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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Almut Balleer, Britta Gehrke and Christian Merkl

Working time accounts (WTAs) allow firms to smooth hours worked over time. The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether this increase in flexibility has also affected how firms…

Abstract

Purpose

Working time accounts (WTAs) allow firms to smooth hours worked over time. The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether this increase in flexibility has also affected how firms adjust employment in Germany over the business cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses rich microeconomic panel data and fixed effects estimations to compare the employment adjustment of firms with and without WTAs.

Findings

The authors show that firms with WTAs show a similar separation and hiring behavior in response to revenue changes as firms without WTAs. One possible explanation is that firms without WTAs used short-time work (STW) to adjust hours worked instead. However, the authors find that firms with WTAs use STW more than firms without WTAs.

Originality/value

These findings call into question the popular hypothesis that WTAs were the key driver of the unusually small increase in German unemployment in the Great Recession.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Dennis Wesselbaum

The purpose of this paper is to compare two elements of lay-off costs in a dynamic model of the labor market and analyze the differences for business cycle dynamics and welfare…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare two elements of lay-off costs in a dynamic model of the labor market and analyze the differences for business cycle dynamics and welfare.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds a general equilibrium Real Business Cycle model and introduces firing costs and severance payments. Labor market frictions are assumed to follow the famous search and matching approach.

Findings

The paper finds that firing costs imply a higher volatility over the cycle and have stronger negative welfare effects. Severance payments have a lower volatility, reduce unemployment, and reduce welfare by a smaller amount.

Practical implications

Policy reforms should be aimed to use severance payments and reduce the ring cost component of lay-off costs.

Originality/value

Increasing welfare and a more stable business cycle could be supported by using severance payments instead of firing costs.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2024

Sri Pujiningsih and Helianti Utami

This paper aims to explore the biodiversity and threatened species extinction reporting of 54 biodiversity-indexed companies on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). The primary…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the biodiversity and threatened species extinction reporting of 54 biodiversity-indexed companies on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). The primary objectives are to explore the rhetoric of biodiversity disclosure as a practice of virtue ethics and to identify instances of emancipatory extinction accounts on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Design/methodology/approach

The research sample comprised 54 biodiversity-indexed companies on the IDX. A content analysis of the narrative text of their annual and sustainability reports for 2020 was conducted to discern the rhetoric of biodiversity disclosure as an ethical practice using Aristotle’s rhetoric (ethos, logos and pathos). The identification of extinction accounts listed on the IUCN Red List was conducted based on criteria established in the conceptual framework of Atkins and Maroun (2018).

Findings

All 54 companies used ethos, logos and pathos in their biodiversity disclosure as a virtuous practice. These disclosures improve the tone of corporate communications and enhance accountability and transparency. Low-profile companies showed a greater propensity for reporting biodiversity disclosures compared to high-profile companies. Additionally, the authors identified 14 companies informing extinction accounts that qualify as emancipatory accounts, with high-profile companies disclosing extinction more frequently than low-profile ones. Emancipatory accounting highlighted species such as turtles, orangutans, elephants, rhinos, turtles and medicinal plants. These accounts are intended as a form of accountability to the species.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this research is the observation of annual reports in one period. Future studies can add more observation periods to see the consistency of companies in disclosing biodiversity and extinction.

Practical implications

Companies can adopt the rhetorical strategy of ethos, logos and pathos in disclosing their biodiversity. For policymakers, it is important to establish regulations to encourage companies to disclose biodiversity. The implications for accountants, to contribute more to biodiversity and extinction reporting, considering that previously sustainability accounting reporting was mostly carried out by nonaccountants.

Social implications

Regarding social implications, emancipatory accounts aimed at preventing the extinction of animals such as birds, orangutans and rhinos will have significant social and natural impacts.

Originality/value

This research represents the first use of Aristotelian rhetoric and virtue to understand biodiversity disclosure as virtue rhetoric and extinction disclosure as emancipatory accounting. This rhetoric is a benevolent persuasion tool that can shape the audience’s thinking and behavior in a more ethical manner concerning biodiversity issues. It provides evidence of the role of accounting as a social and moral practice, which is particularly relevant in the face of a complex reality and increasing concerns, notably regarding the threat of biodiversity loss and extinction.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2023

Christopher J. Demaline

Financial disclosure manipulation is unethical and unlawful because it leads to less transparent reporting and harmful economic decisions based on misleading information. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Financial disclosure manipulation is unethical and unlawful because it leads to less transparent reporting and harmful economic decisions based on misleading information. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary and synthesis of research covering financial disclosure misrepresentation via impression management (IM). Ultimately, this report proposes that virtuous managers may be well-suited to provide transparent, objective disclosure. By extension, virtuous managers may oversee profitable firms and improve capital market efficiency. Suggestions for future research are presented.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an academic literature review covering financial disclosure manipulation. The findings are viewed through the lens of Christian virtue ethics (CVE).

Findings

IM studies commonly focus on specific methods used to mislead disclosure readers. Antecedent and mitigation strategies are less commonly noted in the research. This paper presents and analyzes IM tools and antecedents. Mitigation approaches are considered through the lens of CVE. This report proposes that virtuous managers may be well-suited to provide transparent, objective disclosure. By extension, virtuous managers may oversee profitable firms and improve capital market efficiency.

Originality/value

This present study focuses on the antecedents of IM in financial disclosures and introduces a novel perspective to financial disclosure mitigation – CVE. Financial disclosure authors and readers, researchers, financial regulators and accounting standards setters may be interested in the findings presented in this study.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Mercy Denedo, Ian Thomson and Akira Yonekura

The purpose of this paper is to explore how and why international advocacy NGOs (iaNGOs) use counter accounting as part of their campaigns against oil companies operating in the…

4415

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how and why international advocacy NGOs (iaNGOs) use counter accounting as part of their campaigns against oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to reform problematic regulatory systems and make visible corporate practices that exploit governance and accountability gaps in relation to human rights violations and environmental damage.

Design/methodology/approach

This arena study draws on different sources of evidence, including interviews with nine iaNGOs representatives involved in campaigns in the Niger Delta. The authors mapped out the history of the conflict in order to locate and make sense of the interviewees’ views on counter accounting, campaigning strategies, accountability and governance gaps as well as their motivations and aspirations for change.

Findings

The evidence revealed an inability of vulnerable communities to engage in relevant governance systems, due to unequal power relationships, corporate actions and ineffective governance practices. NGOs used counter accounts as part of their campaigns to change corporate practices, reform governance systems and address power imbalances. Counter accounts made visible problematic actions to those with power over those causing harm, gave voice to indigenous communities and pressured the Nigerian Government to reform their governance processes.

Practical implications

Understanding the intentions, desired outcomes and limitations of NGO’s use of counter accounting could influence human rights accountability and governance reforms in political institutions, public sector organisations, NGOs and corporations, especially in developing countries.

Social implications

This paper seeks to contribute to accounting research that seeks to protect the wealth and natural endowments of indigenous communities to enhance their life experience.

Originality/value

By interviewing the preparers of counter accounts the authors uncover their reasons as to why they find accounting useful in their campaigns.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 December 2019

Patrizia Di Tullio, Diego Valentinetti, Christian Nielsen and Michele Antonio Rea

This paper aims to investigate how firms disclose the presentation and content of business model (BM) information in corporate reports to manage their legitimacy in response to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how firms disclose the presentation and content of business model (BM) information in corporate reports to manage their legitimacy in response to European Directive 2014/95.

Design/methodology/approach

Legitimacy theory is used to identify disclosure strategies pursued by firms in reaction to the new regulation. To understand how firms adopt these strategic responses, semiotic analysis is applied to a sample of European companies’ reports through Crowther’s (2012) framework, which is based on a mechanism of binary oppositions.

Findings

Half of the sample strategically choose to comply with the European Union (EU) Directive regarding BM information through the use of non-accounting language, figures, and diagrams. Other firms did not disclose any substantive information but managed the impression of compliance with the regulation, while the remainder of the sample dismissed the regulation altogether.

Research limitations/implications

This study demonstrates how organisations use the disclosure of BM information in their corporate reports to control their legitimacy. The results support the idea that firms can acquire legitimacy by complying with the law or giving the impression of compliance with the regulation. This study provides evidence on the first-time adoption of the EU Directive, and therefore, future research can enlarge the sample and conduct the analysis over a broader time frame.

Practical implications

A more precise indication of the EU Directive regarding “where” firms should report BM information, “how” the description of a BM should refer to the environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors, and a set of performance measures to track the evolution of a company’s BM overtime is needed.

Originality/value

While there has been a notable amount of research that has applied content analysis methodologies to investigate the thematic and syntactic aspects of BM disclosure in corporate reports, only a few studies have investigated BM disclosures in relation to the EU Directive. Furthermore, the application of semiotic analysis extends beyond traditional content analysis methodologies because it considers the structure of the story at many levels, thus developing a more complete textual picture of how BMs are described, allowing an analysis of the reasons behind the disclosure strategies pursued by firms.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Teerooven Soobaroyen and Jyoti Devi Mahadeo

– The purpose of this paper is to analyse changes in community disclosures by listed companies in Mauritius.

1498

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse changes in community disclosures by listed companies in Mauritius.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors carried out a quantitative and qualitative assessment of annual report disclosures over the period 2004-2010. In particular, the authors consider the influence of a corporate governance code and a government intervention to first persuade and subsequently mandate corporate social responsibility investment (known as a “CSR Levy”).

Findings

From a predominantly limited and neutral form of communication, narratives of community involvement morph into assertive and rhetorical statements, emphasising commitment, permanency and an intimate connection to the community and a re-organisation of activities and priorities which seek to portray structure and order in the way companies deliver community interventions. Informed by Gray et al.’s (1995) neo-pluralist framework and documentary evidence pertaining to the country’s social, political and economic context, the authors relate the change in disclosures to the use of corporate impression management techniques with a view to maintain legitimacy and to counter the predominant public narrative on the insufficient extent of community involvement by local companies.

Research limitations/implications

The authors find that community disclosures are not only legitimating mechanisms driven by international pressures but are also the result of local tensions and expectations.

Originality/value

This study provides evidence on forms of “social” – as opposed to environmental – disclosures. Furthermore, it examines a unique setting where a government enacted a legally binding regime for greater corporate social involvement.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Ioana Lupu and Raluca Sandu

Despite the growing amount of research on the social and organizational role of legitimacy, very little is known about the subtle discursive processes through which organizational…

1557

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the growing amount of research on the social and organizational role of legitimacy, very little is known about the subtle discursive processes through which organizational changes are legitimated in contemporary society. The purpose of this paper is to explore the subtle processes of interdiscursivity and intertextuality through which an organization constructs a sense of legitimacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the case of a newly privatized oil company in a transitional, post-communist economy, the authors’ research uses critical discourse analysis to analyze the annual reports, corporate press releases, and relevant media from the four years following privatization.

Findings

The authors argue for a relational understanding of legitimacy construction that emphasizes how legitimacy relies on the multiple processes of intertextuality linking corporate narratives and media texts. Corporate narratives are not produced solely by the discourses that occur at the individual and organizational levels; they are also produced by the much broader discourses that occur at the societal level.

Originality/value

This study’s main contribution is that it reveals the intertextual and interdiscursive construction of corporate narratives, which is a key element in understanding how discourses around privatization are interlinked and draw upon other macro-level discourses to construct legitimacy.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 August 2009

Peter K. Manning

The study of policing in Anglo-American societies has been severely restricted in the last 20 years to quasi-historical overviews, studies of policing in times of stable…

Abstract

The study of policing in Anglo-American societies has been severely restricted in the last 20 years to quasi-historical overviews, studies of policing in times of stable, non-crisis periods in democratic societies that in turn had survived the crisis as democracies. Perhaps the epitome of this is the sterile textbook treatment of policing in Canada and the United States – a sterile rubble of functions, duties, training surrounded by clichés about community policing. Scholarly writing on democratic policing and its features is severely limited by lack of inclusiveness of the range of contingencies police face, and many respects this work is non-historical and non-comparative. In the present world of conflict and strife that spreads beyond borders and challenges forces of order at every level, the role of police in democratic societies requires more systematic examination. In my view, this cannot be achieved via a description of trends, a scrutiny of definitions and concepts, or citation of the research literature. Unfortunately, this literature makes a key assumption concerning police powers in democratic societies: that the police are restricted by tradition, tacit conventions, and doctrinal limits rooted in the law or countervailing forces within the society. While these constraints are sometimes summarized as a function of “the rule of law,” this assumption is much deeper and more pervasive than belief in the rule of law. It is possible to have a non-democratic police system that conforms to the rule of law and reflects the political sentiments of the governed. It is also possible to have non-democratic policing emerge from a quasi-democratic system as I show in reference to the transformation of the police in the Weimar Republic to the police system of the Third Reich. The complex relationship between policing and a democratic polity remains to be explored.

Details

Special Issue New Perspectives on Crime and Criminal Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-653-9

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Osamuyimen Egbon, Uwafiokun Idemudia and Kenneth Amaeshi

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether Shell Nigeria’s Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) promotes corporate-community accountability as a basis for fostering…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether Shell Nigeria’s Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) promotes corporate-community accountability as a basis for fostering sustainable community development in the Niger Delta.

Design/methodology/approach

Shell Nigeria’s GMoU stand-alone reports were analysed through the lenses of accountability and transparency theoretical frameworks to explore the extent to which GMoU, as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, is dialogically embedded and practised. Meaning-oriented content analysis was deductively used to isolate pertinent themes and generate findings from the background theoretical literature.

Findings

The authors find that Shell discursively appropriates the meaning of accountability and transparency in a manner that allows it to maintain its social legitimacy and the asymmetric power relations between itself and host communities whilst restricting communities’ agency to hold it accountable. Shell does this by interpreting the notion of participation restrictively, selectively deploying the concept of transparency and accountability and subtly exerting excessive control over the GMoU. Thus, the GMoU’s potential to contribute to sustainable community development and positive corporate-community relation is unlikely tenable.

Originality/value

Accountability and transparency are core and critical to corporate-community relations and for achieving community development CSR objectives, but are often taken for granted or ignored in the CSR literature on the Niger Delta of Nigeria. This paper addresses this gap in the literature by using accountability and transparency lenses to unpick GMoU model and contribute to studies on CSR practices by oil multinational corporations (MNCs) in developing countries. Indeed, the use of these lenses to explore CSR process offers new insights as to why CSR practices have failed to contribute to sustainable community development despite increased community spending by oil MNCs.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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