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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Dean Neu and Cameron Graham

This essay sets out to introduce the special issue.

5377

Abstract

Purpose

This essay sets out to introduce the special issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay discusses a variety of approaches to exploring the relationship between accounting and the public interest, and briefly reviews the contribution of the articles in the issue.

Findings

Not applicable.

Originality/value

The essay argues that accounting research can be opened up by problematizing the notion of the public interest, and by considering not only how accounting constitutes the public interest, but how various public interests constitute accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

587

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

459

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Dean Neu, Constance Friesen and Jeffery Everett

Starting from the premise that formal ethical codes and other ethical discourses differ in their audiences, effects and characteristics, it is analyzed how…

1817

Abstract

Starting from the premise that formal ethical codes and other ethical discourses differ in their audiences, effects and characteristics, it is analyzed how practitioner‐directed ethical discourses have spoken and continue to speak about character‐based ethics. Borrowing from the literature on professions and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice, starts from the assumption that editorials in practitioner‐oriented publications are a form of cultural good traded on an internal symbolic market. By providing access to symbolic capital, trade in this good acts to bind together members of the accounting profession, yet trade in this good also has the potential to obscure a number of important, underlying social issues. The study is based on a close (textual) reading of editorials in the Canadian Chartered Accountant (subsequently renamed CA Magazine) from 1911 to 1999, and this reading is framed in light of a number of macro‐level and meso‐level (contextual) changes. It is found that character‐based ethical discourses continue to pervade this professional field, though not without important changes which themselves need to be explained in light of the more widespread, non‐professional field.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2011

Bertrand Malsch, Yves Gendron and Frédérique Grazzini

Accounting researchers have frequently borrowed theories and methods from other disciplines. A noteworthy importation movement in recent decades involves the work of…

5616

Abstract

Purpose

Accounting researchers have frequently borrowed theories and methods from other disciplines. A noteworthy importation movement in recent decades involves the work of French intellectuals and philosophers, not least Pierre Bourdieu. This paper aims to contribute to the sociology of the accounting discipline by examining how Bourdieu's works have been translated into the domain of accounting research.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation is articulated through three modes of analysis. First, it evaluates Bourdieu's recognition in the domain of accounting research, through an examination of the extent to which Bourdieu's writings are cited in accounting articles. Focusing on accounting articles which rely significantly on Bourdieu's thought, the paper then examines which of his publications have been mobilized, and how researchers have articulated his ideas in studying accounting phenomena. The third line of inquiry addresses the extent to which accounting researchers have used Bourdieu's core concepts holistically, that is to say in mobilizing simultaneously the concepts of field, capital and habitus.

Findings

Several of the studies which rely significantly on Bourdieu have employed his work holistically, while others have not. Moreover, about half of the studies reviewed in the paper are characterized by a gap between Bourdieu's view of academic research as a support to political and social causes debated in the public arena versus a more dispassionate approach to research. While it is difficult to be conclusive about the implications of these translational gaps, they nonetheless make one aware of some central epistemological issues: Should accounting researchers be more concerned about bringing “the achievements of science and scholarship into public debate”? What are the pros and cons of drawing upon ideas from politically‐engaged intellectuals in order to conduct research characterized by political dispassion? Does it make sense to use certain concepts excerpted from a comprehensive system of thought in a piecemeal way?

Originality/value

The paper mobilizes and develops the notion of translation in investigating an interdisciplinary movement.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2019

Glenn Finau, Kerry Jacobs and Satish Chand

The purpose of this paper is to explore and examine the role of accounting and accountants in customary land transactions between Indigenous peoples and foreign corporate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and examine the role of accounting and accountants in customary land transactions between Indigenous peoples and foreign corporate entities. The paper uses the case of two accountants who utilised accounting technologies in lease agreements to alienate customary land from Indigenous landowners in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Design/methodology/approach

Employing a case study methodology, the paper draws on contemporary data sets of transcripts related to a Commission of Inquiry established in 2011 to investigate PNG’s Special Agricultural Business Lease system. Analysis of other publicly available data and semi-structured interviews with PNG landowners and other stakeholders supplement and triangulate data from the inquiry transcripts. A Bourdieusian lens was adopted to conceptualise how accounting was used in the struggles for customary land between foreign developers and Indigenous landowners within the wider capitalist field and the traditional Melanesian field.

Findings

This paper reveals how accountants exploited PNG’s customary land registration system, the Indigenous peoples’ lack of financial literacy and their desperation for development to alienate customary land from landowners. The accountants employed accounting technologies in the sublease agreements to reduce their royalty obligations to the landowners and to impose penalty clauses that made it financially impossible for the landowners to cancel the leases. The accountants used accounting to normalise, legitimise and rationalise these exploitative arrangements in formal lease contracts.

Originality/value

This paper responds to the call for research on accounting and Indigenous peoples that is contemporary rather than historic; examines the role of accountants in Indigenous relations, and examines the emancipatory potential of accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Dean Neu, Leiser Silva and Elizabeth Ocampo Gomez

The purpose of this paper is to examine: how financial practices are diffused across countries and who are the carriers of diffusion; and to determine why the nature of…

2057

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine: how financial practices are diffused across countries and who are the carriers of diffusion; and to determine why the nature of adoption varies across countries and specific institutional fields and why certain practices are adopted in some settings but not in others.

Design/methodology/approach

In the macro portion of the study the authors document how World Bank loans in Latin America have encouraged the adoption of particular configurations of accounting and accountability practices. In the micro portion of the study, they analyze the cases of Guatemala and Mexico as a way of illustrating the ways in which the configuration of institutional players, capitals and habitus within these two sites have influenced the adoption of Bank recommended financial practices.

Findings

First, the analyses illustrate that the World Bank functions as an agent of diffusion via direct contact and through indirect modelling activities. Second, the analyses show that diffusion is not an automatic process – rather the predisposition of national governments, the embodied history of higher education and the distribution of capitals within the field influences whether financial reforms will be attempted. Third the analyses illustrate that, even when the introduction of new accounting and accountability mechanisms are attempted, other important field participants such as students can partially block the introduction of financial reforms.

Originality/value

The current study illustrates that international organizations such as the World Bank facilitate the diffusion of accounting and accountability practices but that local actors influence if, when and how accounting will be introduced and implemented.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Dean Neu and Cameron Graham

The current study explores the ambiguity of accounting technique in the context of a historical study of the Canadian Indian Department under the direction of Deputy…

3374

Abstract

The current study explores the ambiguity of accounting technique in the context of a historical study of the Canadian Indian Department under the direction of Deputy Superintendent D.C. Scott at the beginning of the 20th century. Starting from the work of Bauman and his commentators, we argue that modernity viewed as a set of practices and thought patterns, facilitates bureaucratic constructions of the “Indian problem” In turn, this cultural milieu and bureaucratic construction operated as an ideological circle, encouraging the use of accounting techniques of governance that permitted both the distancing of bureaucrats from indigenous peoples and the downplaying of other vantage points. However, as our analysis highlights, numerical re‐presentations also provided the tools and rhetorical spaces for challenges to government policy.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

328

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 3 October 2007

Dean Neu and Elizabeth Ocampo

The demand for social responsibility accounts are not limited to corporations nor are reporting practices limited to disclosures in annual reports. Organizations such as…

Abstract

The demand for social responsibility accounts are not limited to corporations nor are reporting practices limited to disclosures in annual reports. Organizations such as the World Bank, with lending activities in excess of $22B yearly in at least 64 countries, exert significant influence over how social responsibility is defined and accounted for. The current study examines the provision of social responsibility accounts within the context of World Bank lending activities. Beginning from an in-depth examination of a single World Bank lending agreement in the area of basic education in Latin America as well as 40 semi-structured interviews with field participants, and a series of participant observations, we examine not only how the demand for accountability and social responsibility is satisfied via a complex of written and verbal “accounts” but also the micro-politics of such processes. This analysis highlights how the intersection between World Bank demands and existing information technologies impact on the nature of the provided written and verbal social responsibility accounts.

Details

Envisioning a New Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1462-1

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