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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2011

Andreas Sundström

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the framing of numbers may be related to the distance between the information provider and information users.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the framing of numbers may be related to the distance between the information provider and information users.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the paper is a case study, in an organizational situation where there are perceived problems in producing stable inscriptions for reporting to users at a distance. The study focuses on the top management level in a small‐sized publicly‐funded theater. The qualitative research design incorporates interviews, observations and document analysis.

Findings

The paper illustrates how knowledge and understanding of the circumstances of measurement form a substantial part of what constitutes “distance” between an accounting user and the referred context. It is argued that the framing of numbers may be utilized as a means to control action at a distance. The findings also imply that the use of measurements regarding intangibles may be perceived as useful for purposes beyond internal management.

Originality/value

The paper contributes in two ways to prior research on accountability relations and accounting as an enabler of action at a distance: it elaborates on what constitutes a distance, and it also adds an emphasis on reciprocal behavior by the provider of information in an accountability relation.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Deborah Agostino and Yulia Sidorova

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how centres of calculation, now emerging in connection with social media, impact on the process of acting on distant customers…

2338

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how centres of calculation, now emerging in connection with social media, impact on the process of acting on distant customers. Specifically, the authors are interested in exploring how the distance between the organization and its customer is affected and how knowledge is accumulated within this centre.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study in an Italian telecommunication company was conducted over a time horizon of two years, analysing data sources in the form of interviews, documents and reports, corporate website, social media platforms and participants’ observations. With the adoption of social media, the company configured a new centre of calculation, called monitoring room, in the attempt to accumulate knowledge about its customers. The authors unpacked the activity of the centre of calculation discussing its ability to perform action upon a distant periphery and the process of knowledge accumulation inside the centre itself.

Findings

The results highlight the implication of social media for “action at a distance”. On the one hand, social media blurs the distinction between the centre and a periphery giving rise to a de-centring, and stimulating a joint control activity between the customer and the organization. On the other hand, social media was found vulnerable in providing a unique knowledge about customers: accumulation cycles that exploit social media data can be replicated by users with skills in data analytics and the knowledge they provide might conflict with knowledge provided by traditional data.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to an emergent stream of literature that is investigating accounting implications derived from social media, by underlying the controversial effects connected with centres of calculation enacted by social media data. The authors suggest that, while social media data provide the organization with huge amount of information real time, at the same time, it contributes to de-centring allowing customers and external actors to act upon the organization, rather than improving knowledge inside the centre.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 November 2020

Salman Ahmad, Ciaran Connolly and Istemi Demirag

The purpose of this paper is to explore how localized (organization-level) actors of policy initiatives that are inspired by neoliberal ideologies use management accounting

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how localized (organization-level) actors of policy initiatives that are inspired by neoliberal ideologies use management accounting and control practices. Specifically, it addresses the operational stages of a case study Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract within the United Kingdom's (UK's) transport sector of roads for embedding government objectives in the underlying project road.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts Dean's (2010) analytics of government to unpack the accounting-based control practices within the case study contract in order to articulate how, at the micro level, the government's objective of improving road-users' safety is enacted, modified and maintained through such regimes.

Findings

Drawing on a content-based analysis of UK government PFI policy and extensive case study-specific documents, together with interviews and observations, this research provides theoretical insights about how control practices, at a distance without direct intervention, function as forms of power for government for shaping the performance of the PFI contractor. The authors find that the public sector's accounting control regimes in the case study project have a constraining effect on “real partnership working” between the government and private contractors and on the private sector's incentive to innovate.

Research limitations/implications

By analyzing a single road case study PFI contract, the findings may not be generalizable.

Originality/value

This paper provides significant theoretically informed insights about how public service delivery that is outsourced to private contractors is controlled by government at a distance within complex organizational arrangements (e.g. PFI).

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Athula Ekanayake

By using Latour’s notion of “action at a distance” (Latour, 1987), the purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which the government acts at a distance to achieve…

Abstract

Purpose

By using Latour’s notion of “action at a distance” (Latour, 1987), the purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which the government acts at a distance to achieve corporate governance of public sector banks, and the extent to which accounting enables such actions of the government.

Design/methodology/approach

This study follows the qualitative research approach and adopts the case study research method. A major public sector bank in Sri Lanka was selected as the case organization for this study. Data were gathered from semi-structured interviews with organizational participants and document study.

Findings

The study provides evidence to suggest that inscriptions produced through four areas of accounting, namely external reporting, external auditing, management accounting and internal auditing, have the capacity to develop strong explanations enabling action at a distance and good corporate governance in the case organization. The study also provides evidence to show how the role of accounting in long-distance control and corporate governance in the case organization is influenced by various contextual factors. In particular, the study finds that undue government interference over the case organization to gain the long-distance control have resulted in deteriorating the level of corporate governance.

Research limitations/implications

The findings support the literature that examines the accounting in its social context.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that actors should be allowed to operate independently, particularly without political expedience and undue influences from pressure groups, which ensure effective utilization of accounting inscriptions by the actors in long-distance control as well as good corporate governance of public sector banks.

Originality/value

Although research into accounting in public sector organizations has gained considerable importance in recent times, those studies examining public sector banks are still lacking. The paper aims to fill this gap.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 September 2019

Erkki M. Lassila, Sinikka Moilanen and Janne T. Järvinen

The purpose of this paper is to concern the use of analytics as a calculative engine enabling coordination and control for the development process in a creative digital…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to concern the use of analytics as a calculative engine enabling coordination and control for the development process in a creative digital business environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This research employs an explorative field study approach, using interview data from professionals working with free-to-play mobile game development. Drawing on the concepts of cycles of accumulation, accounting as an engine and mediating instruments, this study examines how organisational actors using the analytics in a digital business environment participate in the data generation that accumulates knowledge about and new insights into the desired outcome.

Findings

The real-time metrics provided the means for organisational actors to continually monitor, visualise and if necessary intervene in the creative “good game” development process. Timely quantification and visualisation of user actions, collected as digital traces, enhanced the cycle of information accumulation. This new knowledge resulted in a desire for improvement and perfection, which directed the actions towards the organisational objectives.

Originality/value

This study furthers our understanding of the performativity of accounting as an engine and the user behavioural data trace as its “fuel” in a digital product development. It highlights the role of analytics as a “fact-generating” device, capable of transforming the raw user behavioural data, the fuel, into powerful explanations through visualisations of ideals. The real-time metrics, understood as mediating instruments, enable the generation of new insights and accumulation of knowledge guiding the further development towards the desired outcome, the “good game”.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

65192

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1980

David Ray, John Gattorna and Mike Allen

Preface The functions of business divide into several areas and the general focus of this book is on one of the most important although least understood of…

1105

Abstract

Preface The functions of business divide into several areas and the general focus of this book is on one of the most important although least understood of these—DISTRIBUTION. The particular focus is on reviewing current practice in distribution costing and on attempting to push the frontiers back a little by suggesting some new approaches to overcome previously defined shortcomings.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Materials Management, vol. 10 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0269-8218

Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2015

Md Shah Azam

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to…

Abstract

Information and communications technology (ICT) offers enormous opportunities for individuals, businesses and society. The application of ICT is equally important to economic and non-economic activities. Researchers have increasingly focused on the adoption and use of ICT by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the economic development of a country is largely dependent on them. Following the success of ICT utilisation in SMEs in developed countries, many developing countries are looking to utilise the potential of the technology to develop SMEs. Past studies have shown that the contribution of ICT to the performance of SMEs is not clear and certain. Thus, it is crucial to determine the effectiveness of ICT in generating firm performance since this has implications for SMEs’ expenditure on the technology. This research examines the diffusion of ICT among SMEs with respect to the typical stages from innovation adoption to post-adoption, by analysing the actual usage of ICT and value creation. The mediating effects of integration and utilisation on SME performance are also studied. Grounded in the innovation diffusion literature, institutional theory and resource-based theory, this study has developed a comprehensive integrated research model focused on the research objectives. Following a positivist research paradigm, this study employs a mixed-method research approach. A preliminary conceptual framework is developed through an extensive literature review and is refined by results from an in-depth field study. During the field study, a total of 11 SME owners or decision-makers were interviewed. The recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed using NVivo 10 to refine the model to develop the research hypotheses. The final research model is composed of 30 first-order and five higher-order constructs which involve both reflective and formative measures. Partial least squares-based structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to test the theoretical model with a cross-sectional data set of 282 SMEs in Bangladesh. Survey data were collected using a structured questionnaire issued to SMEs selected by applying a stratified random sampling technique. The structural equation modelling utilises a two-step procedure of data analysis. Prior to estimating the structural model, the measurement model is examined for construct validity of the study variables (i.e. convergent and discriminant validity).

The estimates show cognitive evaluation as an important antecedent for expectation which is shaped primarily by the entrepreneurs’ beliefs (perception) and also influenced by the owners’ innovativeness and culture. Culture further influences expectation. The study finds that facilitating condition, environmental pressure and country readiness are important antecedents of expectation and ICT use. The results also reveal that integration and the degree of ICT utilisation significantly affect SMEs’ performance. Surprisingly, the findings do not reveal any significant impact of ICT usage on performance which apparently suggests the possibility of the ICT productivity paradox. However, the analysis finally proves the non-existence of the paradox by demonstrating the mediating role of ICT integration and degree of utilisation explain the influence of information technology (IT) usage on firm performance which is consistent with the resource-based theory. The results suggest that the use of ICT can enhance SMEs’ performance if the technology is integrated and properly utilised. SME owners or managers, interested stakeholders and policy makers may follow the study’s outcomes and focus on ICT integration and degree of utilisation with a view to attaining superior organisational performance.

This study urges concerned business enterprises and government to look at the environmental and cultural factors with a view to achieving ICT usage success in terms of enhanced firm performance. In particular, improving organisational practices and procedures by eliminating the traditional power distance inside organisations and implementing necessary rules and regulations are important actions for managing environmental and cultural uncertainties. The application of a Bengali user interface may help to ensure the productivity of ICT use by SMEs in Bangladesh. Establishing a favourable national technology infrastructure and legal environment may contribute positively to improving the overall situation. This study also suggests some changes and modifications in the country’s existing policies and strategies. The government and policy makers should undertake mass promotional programs to disseminate information about the various uses of computers and their contribution in developing better organisational performance. Organising specialised training programs for SME capacity building may succeed in attaining the motivation for SMEs to use ICT. Ensuring easy access to the technology by providing loans, grants and subsidies is important. Various stakeholders, partners and related organisations should come forward to support government policies and priorities in order to ensure the productive use of ICT among SMEs which finally will help to foster Bangladesh’s economic development.

Details

E-Services Adoption: Processes by Firms in Developing Nations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-325-9

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Cecilia Gullberg and Noomi Weinryb

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of inscriptions on social media in enabling action at a distance. The purpose is addressed by investigating how and by…

1607

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of inscriptions on social media in enabling action at a distance. The purpose is addressed by investigating how and by what mechanisms inscriptions on social media can shape action at a distance.

Design/methodology/approach

We conduct a qualitative analysis of the Facebook page of a crowdfunded grassroots initiative, where the founders and their stakeholders interact.

Findings

We identify two mechanisms by which inscriptions on social media can shape action at a distance: a flow of micro-level inscriptions and a joint stabilisation of inscriptions. By signalling achievement, creating a sense of closeness and highlighting powerful explanations, these mechanisms guide what action at a distance is taken and by whom. Action thereby becomes a mutual exercise between centres of calculation and distant peripheries, highly intertwined with the stability of inscriptions. The two mechanisms indicate the importance of the boundaryless nature of the inscriptions in shaping action at a distance.

Originality/value

Our findings indicate new forms of inscriptions and, consequently, of novel conditions for action at a distance. These insights add to the literature on Web 2.0 and accounting, which has mainly revolved around the relationship between centres of calculation and distant peripheries that act upon each other rather than around the inscriptions that enable such action.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2022

Manaf Al-Okaily, Abeer F. Alkhwaldi, Amir A. Abdulmuhsin, Hamza Alqudah and Aws Al-Okaily

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors influencing the usage of cloud-based accounting information systems (AIS) in the crisis era (i.e. the COVID-19…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors influencing the usage of cloud-based accounting information systems (AIS) in the crisis era (i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic) by expanding the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) with new related critical factors.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research approach based on a cross-sectional online questionnaire was used for collecting empirical data from 438 potential and current users of cloud-based AIS. Structural equation modeling based on analysis of a moment structures 25.0 was applied in the data analysis.

Findings

The outcome of the structural path revealed that performance expectancy, social motivation, COVID-19 risk (COV-19 PR) and trust (TR) were significantly influencing users’ behavioral intention (BI) toward using cloud-based AIS and explained 71% of its variance. While, contrary to what is expected, the impact of effort expectancy and perceived security risk (SEC) on BI was insignificant. In addition, BI was revealed to influence the actual usage behaviors and explained 74% of its variance. The outcome factors: communication quality (CQ) and decision quality (DQ) were significantly influenced by the usage of cloud-based AIS.

Practical implications

The current research would be valuable for small- and medium-sized enterprises officials and policymakers to illustrate the relatively low rates of cloud-based AIS and formulate strategies to boost the acceptance and use of cloud-based AIS by Jordanian users, where cloud-based services are still deemed as an innovation.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the current study is the first academic paper that extends the UTAUT by integrating additional factors: TR, SEC and COV-19 PR. In addition to two outcome variables: CQ and DQ, to study the cloud-based AIS in the Jordanian setting beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The current research contributes to the academic knowledge on information technology information system adoption by considering cloud accounting acceptance and use and integration into the work practices of users through the BIs and actual use of cloud-based AIS in Jordan.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

Keywords

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