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Article

Garry D. Carnegie and Christopher J. Napier

The purpose of this paper is to examine the origins and development of the “Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ) Community”, a flourishing international…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the origins and development of the “Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ) Community”, a flourishing international interdisciplinary accounting research community. This scholarly community has emerged over some 30 years from the publication in 1988 of the inaugural issue of AAAJ under the joint editorship of James Guthrie and Lee Parker. This historical account discusses the motivation for establishing the journal and the important publishing initiatives, developments and trends across this period. The study positions the journal as a key thought leader, the catalyst for other Community activities such as the Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting conference.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation involved a selective review of the contents of AAAJ, particularly the annual editorials published since inception, and other relevant literature, analysis of the main research themes and the most cited papers, and oral history interviews with the joint editors. The future prospects for the AAAJ Community are addressed.

Findings

The AAAJ Community has shaped and led developments in interdisciplinary accounting research. Recognised for innovation and with a reputation for nurturing scholars, AAAJ continues to grow in stature as one of the world’s leading accounting journals, challenging the status quo and fostering inclusive scholarship.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not examine the journal’s publication patterns nor assess in detail the research studies that have been published in the journal.

Originality/value

The study recognises AAAJ as central to the development of an interdisciplinary accounting research community, firmly located in the sociological, critical and interpretative tradition also associated with some other leading accounting journals.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article

Lee D. Parker

This study aims to critically evaluate the COVID-19 and future post-COVID-19 impacts on office design, location and functioning with respect to government and community…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to critically evaluate the COVID-19 and future post-COVID-19 impacts on office design, location and functioning with respect to government and community occupational health and safety expectations. It aims to assess how office efficiency and cost control agendas intersect with corporate social accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretically informed by governmentality and social accountability through action, it thematically examines research literature and Web-based professional and business reports. It undertakes a timely analysis of historical office trends and emerging practice discourse during the COVID-19 global pandemic's early phase.

Findings

COVID-19 has induced a transition to teleworking, impending office design and configuration reversals and office working protocol re-engineering. Management strategies reflect prioritisation choices between occupational health and safety versus financial returns. Beyond formal accountability reports, office management strategy and rationales will become physically observable and accountable to office staff and other parties.

Research limitations/implications

Future research must determine the balance of office change strategies employed and their evident focus on occupational health and safety or cost control and financial returns. Further investigation can reveal the relationship between formal reporting and observed activities.

Practical implications

Organisations face strategic decisions concerning both their balancing of employee and public health and safety against capital expenditure and operation cost commitments to COVID-19 transmission prevention. They also face strategic accountability decisions as to the visibility and correspondence between their observable actions and their formal social responsibility reporting.

Social implications

Organisations have continued scientific management office cost reduction strategies under the guise of innovative office designs. This historic trend will be tested by a pandemic, which calls for control of its spread, including radical changes to the office at potentially significant cost.

Originality/value

This paper presents one of few office studies in the accounting research literature, recognising it as central to contemporary organisational functioning and revealing the office cost control tradition as a challenge for employee and community health and safety.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article

Lee D. Parker, Kerry Jacobs and Jana Schmitz

In the context of global new public management reform trends and the associated phenomenon of performance auditing (PA), the purpose of this paper is to explore the rise…

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of global new public management reform trends and the associated phenomenon of performance auditing (PA), the purpose of this paper is to explore the rise of performance audit in Australia and examines its focus across audit jurisdictions and the role key stakeholders play in driving its practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a multi-jurisdictional analysis of PA in Australia to explore its scale and focus, drawing on the theoretical tools of Goffman. Documentary analysis and interview methods are employed.

Findings

Performance audit growth has continued but not always consistently over time and across audit jurisdictions. Despite auditor discourse concerning backstage performance audit intentions being strongly focussed on evaluating programme outcomes, published front stage reports retain a strong control focus. While this appears to reflect Auditors-General (AGs) reluctance to critique government policy, nonetheless there are signs of direct and indirectly recursive relationships emerging between AGs and parliamentarians, the media and the public.

Research limitations/implications

PA merits renewed researcher attention as it is now an established process but with ongoing variability in focus and stakeholder influence.

Social implications

As an audit technology now well-embedded in the public sector accountability setting, it offers potential insights into matters of local, state and national importance for parliament and the public, but exhibits variable underlying drivers, agendas and styles of presentation that have the capacity to enhance or detract from the public interest.

Originality/value

Performance audit emerges as a complex practice deployed as a mask by auditors in managing their relationship with key stakeholders.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article

Maryam Safari and Lee David Parker

This paper aims to provide a historical case study of strategic changes in accounting at an Australian university’s business school department during 1972-1992 when it was…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a historical case study of strategic changes in accounting at an Australian university’s business school department during 1972-1992 when it was repositioning itself in the early stages of major changes in the Australian and international tertiary accounting education environment. The study is conducted within the context of the university history within which the department operated as well as major government policy and global education shifts shaping university structures and focus.

Design/methodology/approach

This study offers a historical analysis of early stage changes in university focus at the business school’s accounting department, developed through departmental and university reports and oral history interviews. A narrative analytical methodology is adopted to portray a history of an academic accounting department in transition.

Findings

This case study illuminates the impacts of and responses to the beginning of marketisation and globalisation of higher education, and the commercialisation of universities and explains the strategic implementation processes in one university’s business school departmental during a period of significant formative change in the Australian accounting education landscape.

Originality/value

This study deepens our understanding of environmental, structural, educational and research changes at the operational departmental level of academic institutions, paying particular attention to the organisational culture and human capital dimensions.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

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Article

Lee D. Parker

The purpose of this paper is to critique the accounting and financial orientation of Australian universities’ business model to identify the future university financial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critique the accounting and financial orientation of Australian universities’ business model to identify the future university financial management and accounting role in universities’ strategic trajectory responding to COVID-19.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by Habermasian perspectives on change, it uses published research into university commercialisation and media commentaries on COVID-19 impacts.

Findings

Australian universities have aggressively pursued an accounting-based private sector business model. Their revenue generating reliance on international student revenues has been undermined by the COVIS-19 crisis. Nonetheless, university management clings to their commercialised university identity and role colonised by the accounting structures. Fundamental change requires a reversal of this relationship.

Research limitations/implications

Future research must observe and evaluate university strategic crisis reactions and their impacts on national and societal well-being with a view to identifying alternative futures.

Practical implications

Universities face decisions concerning their ongoing role in society and their future approach to balancing operational strategies and the accounting influence.

Social implications

This study raises the issue of whether universities should continue being seen as an export industry supporting the national economy or as knowledge, educational and social resource for their national and regional communities.

Originality/value

This paper integrates research into universities over several decades into a strategic critique of their current reaction to an unprecedented global pandemic.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article

Basil P. Tucker and Lee D. Parker

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the issue of research relevance from the frame of reference of university leaders. Its specific aim is to gain…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the issue of research relevance from the frame of reference of university leaders. Its specific aim is to gain insights into how “relevance” is conceptualised, and the underlying assumptions upon which such conceptualizations are based.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting an inductive approach, the study collects and analyses data from semi-structured interviews with 31 senior research-related university leaders, and archival sources in five Australian universities.

Findings

Research relevance is primarily viewed as a means of responding to government and political imperatives, as a pathway to ensuring university legitimacy, and as a means of generating further resources. The authors apply this understanding to develop a framework that adopts a nuanced view of relevance, reflecting what is driving research, and to whom research is principally targeted.

Research limitations/implications

The evidence-base upon which the study is based represents a relatively small number of university leaders of Australian universities. Moreover, restricting the investigation to a few senior hierarchical levels nonetheless offers insights into high level organisational drivers hitherto neglected in the accounting research literature on university strategy, governance and accountability. While not addressing perceptions across the university population, this study focusses on and unpacks the social construction of relevance of this select group as research policy makers.

Originality/value

As one of the few empirically informed investigations exploring the issue of research relevance from the perspective of university leaders, this study provides insights rather than “answers”. Its findings therefore serve as a foundational basis for further empirical and theoretical enquiry.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article

Ann Martin-Sardesai, James Guthrie AM and Lee Parker

As accounting academics, the authors know that performance measurement is well-trodden ground in the literature. Yet rarely have they turned their gaze inwards to examine…

Abstract

Purpose

As accounting academics, the authors know that performance measurement is well-trodden ground in the literature. Yet rarely have they turned their gaze inwards to examine the performance controls which they are subject to in the own everyday working life. Over the past 40 years, the rise of the New Public Management paradigm and neoliberalism has intensified changes in the way universities, disciplines and individual academics justify the quality of their work. This paper aims to explore the impact of accountingisation on the field and the Australian public sector higher education sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The perceptions of accounting academics in Australia’s 37 business faculties and schools were collected via an online survey. Additionally, a document analysis of annual reports, internal reports, strategy documents and other confidential material were also used.

Findings

The changes have included the use of corporate and individual research metrics aimed at increasing institutional status, brand reputation and revenue generation. These changes have transformed business schools and universities into commercial enterprises and commoditised education. What this analysis demonstrates is the apparent relationship between various government agendas, the commercialisation of universities and the distortion of the research activities by individual academics. For increased profits and efficiencies, individual scholars have paid the highest price.

Practical implications

If the accounting discipline is to be sustainable in the long term, business schools in Australia must reconfigure their performance measurement systems.

Originality/value

To date, research on “accountingisation” has previously been primarily conducted in the health and social services sectors. This research raises rarely heard voices to expose the actual social and human costs of accountingisation in Australia’s higher education sector.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Content available

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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