Search results

1 – 10 of 17
Article
Publication date: 15 July 2019

Henk J. ter Bogt and Robert W. Scapens

Drawing on recent research, which recognises the situated nature of accounting practices, the purpose of this paper is to extend the Burns and Scapens (B&S) framework and…

1205

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on recent research, which recognises the situated nature of accounting practices, the purpose of this paper is to extend the Burns and Scapens (B&S) framework and to illustrate its potential for studying the situated nature of management accounting practices. The extended framework distinguishes field-level institutions (which the authors term broader institutions) and institutions within the organisation (which the authors term local institutions). To extend the B&S framework the authors draw on recent debates in institutional theory, both new institutional sociology, where the focus is now on the institutional logics perspective, and old institutional economics, where there has been debate about the relationship between institutions and actions.

Design/methodology/approach

While the B&S framework focussed on institutions within the organisation, the extended framework explicitly recognises institutions which extend beyond the boundaries of the organisation. It also recognises the way in which rationality and deliberation are related to human agency, as well as the power of specific individuals and/or groups to impose new rules. To illustrate the usefulness of the extended framework the research note draws on a recent study of performance measurement in the Accounting and Finance Groups of the Universities of Groningen and Manchester.

Findings

It is argued that local institutions within the organisation combine with the broader institutions to shape the forms of situated rationality which are applied by individuals and groups within the organisation. Different groups within an organisation (e.g. engineers and accountants) can have different forms of situated rationality, and contradictions in these forms of rationality can be a source of institutional change or resistance to change within the organisation, and can explain why accounting changes can by implemented in different ways in different organisations and also in different parts of the same organisation.

Originality/value

The extended framework will be useful for studying: (1) how situated rationalities evolve within an organisation, more specifically how they are shaped by both local and broader institutions; and (2) how prevailing situated rationalities shape the responses to accounting change.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 June 2014

Henk J. ter Bogt

246

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Henk J. ter Bogt and G. Jan van Helden

This paper aims to discuss the question of how the possible gaps between academic and practical accounting research can be reduced and how academics could make a…

454

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the question of how the possible gaps between academic and practical accounting research can be reduced and how academics could make a contribution to solving the practical problems of organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A reflection on Van de Ven and Johnson's ideas about “engaged scholarship” as a way for overcoming the gap between academic and practical knowledge creation, illustrated with examples coming from public sector accounting research.

Findings

Although academic consultant/researchers, who conduct research of direct relevance to practice, ideally must have research objectives in mind that go beyond the practical problems of the organization in order to address academically relevant goals, this is often not feasible. This is due to the fact that academically relevant research questions can often only be identified when a practice-oriented research project has already taken shape. The authors argue and illustrate that a pragmatic form of engaged scholarship in public sector accounting research implies that such research results in a variety of outputs. Some of the outputs will have direct relevance to the practitioners and others to the academics involved, whilst the outputs that are relevant to each of these two groups will only partly show connections and overlaps.

Practical implications

The preoccupation of academic researchers with publications in high-ranking journals, due to pressures from their universities and peer groups, threatens research projects with a potential relevance for practice, because their publication opportunities are uncertain in advance. The authors welcome researchers who want to take this type of risk, and the authors challenge university officials and journal editors to broaden their view on excellence in research beyond the scope of their traditional academic domains.

Originality/value

The paper offers a realistic way out of serving two seemingly different research goals, practice-relevance and academic rigour.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Ann Martin-Sardesai and James Guthrie

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of academic human capital (HC) towards a university’s research performance measurement system (PMS), in response to…

1318

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of academic human capital (HC) towards a university’s research performance measurement system (PMS), in response to a national research assessment exercise (RAE).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on a subset of the data from a large mixed method case study research project about the impact of ERA on an Australian public sector university.

Findings

The findings reveal that the research PMSs were designed, implemented and used as a tool to measure and manage the research performance of HC within the university. The case study university performed well in the RAE. However, this also led to several unintended consequences in the form of fear and anxiety, gaming and strategic initiatives, a focus on quantity and not the quality of research, and increased workload, which led to a loss in the stock of HC.

Practical implications

This empirical evidence can inform governments and policy makers of the unintended consequences of government research evaluations on academic HC. University managers could improve the design of HC management systems by not only measuring academic HC performance, but also providing training and resources to enhance, support and maintain the overall well-being of academics.

Originality/value

This study provides insights regarding the connection between a university’s PMS and academic HC and contributes to the academic literature on intellectual capital and PMSs.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Berend van der Kolk, Henk J. ter Bogt and Paula M.G. van Veen-Dirks

The purpose of this paper is to examine how management control (MC) within governmental departments is used in times of austerity, and how insights from agency and…

1966

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how management control (MC) within governmental departments is used in times of austerity, and how insights from agency and stewardship theory can enhance the understanding of this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors distinguish two types of MC (constraining and facilitating) based on their different assumptions regarding human behavior (agent-like and steward-like). The authors empirically analyze changes in the use of these types of MC in four cases located in two municipalities. The collected data consists of 51 semi-structured interviews, desk research and multiple field observations.

Findings

The authors find that MC at the departmental level becomes more constraining in times of austerity. The authors suggest that an overemphasis on constraining MC has negative consequences. It can, for instance, evoke agent-like, opportunistic behavior while it disregards potential steward-like behavior. These negative consequences are less prevalent when there is a simultaneous increase in emphasis on the use of facilitating MC elements.

Originality/value

The authors acknowledge “human ambivalence,” i.e. an employee’s recurring choice between agent-like and steward-like behavior, and illustrate the dangers of overly relying on constraining types of MC. The authors also contemplate alternative strategic managerial responses to austerity in a public sector context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 June 2014

Steve Evans

185

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Content available

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Rick Anderson and Henk Klaassen

The aim of this paper is to research the effectiveness of different forms of performance management and to trace the factors which influence these effectiveness. In order…

1297

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to research the effectiveness of different forms of performance management and to trace the factors which influence these effectiveness. In order to better emphasize the context dimensions, it also aims to study two municipal processes in the Dutch public sector, i.e. treatment of building permits and the establishment of environmental policy papers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study analyses 57 Dutch municipalities on performance management.

Findings

The research shows that management should not intervene nor should it focus on the process itself, contrary to what is normally thought and done. This study also points out that the type of management on output is more important for the effectiveness than the context of the processes. The conclusion may be drawn that process control will lead to less effectiveness in almost all cases. Effective output management should be confined to a combination of input and output control. Although the general management has the tendency to engage in the way processes are conducted, it will need to resist this tendency as much as possible. In addition, intermediate control is ineffective. In the investigated processes more capacity was needed when the general management exercised intermediate control, regardless of the mode. This conclusion is at odds with the widely endorsed desirability and need for intermediate control (monitoring). Control ex ante, in contrast, increases effectiveness in every case. The impression arises that opting for less control (only ex ante and not on processes) makes the type of management more effective.

Originality/value

Output management will have to take the context into account, but also give decentralized managers sufficient degrees of freedom. In order to decentralize adequately, the correct type of management will need to be chosen. Although most authors endorse the importance of context and believe the possibility of output management to be almost completely dependent on this context, this study shows that the effectiveness of output management is virtually entirely dictated by the chosen type of management, no matter the context. The type of management allocating as much freedom to decentralized management as possible, offers the best basis for effective action. Paradoxically, general management could maximize its effectiveness by interfering as little as possible with the process at stake.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 61 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2012

Henk ter Bogt and Jan van Helden

The purpose of this paper is to present and analyze the opinions of a number of editors of accounting journals on the value they attach to the practical relevance of…

2958

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present and analyze the opinions of a number of editors of accounting journals on the value they attach to the practical relevance of management accounting research and the potential role of qualitative methods in conducting this type of research.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper collects together commentaries from these journal editors about the theme indicated above, together with an overview and reflections by the editors of this special issue.

Findings

The journal editors do not regard a lack of practical relevance in management accounting research as a key concern. Most of them see practice‐relevance and theoretical advancement as complementary, while the latter is given by far the most weight as the core of academic work. Furthermore, most journal editors have no clear preference for either qualitative or quantitative research in relation to the practical relevance issue. Neither do they seem to have strong opinions about the specific benefits of qualitative methods in practice‐relevant studies. In their commentaries, the editors of this special issue advocate a stronger connection between the needs of practitioners and the content of the research, more interventionist research in which practitioners and researchers work together, and a greater focus on communication between academics and practitioners about the practical implications of management accounting research. The special issue editors specifically emphasize the importance of this communication in relation to safeguarding the “support” of various groups in society for academic research.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to the ongoing debate about the practical relevance of management accounting research, and particularly to the role of qualitative methods in practice‐relevant studies.

Originality/value

By collecting and analyzing the opinions of editors of several prominent accounting journals on the practice‐relevance of the research in this field, a contribution is made to the ongoing debate about this issue.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

1 – 10 of 17