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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Brendan Thomas O'Connell, Paul De Lange, Ann Martin-Sardesai and Gloria Agyemang

The purpose of this paper is to examine prominent issues and knowledge contributions from research exploring measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine prominent issues and knowledge contributions from research exploring measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and engagement. This paper also provides an overview of the other papers presented in this AAAJ Special Issue and draws from their findings to scope out future impactful research opportunities in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

Consists of a review and examination of the prior literature and the other papers published in this AAAJ Special Issue.

Findings

The paper identifies and summarises three key research themes in the extant literature: research productivity of accounting academics; the rise of the “Corporate University” and commodification of research; and, the benefits and limitations of Research Assessment Exercises. It draws upon work within these research themes to set out four broad areas for future impactful research.

Research limitations/implications

The value of this paper rests with collating and synthesising several important research themes on the nature and impact of measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and engagement, and in prompting future extensions of this work through setting out areas for further innovative research in the area.

Practical implications

The research examined in this paper and the future research avenues proposed are highly relevant to university academics, administrators and regulators/policymakers. They also offer important insights into matters of accounting measurement, accountability, and control more generally.

Originality/value

This paper adds to vibrant existing streams of research in the area by bringing together authors from different areas of accounting research for this AAAJ Special Issue. In scoping out an agenda for impactful research in the nature and impact of measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and engagement, this paper also draws attention to underexplored issues pertaining to areas such as the “lived experience” of academics in the corporatised university and envisioning what a future “optimal” system of measurement and assessment of research quality might look like?

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 May 2019

Matthew Egan and Gloria Agyemang

In recent decades, governments in developing countries have experienced relentless pressure from key supranational finance providers (particularly the World Bank) to focus…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent decades, governments in developing countries have experienced relentless pressure from key supranational finance providers (particularly the World Bank) to focus on the achievement of financial efficiency. This pressure persists despite evidence that basic institutions necessary for sustainable infrastructure and competitive commercial arrangements are often not present. This paper aims to examine the steering of urban water management in Ghana as it progressed through a first failed public-private partnership in this sector (from 2005 to 2011), and beyond to 2017. Throughout this 12-year period, the authors consider progress and barriers to the achievement of steering for sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

Publicly available documentation is examined through the lens of steering for sustainable development (Voß et al., 2007) to consider the challenges of urban water management between 2005 and 2017.

Findings

Progress towards a more sustainable approach to urban water management was achieved through greater democratic governance, public accountability and public engagement. This acted as a counter foil to power and affected improvements of knowledge and clarity of related goals. Effective sustainable management continued to be challenged, however, by on-going World Bank pressure to focus on financial efficiency.

Practical implications

The provision of a sustainable water supply continues to be a significant challenge for many developing countries, including Ghana. This study provides insights into how progress beyond crippling financial dependency might begin to be achieved.

Social implications

Safe and sustainable water supply is critical for both the health and economic progress of citizens in developing countries such as Ghana. This study provides insight into the value of drawing from a broad range of stakeholders in seeking viable pathways towards those goals.

Originality/value

While water management challenges for developing countries have been significantly researched, particularly in the context of private financing arrangements, little empirical insight is provided into how governments can move forward with sustainable progress beyond the failure of such arrangements. Water management in Ghana beyond 2011 provides that unique context.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 July 2019

Gloria Agyemang, Brendan O’Dwyer and Jeffrey Unerman

The purpose of this paper is to offer a retrospective and prospective analysis of the themes explored in the 2006 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal special…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a retrospective and prospective analysis of the themes explored in the 2006 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal special issue on non-governmental organisation (NGO) accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a reflective review essay.

Findings

The paper outlines how a number of themes in the 2006 special issue addressing downward accountability, hierarchical accountability and management control have been subsequently developed in a selection of papers from the accounting literature. The development of these themes leads to several suggestions for future research in NGO accountability.

Originality/value

The paper offers a systematic, original perspective on recent developments in certain areas of the field of NGO accountability.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 January 2020

Ahmad Zamri Osman and Gloria Agyemang

This paper aims to argue for the need of beneficiaries’ involvement in matters impacting them. The current effort to improve waqf management and the trend of waqf studies…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to argue for the need of beneficiaries’ involvement in matters impacting them. The current effort to improve waqf management and the trend of waqf studies seems to focus on waqf financing/investment using sophisticated financial tools and inviting participation from business entities. There was no conscious effort to engage the beneficiaries/public as the means to inform and improve the way waqf properties are managed despite it being, arguably, the primary stakeholder.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study informed by the concept of downward accountability. Interviews with staff involved in managing waqf properties are conducted. Data is interpreted, resulting in emerging themes.

Findings

This paper argues that the way waqf entity is structured and the staff’s value is important in determining whether benefit accrues to beneficiaries. Grounded on Islamic ethos, the values of individual staff is imperative in ensuring downward accountability is discharged. The closeness and empathy between staff and beneficiaries contribute towards a meaningful operationalisation of downward accountability.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the nature of methodology focusing on specific waqf practices in two specific waqf settings, the result must be interpreted within its context.

Practical implications

Waqf entity needs to have a structure where beneficiaries are meaningfully involved.

Social implications

This paper argues that the benefit of waqf establishment may not accrue to beneficiaries if it is undertaken without their engagement.

Originality/value

This paper raises the importance of engaging beneficiaries as one of the approaches in serving them. Any future project involving the targeted beneficiaries should involve them in some capacities.

Details

Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0817

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Gloria Agyemang, Brendan O’Dwyer, Jeffrey Unerman and Mariama Awumbila

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain how upward accountability processes can be enabling in, or constraining to, the effective deployment of development aid funding.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain how upward accountability processes can be enabling in, or constraining to, the effective deployment of development aid funding.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper derives its primary insights from in-depth interviews and focus groups with non-governmental organization (NGO) fieldworkers working and delivering development aid in Northern Ghana. It analyses inductively the perspectives of fieldworkers to explain their experiences of upward accountability.

Findings

The fieldworkers’ perception of upward accountability was mainly one of external control, in response to which they enacted a skilful form of compliance accountability. This perception of control failed to stifle their initiative and intrinsic commitment to beneficiaries. The fieldworkers craved “conversations for accountability”, in which they had a voice in the development of upward accountability metrics, thereby enabling them to fulfil their sense of felt responsibility to beneficiaries. While aspects of “conversations for accountability” were emerging in fieldworker-funder interactions, it was unclear to what extent funders were committed to further advancing them. Overall, the analysis unveils how felt responsibility mediates for, and partly diminishes, the perceived negative impacts on aid effectiveness of upward accountability processes informed by a focus on control.

Originality/value

The authors examine the potential of upward accountability processes using in-depth analyses of the actual experiences of those involved in delivering NGO services at the grassroots level. The authors contribute to emerging work in this vein by enriching the authors’ understanding of local constituencies’ experiences of accountability processes more generally, especially the impact these mechanisms have on NGO operational activities. The authors also unveil the mediating role fieldworkers’ “felt responsibility” to beneficiaries’ plays in moderating the perceived negative impacts on aid effectiveness of upward accountability processes.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2020

Cheryl R. Lehman and Gloria Agyemang

Our examination of accounting and violence aims to reinvigorate what it means to provide accountability and visibility given that knowledge and values are socially…

Abstract

Our examination of accounting and violence aims to reinvigorate what it means to provide accountability and visibility given that knowledge and values are socially constructed. The authors follow the legacy of critical accounting research in this essay, using counter accounts, shadow accounting, and narratives to uncover the discipline’s relationship to violence, women, and migrants.

Details

Resistance and Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-993-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2016

Gloria Agyemang

This chapter analyses the emergency policy responses that the European Union made during the summer of 2015 to manage the significant numbers of migrants entering Europe…

Abstract

This chapter analyses the emergency policy responses that the European Union made during the summer of 2015 to manage the significant numbers of migrants entering Europe. The chapter employs Broadbent’s (1998) ideas of ‘accounting logic’ to analyse these policy actions. The chapter argues that there are multiple and complex reasons why people migrate, and why in this instance people are prepared to risk their lives by taking perilous journeys. An ‘accounting logic’ leads to decisions being based mainly on financial inputs and expected outputs rather than on the social and humanitarian needs of migrants and refugees. Despite the significant amount of resources provided by the European Union, the crisis continues. The risks associated with employing an accounting logic are that it may preclude a full understanding of situations by silencing other values and logics.

Details

Accounting in Conflict: Globalization, Gender, Race and Class
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-976-3

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Gloria Agyemang and Bill Ryan

This chapter examines organisational change processes that occur when accountability demands from powerful external stakeholders change. It investigates, firstly, whether…

Abstract

This chapter examines organisational change processes that occur when accountability demands from powerful external stakeholders change. It investigates, firstly, whether these external accountability demands impact on the performance management systems of two different types of organisations. Secondly, it considers whether the goals for improved performance contained within the external accountability demands are realised. The chapter derives its primary insights from analysing in-depth interviews with managers working in a private sector company and in public sector organisations. The analyses reveal complex organisational responses. In the public sector case study, the organisations tended to reorient their performance management systems towards the external accountability demands; whilst in the private sector organisation, pressures from falling share prices forced managers to focus their decision making on the preferred performance measures contained in shareholders’ accountability demands. However, whilst there is some evidence of performance management system changes, the desires for improved performance subsumed by the external accountability demands are not necessarily realised through the performance management system changes.

Details

Managing Reality: Accountability and the Miasma of Private and Public Domains
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-618-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2020

Abstract

Details

Resistance and Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-993-4

Article
Publication date: 8 November 2019

Garry D. Carnegie

Expanding upon the special issue entitled “The special issue: AAAJ and research innovation”, published in 2012, this introduction to the second special issue of the genre…

Abstract

Purpose

Expanding upon the special issue entitled “The special issue: AAAJ and research innovation”, published in 2012, this introduction to the second special issue of the genre is concerned with selected thematic special issues of AAAJ appearing during the second decade of publication from 1998 to 2007. The paper explores research innovation by means of the thematic issues addressed from this decade.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides a background to this special issue and an outline of the articles included. The issue features seven retrospective/prospective articles written by the guest editors of special thematic issues published during 1998 to 2007, supplemented where appropriate by other co-authors or, in one instance, by a new author team.

Findings

The guest editors and other contributing authors sought to identify and discuss the progression of each field since the AAAJ special issue was published, and to assess the impacts of the special issues to this progression, and to propose future research developments in the designated fields.

Research limitations/implications

This commentary on articles published is no substitute for carefully reading these contributions. The papers provide a comprehensive review of key developments in the literature until most recently and explore the opportunities for further innovative interdisciplinary accounting research.

Originality/value

This AAAJ special issue, and the earlier 2012 prototype, constitute a different approach to producing special issues, where the original special issues are revisited with a view to assessing research trends and impacts and to identifying research developments which are ripe for pursuing in each of these interdisciplinary accounting fields.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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