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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2019

Ahmed Othman Rashwan Kholeif and Lisa Jack

This paper aims to use Stones’ strong structuration theory (SST) that combines Giddens’ duality and Archer’s analytical dualism to deal with the paradox of embedded…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use Stones’ strong structuration theory (SST) that combines Giddens’ duality and Archer’s analytical dualism to deal with the paradox of embedded agency, focussing on resistance, in the budgeting literature. It also applies this framework to an illustrative case study that examines a failed attempt to implement performance-based budgeting (PBB) in the Egyptian Sales Tax Department (ESTD).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have used SST as an analytical framework. Longitudinal case study data were collected from interviews, observations, discussions and documentary analysis and from publicly available reports and other media issued by the World Bank.

Findings

The SST framework identifies the circumstances in which middle managers as embedded agency have limited possibilities to change their dispositions to act and identify opportunities for emancipation in the wider social context in which they are embedded. The official explanation for the failure to implement PBB in Egypt was obstruction by middle managers. The findings of this study provide an alternative explanation to that published by the World Bank for the failure to institutionalise PBB in Egypt. It was found that the middle managers were the real supporters of PBB. Other parties and existing laws and regulations contributed to the failure of PBB.

Research limitations/implications

As a practical implication of the study, the analysis presented here offers an alternative interpretation of the failure of the Egyptian project for monitoring and evaluation to that published by the World Bank. This case and similar cases may enhance the understanding of how and when monitoring and evaluation technologies should be introduced at the global level to manage conflicts of interest between agencies and beneficiaries.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the extant management accounting literature on the use of ST in addressing the paradox of embedded agency in making or resisting structural change. It uses SST to integrate Giddens’ ST with critical realist theory, incorporating duality and dualism in a stronger model of structuration. The SST framework offers a means of analysing case studies that result from interactions and conjunctures between different groups of actors at different ontological levels. The paper also examines the issue of embedded agency in budgeting research using an illustrative case study from a developing country, Egypt.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Alan Coad, Lisa Jack and Ahmed Kholeif

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the interdisciplinary use of strong structuration theory and consider the impact of this for accounting research. The paper also…

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3165

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the interdisciplinary use of strong structuration theory and consider the impact of this for accounting research. The paper also provides an overview of the contributions advanced by the other papers in this special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws together and identifies key issues and themes related to the rapidly evolving interdisciplinary use of strong structuration theory and considers the relevance of these issues to accounting research.

Findings

The paper highlights that there is a growing use of strong structuration theory in a number of disciplines, such as in healthcare, learning studies, management, migration studies and childcare as well as in accounting. Within the accounting discipline, whilst the interest began in management accounting and control, there are ongoing studies of the not-for-profit sector, social and environmental accounting, financial reporting standards and audit. Using strong structuration theory, researchers are more interested in the people (individually or collectively) and their analysis of their conduct and context. They are moving forwards from an overly static use of the quadripartite framework to a more dynamic approach that also includes the other important central elements of strong structuration that focus on the issue of agency in situ rather than on structure cut off from agency.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides important insights into emerging issues and developments in strong structuration theory that have clear relevance to accounting research and practice as well as other disciplines.

Originality/value

This paper, and other contributions to this special issue of AAAJ, provide a basis and a research agenda for accounting scholars seeking to undertake empirical research using Stones’ strong structuration theory.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Alan Coad, Lisa Jack and Ahmed Othman Rashwan Kholeif

– This paper aims to examine the potential of strong structuration theory in management accounting research.

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1318

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the potential of strong structuration theory in management accounting research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explains how the ontological perspective of strong structuration theory extends the work of Giddens and explores how the perspective overcomes a number of the limitations of existing management accounting research based on structuration theory.

Findings

Strong structuration theory develops and extends the work of Giddens, providing greater insights into the role of agents, improves our understanding of the diffusion of accounting practices through organisational fields, adds to our knowledge of how artefacts are used in the production and reproduction of organisational life and improves research design.

Research limitations/implications

Strong structuration theory provides clear guidance about management accounting case study research design, and suggests the potential for the accounting research community to engage more actively in debates about the development of structuration theory beyond the work of Giddens.

Originality/value

This paper provides a clear explanation of the ontology of strong structuration theory, its implications for research design and how it holds the potential to overcome many of the limitations of earlier management accounting studies deploying structuration theory.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part
Publication date: 23 December 2010

Ahmed Kholeif

Purpose – This article examines a detailed case study of the symbolic use of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) in an Egyptian state-owned company (AQF…

Abstract

Purpose – This article examines a detailed case study of the symbolic use of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) in an Egyptian state-owned company (AQF Co.) that is partially privatized by drawing on new institutional sociology (NIS) and its extensions. It explains how the ceremonial use of IFRSs is shaped by the interplay between institutionalized accounting practices, conflicting institutions, power relations, and the role of information technology (IT) in institutionalizing accounting rules and routines.

Methodology/approach – The research methodology is based on an intensive case study informed by NIS, especially the interplay between conflicting institutions, power relations, and IT role in institutionalizing accounting practice. Data were collected from multiple sources, including interviews, discussions, and documentary analysis.

Findings – The findings revealed that the company faced conflicting institutional demands from outside. The Central Agency for Accountability required the company to use the Uniform Accounting System (as a state-owned enterprise) and the Egyptian Capital Market Authority (CMA) required the company to use IFRSs (as a partially private sector company registered in the stock exchange). To meet these conflicting institutional demands, the company adopted loosely coupled accounting rules and routines and IT was used in institutionalizing existing Uniform Accounting System and preserving the status quo.

Research limitations – This study has limitations associated with its use of the case study method, including the inability to generalize from the findings of a single case study and the subjective interpretation by the researcher of the empirical data.

Practical implications – This article identifies that the interplay between institutional pressures, institutionalized accounting practices, intra-organizational power relations, and the role of IT in institutionalizing accounting routines contributed to the ceremonial use of IFRSs in an Egyptian state-owned enterprise. Understanding such relationships can help other organizations to become more aware of the factors affecting successful implementation and internalization of IFRSs and provide a better basis for planning the introduction of IFRSs into other organizations worldwide.

Originality/value of article – This article draws on recent research and thinking in sociology, especially the development and application of NIS. In addition, this article is concerned with the symbolic use of IFRSs in a transitional developing economy, Egypt, and hence contributes to debate about exporting Western accounting practices and other technologies to countries with different cultures and different stages of economic and political development.

Details

Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-452-9

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2007

Lisa Jack and Ahmed Kholeif

The aim of this paper is to present a reinforced version of structuration theory, known as strong structuration theory, set out in Stones as a disciplined approach to…

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2897

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present a reinforced version of structuration theory, known as strong structuration theory, set out in Stones as a disciplined approach to qualitative case study research in the organization, management and accounting fields. This framework challenges the belief held by certain critics that structuration theory cannot be used in substantive empirical research but is only a sensitising device or analytical tool.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual discussion is the approach of the paper.

Findings

The key concepts of strong structuration theory are outlined and then put in the context first of two attempts to apply the framework to empirical research and second of two recent papers which address theoretically informed qualitative research and the use of structuration theory in IT studies.

Research limitations/implications

There are some limitations of this paper. The framework offered was not used to set the original research questions in the two case studies employed as these cases were conducted before the publication of Stones' book in 2005. Also, as weaknesses in the framework can best be assessed using empirical findings, a full evaluation cannot be carried out until such research is undertaken.

Originality/value

This paper draws on recent research and thinking in sociology that have yet to be brought into case studies in the fields of accounting and management in particular.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2008

Ahmed Kholeif

Purpose – This paper aims at re-examining the predictions of agency theory with regard to the negative association between CEO duality (i.e. the Chief Executive Officer…

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims at re-examining the predictions of agency theory with regard to the negative association between CEO duality (i.e. the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, serves also as the board chairman) and corporate performance. It also examines the role of other corporate governance mechanisms (board size, top managerial ownership and institutional ownership) as moderating variables in the relationship between CEO duality and corporate performance.

Methodology/approach – This paper uses the financial statements for the year 2006 of most actively traded Egyptian companies to examine these predictions of agency theory. Moderated Regression Analysis is used to analyse the empirical data.

Findings – The findings indicated that the hypothesized relationships between CEO duality, the moderating variables and corporate performance have changed. For companies characterized by large boards and low top management ownership, corporate performance is negatively affected by CEO duality and positively impacted by institutional ownership.

Research limitations/implications – A limitation of this study is the use of accounting-based performance measures because of the expected earnings management behaviours by CEOs.

Practical implications – The Egyptian Capital Market Authority should adopt a reform programme to encourage Egyptian listed companies to modify their governance structures by increasing top management ownership and reducing board sizes before incorporating the new governance rules into the listing requirements.

Originality/value of paper – The paper contributes to the literature on corporate governance and corporate performance by introducing a framework for identifying and analysing moderating variables that affect the relationship between CEO duality and corporate performance.

Details

Corporate Governance in Less Developed and Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-252-4

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2007

Chandana Alawattage, Trevor Hopper and Danture Wickramasinghe

This paper seeks to introduce, summarise, and reflect on the key themes and findings raised by the seven papers selected for this special issue devoted to management…

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2970

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to introduce, summarise, and reflect on the key themes and findings raised by the seven papers selected for this special issue devoted to management accounting in less developed countries (LDCs).

Design/methodology/approach

The conclusions are drawn from desk research generally and the articles contained in this collection.

Findings

This paper finds that accounting research in LDCs needs to address issues of poverty reduction, corruption, community involvement, history, culture, and politics, and examine a wider spectrum of organisations ranging from households to non‐governmental organisations.

Practical implications

Effective management accounting in LDCs may require broader, simpler, open and transparent, sometimes informal systems developed locally.

Originality/value

This paper presents a collection of mainly empirical papers on an important but neglected topic, namely how management accounting might aid economic development in poor countries.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2007

Ahmed O.R. Kholeif, Magdy Abdel‐Kader and Michael Sherer

The paper aims to examine a detailed case study of enterprise resource planning (ERP) customization failure in an Egyptian state‐owned company (AML) by drawing on new…

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3415

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine a detailed case study of enterprise resource planning (ERP) customization failure in an Egyptian state‐owned company (AML) by drawing on new institutional sociology (NIS) and its extensions. It explains how ERP customization failure is shaped by the interplay between institutionalised accounting practices, conflicting institutions, power relations and market forces.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology is based on using an intensive case study informed by NIS, especially the interplay between conflicting institutions, power relations and market forces. Data were collected from multiple sources, including interviews, observations, discussions and documentary analysis.

Findings

The findings revealed that the inability of the ERP system to meet the core accounting requirements of the control authorities (the central agency for accountability) was the explicit reason cited for the ERP failure. The externally imposed requirements of the uniform accounting system and planning budgets were used to resist both other institutional pressures (from the holding company for engineering industries) and market and competitive pressures.

Research limitations/implications

There are some limitations associated with the use of the case study method, including the inability to generalize from the findings of a single case study, some selectivity in the individuals interviewed, and the subjective interpretation by the researchers of the empirical data.

Practical implications

The paper identifies that the interplay between institutional pressures, institutionalised accounting practices, intra‐organizational power relations, and market forces contributed to the failure to embed ERP in a major company. Understanding such relationships can help other organisations to become more aware of the factors affecting successful implementation of new ERP systems and provide a better basis for planning the introduction of new technologies.

Originality/value

This paper draws on recent research and thinking in sociology, especially the development and application of NIS. In addition, the paper is concerned with ERP implementation and use and management accounting in a transitional economy, Egypt, and hence contributes to debate about exporting Western accounting practices and other technologies to countries with different cultures and different stages of economic and political development.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 23 December 2010

Abstract

Details

Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-452-9

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Book part
Publication date: 23 December 2010

Abstract

Details

Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-452-9

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