration of how it might be possible to take people into account is identified to be entering a new and exciting phase.

Research limitations/implications

The authors readily acknowledge that what the paper provides is an account of the evolution of the accounting for people field, which they argue is currently extending into a new and important phase relating to employee health and wellbeing.

Originality/value

The paper’s principal contribution lies in bringing together three authors who have made significant contributions to the topic of accounting for people over the past 50 years.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Luisa Lombardi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the disempowering and/or empowering role of accounting in the context of Indigenous Australians.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the disempowering and/or empowering role of accounting in the context of Indigenous Australians.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 31 interviewees participated in this study, which included 18 self-identified Indigenous Australians and 13 non-Indigenous Australians. A qualitative research methodology, and in particular an oral history method, was chosen because of its ability to support a deeper and richer form of inquiry. Bourdieu’s concepts provide the framework for mobilizing and analyzing the findings of this study.

Findings

The damaging role of accounting in the context of Indigenous peoples has largely stemmed from non-Indigenous peoples providing accounting services for Indigenous peoples. The evidence and analysis provided by this study postulates a constructive way forward of accounting’s role in contributing to the empowerment of Indigenous Australians.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations include being a non-Indigenous researcher conducting research in an Indigenous context, which may have prevented some interviewees from feeling comfortable to openly share their experiences and insights.

Practical implications

As this study’s findings have supported the theory that accounting skills can be used in an empowering way when used “by” Indigenous peoples, Indigenous Australians should be actively supported by the accounting bodies to gain the qualifications needed for membership of the accounting profession.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the expanding accounting literature that locates the role of accounting in the context of Indigenous peoples by proposing accounting as a tool of empowerment.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2009

Robin Roslender

This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of approaches to measuring and reporting on intangibles since the mid‐1990s, and to identify intellectual capital…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of approaches to measuring and reporting on intangibles since the mid‐1990s, and to identify intellectual capital self‐accounts as a possible means of continuing this process in a beneficial way.

Design/methodology/approach

Principally a literature review, the paper provides the opportunity to extend earlier, initial thoughts on the promise of intellectual capital self‐accounts.

Findings

Given the importance of primary intellectual capital (“people”) in the creation of intangibles (secondary intellectual capital), the paper draws attention to the limited role hitherto ascribed to people in reporting on intangibles in particular.

Originality/value

The value of the paper lies principally in the identification of possible content for self‐accounts in the context of brands and health and wellbeing as important intangibles.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2019

Steven Dellaportas

This paper hypothesizes that a system of accounting underpinned by attributions of harm has the capacity, more than conventional accounting, to elicit empathic concern…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper hypothesizes that a system of accounting underpinned by attributions of harm has the capacity, more than conventional accounting, to elicit empathic concern among managers, by becoming the mediating link between organisational responsibility and concern for the “other”.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature-inspired reflections presented in this paper stem from the theoretical perspective of care-ethics supported by the notions of empathy and proximity to highlight how the propensity to empathise is mediated by attributions of harm and responsibility.

Findings

The proposed “new” accounting, coined “connected accounting” is proposed because of its potential to make visible the neglected and marginalised segments of society that presently lie hidden in conventional accounting. Accounting for the effects of organisational practice on people and society is expected to strengthen the care-ethic relationship between key actors – managers, accountants and stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is limited by the assumptions that underpin the conceptualised notion of “Connected Accounting”.

Originality/value

This essay introduces to the accounting ethics literature the role of emotion and empathic care in accounting, including sociological aspects of accounting reflecting the ongoing quest for understanding the processes and consequences of accounting as a social practice.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2018

Amanze Rajesh Ejiogu and Chibuzo Ejiogu

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the process through which ideas are translated across disciplines. It does this by focussing on how the idea…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of the process through which ideas are translated across disciplines. It does this by focussing on how the idea that people are corporate assets was translated between the accounting and human resource management (HRM) disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the interpretation of a historical case study of the travel of ideas between the accounting and HRM disciplines. Translation is used as an analytical lens as opposed to being the object of the study and is theorised drawing on insights from the Scandinavian Institutionalist School, Skopos theory and linguistic translation techniques.

Findings

Translation by individual translators involved the translator stepping across disciplinary boundaries. However, translation performed by interdisciplinary teams occurs in the “contact zone” between disciplines. In this zone, both disciplines are, at once, source and target. Ideas are translated by editing and fusing them. In both cases, translation is value laden as the motives of the translators determine the translation techniques used. Legitimacy and gravitas of the translator, as well as contextual opportunities, influence the spread of the idea while disciplinary norms limit its ability to become institutionalised. Also, differential application of the same translation rule leads to heterogeneous outcomes.

Originality/value

This is the first accounting translation study to use the theories of the Scandinavian Institutionalist School or indeed combine these with linguistic translation techniques. It is also the first study in accounting which explores the translation of ideas across disciplines.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2020

Jeremy Andrew Nicholls

The purpose of this paper is to propose a public policy solution to updating mainstream financial accounting from its nineteenth century roots and make it more relevant…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a public policy solution to updating mainstream financial accounting from its nineteenth century roots and make it more relevant and consistent with public policy, individual investor motivations and global needs as exemplified in the sustainability development goals. Many approaches to integrating social and environmental accounts with financial accounts are additive; the two types of accounting information sit alongside each other. The opportunity to revise the basic building block of financial accounting, information to help investors make economic decisions relating to investments to increase integration and recognition that this is a public policy decision and not an accounting profession decision, is rarely considered.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is a viewpoint on the opportunities for and benefits of integration of financial, social and environmental accounting.

Findings

The current basis of financial accounting does not reflect private investors’ motivations, and changing the basis of accounting is a public policy issue.

Research limitations/implications

This is a viewpoint paper. The pros and cons of current approaches to valuation of social and environmental outcomes are not explored.

Practical implications

Changing policy would require support from asset managers and owners, accounting bodies, civil society and politicians and would need a plan for transitioning from the existing approach.

Social implications

This is a possible starting point for formal research that could support policy changes that could result in resource allocation decisions taking account of social and environmental impacts.

Originality/value

There are several approaches for integrating social environmental and financial accounting; however, the proposal that integration would result from a change in public policy specifically clarifying and updating investor motivation provides a possible solution to many of the challenges of integration.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2000

Deryl Northcott and Bill Doolin

Little is known of how accounting is used in the home, or about the potential relevance of business‐like techniques in this domain. This paper reports findings from an…

Abstract

Little is known of how accounting is used in the home, or about the potential relevance of business‐like techniques in this domain. This paper reports findings from an exploratory study into the practices of home accountants. Ten cases based on interviews with both accountants and lay people were used to investigate four broad areas of accounting practice: budgeting, record‐keeping, decision making and long‐term financial planning. The findings suggest that simple accounting practices are used in the home to serve multiple purposes. Domestic cash budgets, financial records and decision‐making rules of thumb offer a valued sense of financial control and security. Home accounts are also drawn on in rationalising financial choices, and accounting practices reinforce a personal sense of identity. This study revealed little difference between the practices of accountants and those of lay people, suggesting that the “mind‐set” and practices of home accountants may be attributed to factors other than command over technique. Any “theories” of home accounting and prescriptions for practice may have limited relevance, therefore, if they fail to account for the particular characteristics of the home as an accounting domain.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2010

Mikael Holmgren Caicedo, Maria Mårtensson and Robin Roslender

The purpose of this paper is to identify the case for taking employee health and wellbeing into account in some way and to consider a range of objections that might be…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the case for taking employee health and wellbeing into account in some way and to consider a range of objections that might be raised against such exercises.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies the existence of a persistent sickness absence as a cause for concern for a range of stakeholders and how it might be accounted for in the light of recent developments within the intellectual capital field. Attention then turns to some of the difficulties such well meaning interventions might encounter, and briefly considers how a self‐accounting approach might in some part overcome these.

Findings

The paper finds that a programme of empirical research within the field of employee health and wellbeing is now required to ensure that employee health and wellbeing into account.

Practical implications

While predominantly a discursive contribution to the literature, the paper incorporates some discussion of innovative accounting interventions.

Originality/value

In contrast to viewing sickness absence from a cost perspective, the paper encourages stakeholders to embrace a wider spectrum of ways of seeing to better understand employee health and wellbeing issues in the work place.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

Martijn van der Steen

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamics involved in the emergence and change of management accounting routines. It seeks to provide an understanding of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamics involved in the emergence and change of management accounting routines. It seeks to provide an understanding of the ways in which these complex routines foster stability and change in management accounting practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal case study was conducted at the Rabobank Groningen – an autonomous member of the cooperative Rabobank group – over a period of four years. The emergence of a new routine of planning and control was traced, which evolved substantially over the period of study.

Findings

It was found that the cognitive representations of the routine studied, i.e. the way it was subjectively understood, provided a temporarily stable basis for the routine. Change arose from improvisations through its recurrent performances. It was also found that change could result from complex dynamics in the routine, as opposed to viewing them as static and stable entities that react to “external” stimuli.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings contribute to an understanding of the reproduction of management accounting routines and the ways in which change can arise in these routines. It provides a means to study the micro‐processes of reproduction of routines, which play an important part in institutional theories of management accounting change.

Originality/value

This paper places management accounting routines and their processes of reproduction at the centre of the argument to provide an understanding of the role of routines in accounting change. Since the notion of management accounting routines has not been developed extensively, this understanding contributes to studies into the nature of routines and their role in management accounting change.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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