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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

Brendan T. O'Connell, Paul De Lange, Greg Stoner and Alan Sangster

The overall aim of this paper was to examine the impact of the Australian research assessment exercise on the research approaches (positivist/non-positivist) favoured by…

Abstract

Purpose

The overall aim of this paper was to examine the impact of the Australian research assessment exercise on the research approaches (positivist/non-positivist) favoured by accounting disciplines in Australia. Our key research question examined how the outputs and foci of research in elite accounting disciplines changed over a 16-year period. Our analysis was informed by Bourdieu's notions of academic elitism and symbolic violence.

Design/methodology/approach

We analysed all papers published in 20 major accounting journals across a 16-year period by Australian accounting disciplines that were highly rated in the research assessment exercise. We also compared our results from this group against two case study accounting disciplines that were not rated as “world class”.

Findings

Our key finding is that the introduction of a research assessment exercise in Australia has resulted in research outputs of elite accounting disciplines over this period being increasingly focused on positivist rather than non-positivist research. Our findings evidence a narrowing of accounting disciplines' research agendas and foci across the period.

Research limitations/implications

Our findings highlight a considerable narrowing of the research agenda and paradigms in accounting disciplines that is not in the public interest. Our findings also have implications for the literature on academic elitism. The narrowing of the research agenda and greater foci on positivist research exhibited in our findings demonstrates the role of dominant elites in controlling the research agenda through a research assessment exercise.

Practical implications

A practical implication is that proper research, regardless of the approach used, must be appropriately recognised and accepted by Accounting Disciplines, not ostracised or discouraged. Research implications are the breadth of accounting research should be celebrated and concentration eschewed. Australian accounting discipline leaders should not fall for the illusion that the only good research is that which is published in a small number of North American positivist journals.

Originality/value

Our findings provide insights into Bourdieu's work through demonstrating how dominant players have successfully exploited an external regulatory mechanism, a research assessment exercise, to strengthen their position within a field and exert control over the research agendas of accounting disciplines. Previous work by Bourdieu has not directly examined how actors utilise these outside forces as instruments for shaping their own field.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2020

Massimo Sargiacomo, Christian Corsi, Luciano D'Amico, Tiziana Di Cimbrini and Alan Sangster

The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the professional body of accountants that was established in Venice in 1581 and operated until the end of the 18th century.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design offers a critical longitudinal explanation of the emergence of the Collegio dei Rasonati as a professional body in the context of Venetian society by relying on the social closure theory elaborated by Collins (1975); Parkin (1979) and Murphy (1988).

Findingse

The Collegio dei Rasonati was established to overcome the prerogatives of a social class in accessing the accounting profession. However, the pre-existing professional elites enacted a set of social closure strategies able to transform this professional body into a stronghold of their privileges.

Research limitations/implications

As virtually all of the evidence concerning the admission examinations has been lost over time, the investigation is restricted to the study of the few examples that have survived. The main implication of the study concerns the understanding of some dynamics leading to neutralize attempts to replace class privileges with a meritocratic system.

Originality/value

The research investigates the structure of the rules of social closure revealing the possibility of an antagonistic relationship between different co-existing forms of exclusion within the same structure. Moreover, it highlights that a form of exclusion can be made of different hierarchical levels.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2019

Adriana Rodrigues Silva, Lúcia Lima Rodrigues and Alan Sangster

The purpose of this paper is to interpret the use of accounting information relating to the House of Correction, a public safety institution established in Rio de Janeiro…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to interpret the use of accounting information relating to the House of Correction, a public safety institution established in Rio de Janeiro for the control of workers under a tutelage system (1831–1864). The aim of the House of Correction was to develop a disciplined workforce of former slaves and other “Free Africans”. Various control and information procedures were put in place to monitor its achievement of this goal.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on historical archival research, mainly conducted at the National Archive of Rio de Janeiro and at the Brazilian National Library. The study uses Althusser’s ideology concept and the Marxist concept of reproduction of labour to show how accounting information enabled the administrator of the House of Correction to exercise control over the “Free Africans” consistent with the ideologies of the period and place.

Findings

The authors find that the House of Correction pursued a policy of ensuring “Free Africans” were docile, obedient and familiar with State ideology.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a single case study and it shows the need for both comparative and interdisciplinary analysis in order to increase an understanding of the use of accounting information in ancient prison contexts, as well as in contemporary situations.

Originality/value

This paper extends our knowledge of the use of accounting for the control of workers, who were either captive or repressed due to their ethnical differences; and it shows how ideology can be imposed through the use of accounting information. The authors extend theory by applying the Marxist and Althusserian concept of reproduction of labour to the case of “Free Africans”.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Ralf T. Jacobs, Arnulf Kost, Hajime Igarashi and Alan J. Sangster

The purpose of this paper is the analysis of the radiation and impedance characteristics of cavity backed patch antennas embedded in a curved surface. Single patch…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is the analysis of the radiation and impedance characteristics of cavity backed patch antennas embedded in a curved surface. Single patch elements and small scale array antennas are considered. The impact of curvature on the performance of the patch antenna is investigated, and the effect of mutual coupling between the elements in an array is examined.

Design/methodology/approach

A finite element‐boundary integral procedure has been implemented to accurately determine the performance characteristics of the patch radiators on planar and cylindrical surfaces. Simulated results will be shown to be in good agreement with measurements.

Findings

Mutual coupling effects between array elements are examined and it can be observed that an active element primarily interacts with the nearest neighbour elements. A comparison of an array element with a single patch radiator shows that the mutual coupling effects cause no significant mismatch between a patch and a feed network in practical applications.

Originality/value

The characteristics of conformal microstrip antennas are investigated for single patch radiators and patch elements in array environments. Simulations are supported by measurements.

Details

COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0332-1649

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2013

Mahmoud Nassar, Husam Aldeen Al‐Khadash, Alan Sangster and Osama Mah’d

In spite of facilitating and motivating factors in the external environment, the implementation of new management‐accounting techniques as activity‐based costing (ABC) in…

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Abstract

Purpose

In spite of facilitating and motivating factors in the external environment, the implementation of new management‐accounting techniques as activity‐based costing (ABC) in companies is disappointing. The aim of the study is to determine factors that catalyse, facilitate and motivate the decision to implement ABC in Jordanian industrial companies. Additional objectives include determining the problems associated with ABC implementation and assessing the degree of success of ABC implementation in Jordan.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of the Jordanian industrial companies was selected and a questionnaire survey was employed using a five‐point Likert scale to collect data from the financial managers, descriptive and analytical statistics were used to analyze the collected data.

Findings

The findings indicate that the most important factor that facilitates the decision to implement ABC was the provision of adequate training and the most influential factors which motivate the process of ABC implementation include an increasing proportion of overhead costs, and an increasing number of product variants. Consequently, this study found that the interaction of three types of factors (catalysts, facilitators and motivators) create the potential for change in these companies. Barriers to change could make the change process slower, hindering, and even preventing change; and barriers to change were identified that may explain the differing implementation rates of ABC in the Jordanian industrial sector. The greatest barrier to implementing ABC was found to be its high cost of implementation, followed by the high cost of ABC consultancy and computer staff time.

Originality/value

The study adds new elements to the institutional approach, and integrates it with concepts from psychology and organizational culture, to create a better understanding of management accounting. The results of study contribute to existing knowledge in the area of understanding the factors which act as catalysts, facilitate, and motivate ABC innovation and of those factors that create barriers to ABC implementation in Jordan.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2011

Mahmoud Nassar, Husam Aldeen Al‐Khadash and Alan Sangster

This paper seeks to focus on the diffusion of activity‐based costing (ABC) in Jordan. A conceptual framework from general diffusion theory is adopted to describe the…

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2692

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to focus on the diffusion of activity‐based costing (ABC) in Jordan. A conceptual framework from general diffusion theory is adopted to describe the diffusion process within the Jordanian industrial sector. The main objective of the study is to determine the motivations for the implementation or non‐implementation of ABC.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with financial managers and heads of costing departments of companies within the Jordanian industrial sector. Both face‐to‐face and telephone interviews were used to achieve the research objective.

Findings

It was found that the rate of implementation of ABC in the Jordanian industrial sector follows the classical S‐shape. It is also suggested that the supply side of the diffusion process, most notably the role played by consultants, was an influence on many companies. This was not, however, a sufficient condition for companies to implement ABC.

Originality/value

Most previous studies focus on the implementation of ABC in Western developed countries. The results of this study make a contribution to existing knowledge in the area of the implementation of ABC, especially in Eastern developing countries such as Jordan. In addition, this research adds further evidence to the value of studying management accounting, and more specifically changes in management accounting practice. It describes the developments undertaken in the implementation of a new system and how a new system becomes accepted in practice.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2009

Mahmoud Nassar, David Morris, Andrew Thomas and Alan Sangster

Purpose – The aim of the study is to contribute to a better understanding of activity-based costing (ABC) implementation systems in the context of a developing country…

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of the study is to contribute to a better understanding of activity-based costing (ABC) implementation systems in the context of a developing country such as Jordan. The main objectives of the study were to determine the extent of ABC implementation within the Jordanian industrial sector and identify the factors that facilitate and motivate the decision to implement ABC. Additional objectives include determining the problems associated with ABC implementation and assessing the degree of success of ABC implementation.

Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire survey was conducted during 2008 among 88 Jordanian industrial companies that are listed on the Amman stock exchange. Eighty-eight questionnaires were distributed and 61 were returned giving a rate of response of 69.3%.

Findings – The survey findings indicate that ABC implementation among the Jordanian industrial companies is quite satisfactory. The rate of ABC implementation is about 55.7%. The most cited factors that facilitate the decision to implement ABC were that adequate training was provided for designing ABC and operating data in the information system are updated in real time: followed by the fact that adequate training was provided for using ABC. The most influential factors that motivate the process of ABC implementation are among others the increasing proportion of overhead costs, growing costs, including product costs and administrative costs, and currently the increasing number of product variants. Further factors are identified in the paper.

Originality/value – Most previous studies focused only on the implementation of ABC in western developed countries. The results of this study make a contribution to existing knowledge in the area of the implementation of ABC, especially in eastern developing countries such as Jordan. In addition, the current study used a multi-attribute to measure success of ABC implementation within the Jordanian industrial sector. This multi-attribute was composed of satisfaction with ABC implementation, the degree of using ABC in decision making and the success of ABC implementation.

Details

Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-626-7

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2009

M.R. Mathews and Alan Sangster

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comparative description of performance evaluation schemes in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comparative description of performance evaluation schemes in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

The main content of the paper is a description of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) followed by an analysis of the structure and intent of operation. This is followed by an examination of three Australasian systems, the Research Quality Framework (RQF) (abandoned before implementation), the Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) (yet to be provided in detail), and the NZ Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) (operated twice over a period of six years).

Findings

The final section attempts to discern whether traces of the RAE can be seen in the Australasian systems and also considers the attributes of each attempt to measure performance.

Originality/value

This paper presents a description of both the RAE, the RQF/ERA and the PBRF, followed by an analysis of the structure and intent of the latter two and a comparison of these evaluation systems.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Zezhong Xiao, Alan Sangster and Jeffrey H. Dodgson

Argues that previous evaluative studies of the impact of information technology (IT) on accounting have focused too much on accountants, and thus have largely neglected…

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2941

Abstract

Argues that previous evaluative studies of the impact of information technology (IT) on accounting have focused too much on accountants, and thus have largely neglected broader social and organizational issues. Adopting a contingency perspective, investigates the relationship between IT and corporate financial reporting through the analysis of responses to a postal questionnaire survey of 1,515 UK public companies. Finds that IT use is associated more with internal reporting change (IRC) than with external reporting change (ERC), implying that IT use may have enlarged the information asymmetry between internal and external users. The association between IT use and IRC is found to be stronger in smaller companies than in large ones; and the correlation between IT use and ERC is found to vary depending on the existence of a management compensation plan, and to be conditional on the level of gearing. Discusses the implications of these findings.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Amr Kotb, Alan Sangster and David Henderson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of technological change on the internal audit practices and skills requirements for internal auditors in an e-business…

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2218

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of technological change on the internal audit practices and skills requirements for internal auditors in an e-business environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Generalist internal auditors and specialist information technology (IT) internal auditors were surveyed online in ten countries, including the USA and the UK which, together, provided the majority of responses.

Findings

The results suggest a need for advanced IT-audit techniques in conducting the internal audit function, thereby increasing IT audit skill demands on generalist internal auditors. However, the results show a low confidence among internal auditors about their IT training and a continuing reliance upon IT audit specialists, rather than their own training/retraining.

Research limitations/implications

The responses obtained in this study provide insight into both the status quo of the internal audit function, and to the changes that are needed to prepare generalist internal auditors for work in an e-business environment and, while the scale of the study limits the extent to which the findings may be generalized, they are consistent with the literature concerning the changing business environment and with the literature on resistance to change, suggesting that the issues revealed should be of concern.

Practical implications

The results reported in this paper are useful to internal auditing educators and regulators in their consideration of the skills needed by generalist internal auditors in e-business environment.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on a significantly growing area which remains relatively unexplored in the auditing-related literature, e-business audit. The study provides empirical evidence on challenges facing internal auditors in an e-business environment, thereby serving as a wake-up call, to both internal auditors and the professional bodies representing them, to defend their jurisdictional space against rival professional groups.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

Keywords

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