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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Rafael Heinzelmann

This paper aims to investigate the accounting logic inscribed in the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and how this accounting logic becomes effective in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the accounting logic inscribed in the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and how this accounting logic becomes effective in organizations. The authors draw on the notion of accounting logics by mobilizing the institutional logics literature (Thornton et al., 2012). Accordingly, accounting logics are conceptualized as crucial underlying design principles consisting of a system of beliefs, assumptions and ideas how accounting systems should be designed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a qualitative case study approach conducted in a manufacturing company, hereafter called Wood Plc. The primary data source is qualitative research interviews. Secondary data, such as internal documents, were collected to increase validity and reliability through data triangulation (Ahrens and Chapman, 2006; Scapens, 2004).

Findings

The paper demonstrates how a particular accounting logic – the Germanic accounting logic – gets diffused throughout the organization by the means of the SAP ERP system, and creates challenges for management accounting practices in local entities. The contribution of the paper is to show that ERP systems can foster the diffusion of a specific accounting logic, which is inherently linked to the SAP system, and which enables a specific version of accounting to work in an organization.

Research limitations/implications

This paper could be viewed as an extreme case of a German organization using the SAP ERP system with its Germanic accounting logic inscribed to make a German accounting logic work in the entire organization. Consequently, further research could unpack the relationship between accounting logics, ERP systems, accounting systems and their use by studying not only different empirical settings with respect to the organizational context but also the ERP software used by organizations.

Practical implications

This paper aims to raise the awareness of practitioners of the conceptual underpinnings inscribed in the SAP accounting modules while at the same time pinpointing the potential challenges of implementation generated by the accounting logics.

Originality/value

The paper complements existing studies on accounting and ERP systems by bringing the accounting logic inscribed in the SAP ERP system to the fore. More precisely, this paper shows that in the wake of SAP ERP implementation, the organization studied spread its assumptions and beliefs on accounting, which are manifested in the Germanic accounting logic inscribed in the SAP ERP system, in the organization. This invoked particular challenges in non-Germanic subsidiaries in making accounting work.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2019

Annemarie Conrath-Hargreaves and Sonja Wüstemann

The purpose of this paper is to explore how an Higher Education Institution’s (HEI) choice of undergoing a voluntary reorganisation, motivated by its own interest of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how an Higher Education Institution’s (HEI) choice of undergoing a voluntary reorganisation, motivated by its own interest of increasing its autonomy, whilst also having to satisfy the government in order to maintain the level of public funding, impacts on the HEI’s accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the institutional logics perspective to present a single case study of a German HEI that chose to be reorganised from a public into a foundation university. Data were obtained using multiple data collection methods.

Findings

The findings suggest that organisational characteristics, which act as filters for institutional logics, play an important role for HEIs’ ability to increase not only their de jure, but also their de facto autonomy through self-motivated, rather than government imposed, reform processes.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a single case study in a country-specific context, limiting the empirical generalisability of the findings.

Originality/value

Germany is not only one of the main nations exporting higher education, but its economy has also been recognised for its stability and development over the last decades. Nevertheless, Germany struggles in its transition to become a knowledge-based economy. Yet, research has so far tended to neglect educational reforms in Continental European countries, such as Germany. By addressing this gap in the literature, this paper is among the first to explore how reform processes shape accounting in German HEIs.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2020

Philippe Touron and Peter Daly

The paper analyzes four cases of IAS adoption (Aérospatiale in 1989; Usinor in 1991; Coflexip in 1993; and Péchiney in 1995) to better understand the instructional logics

Abstract

Purpose

The paper analyzes four cases of IAS adoption (Aérospatiale in 1989; Usinor in 1991; Coflexip in 1993; and Péchiney in 1995) to better understand the instructional logics behind the use of alternative or additional standards by French companies in the early 1990s.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs multiple case studies to explain how and why the heterogeneity of adoption (IAS versus US GAAP) is a response to institutional complexity.

Findings

This research shows that French companies adopted IAS as long as they were not required to use US GAAP by their financial backers. The results highlight how the companies combine logics to respond to the complexification of the field. The authors outline how endorsement of logics by outside carriers (auditors, financial analysts, stock exchange commissions) and framing of logics by managers evolve in time and space within this complexification process.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the institutional complexity literature in that it focuses on distinct organizational responses to multiple institutional logics. More precisely, the choice of standards in primary consolidated accounts are viewed as an organizational response to compatible and conflicting demands from several levels: home countries, transnational areas and host countries with the aim of raising funds in the US.

Originality/value

This research makes a distinct link between institutional complexity and international accounting standards and US GAAP.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2019

Conor Clune, Roel Boomsma and Richard Pucci

The purpose of this paper is to examine an ongoing process of logic assimilation within an amateur sports organisation (ASO) called the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine an ongoing process of logic assimilation within an amateur sports organisation (ASO) called the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). It seeks to develop our understanding of how forms of accounting mitigated (or exacerbated) the tensions that arose among GAA members due to the consequences of the assimilation of select elements of a professional logic and a commercial logic within its traditionally dominant social welfare logic.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were undertaken with representatives and members of the GAA to understand the effects of growing commercialisation and professionalisation on the organisation’s traditional amateur status and social mission. In particular, the authors sought to understand how accounting, in the form of financial reporting, influenced the extent of the tensions that arose. Interviews were supported by an extensive collection of podcasts and news articles that discussed this topic.

Findings

The paper’s findings offer unique empirical insights into the role played by forms of accounting in the maintenance of amateurism within an ASO. It reveals the conflicting role of financial reporting within the GAA whereby it was used by the GAA’s management to ease member concerns surrounding logic assimilation while simultaneously being ignored by clubs and counties to facilitate payments to managers thereby eroding the amateur status of Gaelic Games.

Originality/value

The paper is unique in its exploration of logic assimilation within a form of hybrid organisation that has previously been unexamined in the accounting literature. It extends extant understandings of how accounting influences the co-existence of potentially conflicting logics. The paper also discusses the implications of what accounting makes visible and keeps invisible on the longevity of the traditionally dominant social welfare logic within an ASO.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2020

Monika Łada, Alina Kozarkiewicz and Jim Haslam

This article explores the influence of duality in institutional logics on internal accounting, with a focus on a Polish public university. More particularly, we answer the…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores the influence of duality in institutional logics on internal accounting, with a focus on a Polish public university. More particularly, we answer the research question: how does illegitimacy risk arising from the divergent pressures of the institutional environment impact management accountings in this institution?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper seeks to uncover intricacies of notions of internal legitimacy façade, decoupling and counter-coupling in practice. It explores details of organizational responses involving management accounting aimed at reducing illegitimacy risk. Achieving good organizational access, the authors adopt a qualitative case study approach involving contextual appreciation/document analysis/participant observation/discussion with key actors: facilitating building upon theoretical argumentation through finding things out from the field.

Findings

The authors uncover and discuss organizational solutions and legitimizing manoeuvres applied, identifying four adaptation tactics in the struggle to support legitimacy that they term ‘ceremonial calculations’, ‘legitimacy labelling’, ‘blackboxing’ and ‘shadow management accounting’. These can be seen in relation to decoupling and counter-coupling. Ceremonial calculations supported the internal façade. Shadow management accounting supported pro-effectiveness. Legitimacy labelling and blackboxing helped bind these two organizational layers, further supporting legitimacy. In interaction the four tactics engendered what can be seen as a ‘counter-coupling’ of management accounting. The authors clarify impacts for management accounting.

Research limits/implications

The usual limitations of case research apply for generalizability. Theorizing of management accounting in relation to contradictory logics is advanced.

Practical implications

The article illuminates how management accounting can be understood vis-à-vis contradictory logics.

Originality value

Elaboration of the tactics and their interaction is a theoretical and empirical contribution. Focus on a Polish university constitutes an empirical contribution.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2018

Shaul Hayoun

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on the non-essence of accounting by focusing on financial accounting’s distinct technology: financial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on the non-essence of accounting by focusing on financial accounting’s distinct technology: financial statements. Complementing the genealogical perspective on accounting’s changing socio-historical settings, it proposes a semiotic perspective on the accounting statement.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes an interdisciplinary approach in the theoretical framing of IFRS recognition and measurement principles that underlie the statement of financial position. It mobilises Saussure and Barthes’ sign theory – semiology, as it provides a meaningful delineation of financial accounting, bringing out its distinct numerical-linguistic knowledge-construction operation.

Findings

In addition to the justification of employing semiology as a parent discipline for accounting, it is shown how IASB’s recognition and measurement procedures manifest the interrelated non-essentialist semiological principles of reciprocal articulation and value constellation. Accounting entries (“expression”) are not representations of pre-existing economic resources (“content”), but rather both are mutually constituted by delimiting the resource/asset from its broader category. Such judgment-based articulation results with value constellations, where asset value is merely a relational product of other values.

Originality/value

To the long-established critique that accounting has no essence, the paper adds a formulation of a non-essentialist semiotic logic: the financial statement’s semio-logic. It further sheds light on the role of such logic as an epistemological presupposition to the accounting – society reciprocity, where accounting is a malleable product of, and is used to exert power over, its social surroundings.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2015

Sharron O'Neill, Geoff McDonald and Craig Michael Deegan

The purpose of this paper is to seek to extend the work of Robson (1991, 1992) by exploring the accounting implications of the way in which subsets of non-financial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to seek to extend the work of Robson (1991, 1992) by exploring the accounting implications of the way in which subsets of non-financial accounting numbers are constructed. In particular, the study investigates whether the different procedures for organising subsets of a set of accounting data may lead to different conclusions about (the same) reality.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis focuses on the procedures by which organisations translate work-related injury outcomes to accounting numbers. First, existing procedures are problematised within their institutional context. This highlights complementary elements of translation and neo-institutional theory that together explain how institutional factors might operate to constrain the problematising process. An empirical analysis of workers’ compensation data covering a ten year period is then conducted to calculate and contrast performance using two competing logics of accounting for injury.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that different representations of reality may result not only from accounting choices as to “what” is measured, but also from accounting choices as to “how subsets of measured data are organised”. Specifically, different ways of organising injury data into subsets led to different representations of the reality of overall injury performance. The evidence further suggests taken-for-granted assumptions and institutionalised practices may prevent adequate problematisation of the underpinning logic that guides the procedures for organising translations of work-related injury and illness to accounting numbers.

Practical implications

The results suggest the existing logic of accounting for injury fails to recognise the financial or non-financial complexity of non-fatal injury outcomes. “Lost time injury” measures are revealed as neither valid nor reliable measures of injury (or safety) and therefore inappropriate for informing the occupational health and safety (OHS) decisions of managers, boards and external stakeholders. These findings reveal an urgent need for change in injury accounting practice and, in turn, raise serious concerns about the increasingly institutionalised global template for external disclosure of OHS performance information.

Originality/value

This paper takes a novel look at the construction of social performance measures and suggests further attention to the construction of accounting subsets is warranted. In demonstrating serious problems in accounting logic that underpin existing, and deeply institutionalised, measurement and reporting practices, the findings reinforce the need to routinely re-problematise accounting practices. Failure to critically review those accounting translations that underpin decision-making may prove a fatal mistake.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2016

The figure pictures in financial statements may seem motionless. Yet, movement is essential to an enterprise. The analytical service of an account is best reflected by the…

Abstract

The figure pictures in financial statements may seem motionless. Yet, movement is essential to an enterprise. The analytical service of an account is best reflected by the relative rates of inflow and outflow of data. At the same time, the functional logic inherent in capital-income accounting does not support “valuation” as an appropriate part of accounting objectives. This is so because transaction experience is objective in nature whereas valuation is subjective. And the logic relevant to accounting actions would seem to include relevance as a key term because boundaries are functional aspects of accounting.

Details

A. C. Littleton’s Final Thoughts on Accounting: A Collection of Unpublished Essays
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-389-4

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2020

Nori Yani Abu Talib, Radziah Abdul Latiff and Aini Aman

This paper aims to improve the understanding of the institutional pressures that shape the intention to adopt waqf accounting and reporting. The study seeks to answer two…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to improve the understanding of the institutional pressures that shape the intention to adopt waqf accounting and reporting. The study seeks to answer two research questions as follows: what are the challenges in the adoption of waqf accounting and reporting in waqf institutions; and how do institutional pressures influence the adoption of waqf reporting in Malaysia. Drawing on the work of DiMaggio and Powell and Scott of institutional theory, this paper provides empirical evidence of institutional pressures on the adoption of waqf reporting in Malaysia and the challenges faced in adopting waqf accounting and reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses qualitative research method with an explanatory case study approach. Data are collected through semi-structured interviews with the accountants of State Islamic Religious Council and Customs of Terengganu, an informal conversation with the Deputy Director of Accountant Generals Department of Malaysia and document reviews, mainly the Malaysian Accounting Standard Board Research paper.

Findings

The findings show that coercive pressure such as government regulation contributes to challenges in the adoption of waqf accounting and reporting. Normative pressures contribute to challenges in formulating standardised waqf accounting and reporting, whereas mimetic pressure contributes to challenges in the comparability of the waqf accounting and reporting among the state Islamic religious councils in Malaysia. In the efforts towards the standardisation of waqf accounting and reporting practice, a similarity of the process of the standard implementation or the institutional isomorphism of the State Islamic Religious Council in Terengganu is strongly influenced from the result of the mandate of its Board members and Fatwa council members (coercive isomorphism and religion logic) and minor influence from the normative isomorphism (the result of the participants’ education and profession) as well as the result of imitating other State of Islamic Religious Councils (SIRCs) because of the ambiguity of the process or certain practice.

Research limitations/implications

The study contributes to the knowledge by extending institutional theory and the possible role of religion logic in Islamic perspective to organisational behaviour and accounting development in SIRCs. This study is limited to the understanding of the challenges in the adoption of waqf accounting and reporting but could also be applicable to the adoption of other accounting standards or regulations.

Practical implications

This paper offers key implications for research, in improving the understanding of contextual factors and decision to adopt waqf accounting and reporting. The standard setter needs to be aware of the influence of contextual factors that shape decision towards standardisation of accounting and reporting for waqf.

Originality/value

The interplay of institutional pressures and implications of religion logic provides an interesting approach to understanding the waqf institutions’ intention to adopt accounting and reporting for waqf.

Details

Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0817

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Sujeewa Damayanthi and Tharusha Gooneratne

This paper reviews management control literature which draws on the institutional logics perspective as the theoretical lens to understand the current grounding of this…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reviews management control literature which draws on the institutional logics perspective as the theoretical lens to understand the current grounding of this perspective on management control research. It identifies gaps in the current literature and offers possible future research directions.

Design/methodology/approach

For the purpose of this paper, five search engines (ABI INFORM, EBSCO, Emerald insight, JSTOR and Science Direct) were consulted, and 35 papers across 16 journals, which specifically fall within the area of management controls and institutional logics, were reviewed.

Findings

The review revealed that the institutional logics perspective has provided theoretical anchoring to management control-related areas such as budgeting, performance management and control tools in organizations. The extant studies have either used institutional logics as a single theoretical perspective or have integrated it with other theories such as neo-institutional theory, agency theory and structuration theory. The research settings of the papers span across firm level, industry level and government organizations and non-profit organizations. Most of the studies have used the qualitative case study approach, whereas a few have taken the mixed method research design.

Originality/value

Although there are a number of review papers in the area of management controls as well as on institutional theory in general, such reviews have not specifically been focused on the institutional logics perspective, which is a significant development within institutional theory, having provided theoretical backing to a wide range of management control studies over the years. Addressing this omission, this paper provides important insights for future researchers on what research has been done using the lens of institutional logics and what else is worth doing. In that sense, this paper contributes to the domain of management control research, as well as to the development of institutional theory in general and the institutional logics perspective in particular.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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