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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2018

Katherine Leanne Christ, Roger L. Burritt, James Guthrie and Elaine Evans

The purpose of this paper is to understand the role of boundary-spanning organisations as intermediary institutions potentially able to close the gap between applied…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the role of boundary-spanning organisations as intermediary institutions potentially able to close the gap between applied research and practice in sustainability accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature reveals that boundary organisation theory provides a potential way of understanding the role of boundary-spanning organisations in the context of the research–practice gap. The theory is applied in the context of three cases of potential boundary-spanning organisations involved with sustainability accounting – Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Federation of Accountants.

Findings

Findings from the three cases, which consider the application of boundary organisation theory, indicate the potential for professional accounting associations to act as sustainability accounting boundary-spanning organisations has not been realized for four main reasons. These relate to the need for finer granularity in relation to boundary objects and problem-solving; uncertainty about the range of parties to be involved as boundary-spanning organisations; the importance of reconciling views about different incentives for academics and practitioners in the sustainability accounting space; and the necessity for collaboration with other boundary-spanning organisations to address the transdisciplinary nature of sustainability accounting.

Practical implications

Development of a way of seeing the relationships between academics and practitioners in the context of sustainability accounting has two messages for practice and practitioners. First, with such complex and uncertain issues as sustainability accounting, a transdisciplinary approach to resolving problems is needed, one which involves practitioners as integral and equal members of research teams. The process should help bring applied academic and practitioner interests closer together. Second, it has to be recognised that academics conducting basic research do not seek to engage with practitioners, and for this group, the academic–practitioner gap will remain.

Social implications

Two main social implications emerge from the application of boundary organisation theory to analyse the academic–practitioner gap in the context of sustainability accounting. First, development of boundary organisations is important, as they can play a crucial role in bringing parties with an interest in sustainability accounting together in transdisciplinary teams to help solve sustainability problems. Second, collaboration is a foundation for success in the process of integrating applied researchers and practitioners, different disciplines which are relevant to solving sustainability problems and collaboration between different boundary spanning organisations with their own specialised foci.

Originality/value

This paper considers boundary organisation theory and the role of boundary-spanning organisations in the context of the complex transdisciplinary problems of sustainability accounting.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Thi Tuyet Mai Nguyen, Elaine Evans and Meiting Lu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of independent directors on firm performance in Vietnam and identify how different types of ownership structure and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of independent directors on firm performance in Vietnam and identify how different types of ownership structure and the presence of controlling shareholders influence the relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

For a sample of 217 non-financial Vietnam-listed companies during the period from 2010 to 2014, this study uses the ordinary least squares regressions to estimate the relationship between independent directors and firm performance. Two econometric techniques – the fixed effects estimation and the difference in difference estimation – are used to control for endogeneity. The results are also robust to the lag variable of independent directors.

Findings

The results reveal that independent directors have an overall negative effect on firm operating performance. This finding may be because of information asymmetry, expertise disadvantage and the dominance of ownership concentration that prevent independent directors from fulfilling their monitoring function in governance. The negative relationship between independent directors and firm performance is stronger in firms where the State is a controlling shareholder.

Research limitations/implications

Findings suggest that changes relating to independent directors, as a response to the new corporate governance code in 2012, do not have a positive effect on the relationship between corporate governance and firm performance. Further reform is required to improve internal control mechanisms and corporate governance systems in Vietnam.

Originality/value

This is the first study to provide a robust evidence on the relationship between independent directors and firm performance in Vietnam as well as to explore the impact of the type of controlling shareholders on the relationship.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Thi Tuyet Mai Nguyen, Elaine Evans and Meiting Lu

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of independent directors in Vietnam about their roles and challenges when sitting on the boards of listed companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of independent directors in Vietnam about their roles and challenges when sitting on the boards of listed companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses mailed questionnaires to collect data. The authors sent surveys to 810 independent directors from 354 listed companies and received feedback from 170 respondents.

Findings

The authors examine several aspects of independent directors’ work on the board (such as the roles of and challenges for independent directors) as well as board environment (such as information provision or board interaction). Findings suggest that independent directors in Vietnam place more emphasis on their advisory role than their monitoring role. In addition, they also point out their challenges including information asymmetries and the influence of controlling shareholders. These challenges are significant and they prevent independent directors to properly execute their independent role on the board. These findings reflect the unique features of corporate governance in transition economies.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the literature through providing an insightful view about the nature of the work performed by this type of director in a transition economy. The study is also one of the first studies to use a qualitative instrument to provide an explanation of how controlling shareholders influence independent directors on boards of directors.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Stephen Haswell and Elaine Evans

While the debate about fair value accounting (FVA) and the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2008-2009 has been explored in the academic and professional literature, there…

Abstract

Purpose

While the debate about fair value accounting (FVA) and the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2008-2009 has been explored in the academic and professional literature, there has been little debate about the consequences of FVA being implicated in the crash of Enron around 2001, and the effect of this on later FVA developments and the GFC. The purpose of this paper is to examine how well regulators, political actors, and other commentators may have understood the use, misuse, effects and consequences of FVA at the time of Enron, and to examine how this collective understanding (or lack thereof) has influenced later accounting policy, especially that going into and arising from the GFC.

Design/methodology/approach

Using content analysis, the commentary about FVA is traced through documents, primarily the US Congressional Hearings’ examination of the collapse of Enron that took place between December 2001 and December 2002. An assessment of the knowledge of and attitudes toward FVA is made from these and is then traced through later developments including policy responses before, during and after the GFC.

Findings

Links are found between the collapse of Enron and adjustments to FVA in the mid-2000s, which in turn became implicated in the GFC. These linkages are explored in the context of a fair value world view held by global standards setters in the mid-2000s. During the timeline from the 1990s to the mid-2000s, those advocating and adopting FVA as part of this world view, may have had collectively an insufficient understanding of the consequences or effects of FVA technology.

Originality/value

The study provides evidence of a direct link between Enron, the response of global standard setters, and the GFC controversy.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2014

James Guthrie, Elaine Evans and Roger Burritt

– The purpose of this paper is to provide a thought-provoking, attention-directing diegesis about the quality of the experience for those working as academic accounting scholars.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a thought-provoking, attention-directing diegesis about the quality of the experience for those working as academic accounting scholars.

Design/methodology/approach

Using storytelling by the authors as narrators and a literature review, this paper examines challenges to, and possibilities for, accounting academics.

Findings

The study reveals a number of possibilities for the sustainability of the accounting academy in Australia, all of which rely on the symbiotic relations between the three elements of the profession – practitioners, policymakers and academics – to prepare accounting and business professionals for the future.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to the Australian context of academic accountants and, therefore, the identified possibilities for accounting academics in other contexts may differ.

Practical implications

This paper identifies the challenges for contemporary accounting academics in Australia and presents opportunities for sustainability of the Australian accounting academy.

Originality/value

This paper uses a story to explore its overarching theme of the quality of the academic experience for accounting academics in Australia. The story is developed from the authors’ combined experiences of > 80 years as accounting academics who are also actively engaged with the profession.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2011

Elaine Evans and Dawn Cable

With large numbers of overseas students enrolled in university accounting courses in Australia, there is a growing trend in the postgraduate accounting courses to approach…

Abstract

Purpose

With large numbers of overseas students enrolled in university accounting courses in Australia, there is a growing trend in the postgraduate accounting courses to approach the problem of language and communication difficulties by offering discipline‐specific language training through an embedded curriculum approach in collaboration with English language specialists. This raises a general question about the nature of evidence required to demonstrate that students' professional language skills have been enhanced by these interdisciplinary programs. The paper aims to address the basic question: what evidence is available about the effectiveness of programs that align English language with disciplinary teaching?

Design/methodology/approach

The purpose of the paper is to review existing research to discover the nature of evidence that is available to address the effectiveness of programs that align English language with disciplinary teaching.

Findings

In the area of accounting research, it is very difficult to unbundle the effects of improvement in communication skills from improved understanding of discipline content.

Research limitations/implications

At a subject level, language interventions could pay more attention to the attributes of “good” evidence, while at a program level a suite of data sources may support a persuasive argument for improvement in students' communication skills.

Practical implications

If associations between integration and language improvement can be established through quantitative and qualitative research methods and reliable evidence for this can be presented to educational policy makers, then interdisciplinary approaches may be seen as valid alternatives to the more readily available (and cheaper) “bolt‐on programs” at university‐wide levels, where language support is given separately from discipline content.

Originality/value

The research addressed the question of whether there is evidence of the effectiveness of initiatives that align English language with disciplinary teaching in accounting. The answer is “yes”. It was gathered from a variety of research methods including experimentation, use of available data, diagnostic tests and self reporting by students and staff. What is apparent from the collected evidence is the effectiveness of interdisciplinary approaches that integrate language support and accounting content.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2014

Rachel F. Baskerville, Katharine Wynn-Williams, Elaine Evans and Shirley Gillett

– The purpose of this paper is to examine how the construct of ethnicity can best be determined for empirical analysis in accounting research, particularly in the Pacific region.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the construct of ethnicity can best be determined for empirical analysis in accounting research, particularly in the Pacific region.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews relevant sociological and accounting literature. In addition, it presents the results of a case study where “first language” was used as a proxy for ethnicity.

Findings

The results of the literature review present six different research approaches towards determining ethnicity. Furthermore, it is found that “first language” was a justifiable determinant of ethnicity in an accounting education study.

Research limitations/implications

The determination of reliable and valid proxies for ethnicity in accounting research is important for researchers, including those whose objective is to associate ethnicity with learning and teaching outcomes, accounting and financial reporting activities or behaviours.

Originality/value

In the context of accounting research, the value of this study is its challenge to the notions that culture and ethnicity are not only homogenous but interchangeable and to offer a reflection on how ethnicity can be determined.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Elaine Evans, Rachel F. Baskerville, Katharine Wynn-Williams and Shirley J. Gillett

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether ethnicity makes a difference to the level of respect given to teachers by tertiary accounting students. In particular…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether ethnicity makes a difference to the level of respect given to teachers by tertiary accounting students. In particular, it examines whether ethnicity has an impact on students’ perceptions regarding their teachers’ attributes and behaviors, which in turn influences their respect for their teachers.

Design/methodology/approach

First year accounting students, both domestic and international, were surveyed in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, using a purpose-designed online questionnaire. “Ethnicity” was categorized according to first language, resulting in three categories: Home, Chinese and Other International. Student responses to quantitative questions regarding attributes and behaviors were analyzed using MANOVA and ANOVA. Open-ended questions provided further insight into student perceptions.

Findings

Regarding teachers’ attributes, statistically significant differences are seen between the ethnic groups in qualifications, classroom control and professional qualifications or work experience, but not in teachers’ behaviors. The open-ended questions provided student contributions regarding respect. These included “clarity” and “good English skills.”

Originality/value

This research contributes to debates over the impact of ethnic diversity in the classroom. It also contributes to the debate over the definition of the concept of “ethnicity.” A comparison between three countries is unusual; all have significant numbers of international students. Value is added through the findings, which challenge often-held assumptions regarding stereotypical “Chinese learners.” The findings will also assist teachers who have large numbers of international students in their classrooms.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Keywords

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