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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2018

Lisa Marini, Jane Andrew and Sandra van der Laan

The purpose of this paper is to explore how accountability practices are affected and potentially transformed when mediated by translation. Adopting a postcolonial lens…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how accountability practices are affected and potentially transformed when mediated by translation. Adopting a postcolonial lens, the authors consider the ways in which translation functions and how intermediaries act as cultural translators in the context of microfinance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors take a qualitative approach to a case study of a microfinance organization based in South Africa. Fieldwork allowed for the collection of data by means of direct observations, interviews, documents and a fieldwork diary.

Findings

The study demonstrates the presence of spaces of hybridity that co-exist within the same organizational context (Bhabha, 1994). Two spaces of hybridity are highlighted, in which translation processes were possible because of the proximity between borrowers and fieldworkers. The first space of hybridity was found locally and here translation shaped an accountability that aimed at leveraging local cultures and favoring cultural framing. The second space of hybridity was characterized by the interaction between oral and written cultures and the translation of responsibilities and expectations was predominantly unidirectional, prioritizing accountability practices consistent with organizational requirements.

Originality/value

This research offers in-depth insights into the links between intermediation, translation and accountability practices. It differs from prior research in considering intermediaries as active translators of accountability practices who act in-between cultures. The authors contend that the translation process reinscribes culture allowing dominant accountability practices to prevail and local cultural traditions to merely contextualize accountability practices.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2021

Garry D. Carnegie, Ann Martin-Sardesai, Lisa Marini and James Guthrie AM

The Australian higher education sector faces severe risks from the consequences of COVID-19. This paper aims to explore these risks, their immediate impacts and the likely…

Abstract

Purpose

The Australian higher education sector faces severe risks from the consequences of COVID-19. This paper aims to explore these risks, their immediate impacts and the likely future impacts. The authors specifically focus on the institutional financial and social risks arising from the global pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collect data using the 2019 annual reports of the 37 Australian public universities and relevant media contributions. The findings of identified sector change are interpreted through Laughlin’s organisational change diagnosis.

Findings

The sector confronts significant financial and social risks because of its over-reliance on income from fee-paying onshore overseas students resulting in universities primarily undertaking morphostatic changes. These risks include job losses, changing employment conditions, mental health issues for students, scholars, other staff, including casual staff, online learning shortfalls and the student expectations of their university experience. The study reveals how many of these risks are the inevitable consequence of the “accountingisation” of Australian public universities.

Practical implications

Despite material exposure, the universities provide only limited disclosure of the extent of the risks associated with increasing dependence on overseas student fees to 31 December 2019. The analysis highlights fake accountability and distorted transparency to users of audited financial statements – a major limitation of university annual reports.

Originality/value

Research on the Australian higher education sector has mainly focussed on the impact of policies and changes. The public disclosure of critical risks taken by these universities are now addressed.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Lisa Marini, Jane Andrew and Sandra van der Laan

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which accountability is operationalised within the context of a South African microfinance institution (MFI). In…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which accountability is operationalised within the context of a South African microfinance institution (MFI). In particular, the authors consider the introduction of a tool to enhance consumer protection, the Client Protection Card (CPC), to deliver accountability within the case organisation. In contrast to prior research, the authors focus on accountability from the perspective of clients and fieldworkers.

Design/methodology/approach

A single in-depth case study of the introduction and implementation of a CPC in an MFI operating within South Africa was conducted. The case study and timing afforded an opportunity to gather unique data, given the MFI’s client-centred philosophy and the recent introduction of the CPC. The qualitative approach adopted for this research allowed collection of data through direct observations, interviews, a fieldwork diary and documentation. The theoretical framing for this paper views accountability as involving social practices, allowing us to foreground the existence of interdependencies among people interacting within the same organisation or system (Roberts, 1996).

Findings

The case study demonstrates that three aspects are critical to the success of the card: the design, which requires sensitivity to the local culture; the distribution, which demands for significant “sensemaking” work to be undertaken by fieldworkers; and the drivers for introducing the card, which need to be responsive to the clients’ perspective. The paper illustrates how well-intended tools of accountability can fail to deliver effectively, both for the organisation and the users, if they are not tailored appropriately to the needs of clients.

Originality/value

This paper differs from prior research as it explores the ways in which fieldworkers and MFI clients make sense of a tool of accountability, the CPC. Given that the CPC was designed to meet guidelines produced by international policymakers and domestic legislators, the paper provides a grassroots analysis of the effectiveness of the implementation of such tools from the perspective of clients and fieldworkers. This local focus allows the authors to examine the ways in which mounting global expectations for increased accountability of MFIs are being operationalised in practice.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2012

John Dumay and Lisa Marini

This paper aims to outline the financial and human cost of bullying in the workplace. The authors investigate how bullying is perpetrated so that management controls to…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline the financial and human cost of bullying in the workplace. The authors investigate how bullying is perpetrated so that management controls to prevent bullying can be put in place, reducing financial and human costs, and the risks posed to organisations by bullying.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors' study uses an exploratory on‐line survey, designed from a practice perspective. The instigator is an Australian management consultancy working on managing organisational risk. The study is based on sense‐making research using open‐ended questions, delving into life experiences to recall potential bullying incidences in their work life. The authors then develop hypotheses from their review of the literature and compare these to the results of their survey.

Findings

Most of the authors' findings contradict both academic and practitioner notions of bullying. They find that bullying happens mostly between peers rather than being perpetrated by people in positions of power over weaker colleagues, extends into all levels of the organisation, is perpetrated as part of the normal day‐to‐day interactions between people, rather than in special circumstances, and is often perpetrated between peers in the presence of other peers. To explain this behaviour the authors introduce the concept of “tournaments” from agency theory and the personal characteristics of perpetrators and victims.

Research limitations/implications

From a management control and accounting perspective, managers controlling and accounting for bullying can also be the perpetrators and their participation in organisational politics and competitive tournaments may well be preventing the recognition and control of bullying, counter to what is good for the organisation.

Originality/value

This paper's risk management approach to understanding bullying in the workplace is novel; it outlines implications from a management control and accounting perspective. It also uses the concept of “tournaments” to propose why Australian managers tend to want to “sweep the issue under the carpet” and how the authors' research methodology offers a way forward to raise awareness so bullying can become an important part of management control in organisations.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

John Dumay, Jim Rooney and Lisa Marini

The purpose of this paper is to respond to calls to research recognising impediments to innovation practice. The paper argues that decision-making preferences by…

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2148

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to respond to calls to research recognising impediments to innovation practice. The paper argues that decision-making preferences by risk-averse managers are a key impediment to the organisational support required for the commercialisation of new ideas, by exploring the relationship between forms of intellectual capital (IC) and innovation. As a result, categories are derived that contrast with the current grand theory that IC drives innovative practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper critically examines cross-sectional empirical data gathered through semi-structured interviews with 27 Australian executive managers from leading Australian companies and the public sector. These interviews elicited narratives about successful and unsuccessful innovations where interviewees had significant involvement in the outcome. In all, 54 narratives of innovation from executive managers – 27 successes and 27 failures, were analysed using the repertory grid technique to unearth patterns about the process of innovation, especially in relation to the stability of the business environment and the need for innovation.

Findings

The paper finds that successful innovation in a context identified as demonstrating risk-averse decision-making behaviours requires different management approaches, depending on whether the innovation is radical, evolutionary or incremental. The paper discovers 12 different factors contributing to innovation processes and identifies those that are more likely to contribute to the success of innovative endeavours. From this the current grand theory that IC drives innovative practices is challenged by developing an IC-based differentiation theory of innovation practice.

Research limitations/implications

As always, the observations and conclusions reached are limited to the 27 interviews and the Australian context. Further, findings are based on the authors’ objective analysis. As with any qualitative study the authors also caution about generalising the findings, and as with any theory it should be used to develop insights into actions, rather than prescribing them.

Practical implications

For educators it highlights the need to teach students to critique innovation rather than accepting that all innovation is beneficial. For researchers it shows they must avoid success bias by investigating both successful and failed innovations, developing differentiation theories of innovation practice. The findings highlight how senior managers responsible for enabling and resourcing innovation need to develop skills for identifying the innovation type enabled, matching it to an appropriate strategic approach. Finally, for policy makers it shows how different forms of successful innovation require different approaches, and each can be encouraged, developed and enabled differently.

Originality/value

The paper is novel because it addresses the interaction and complexities of the different factors that enable successful innovation and possibly contribute to innovation failures, and the types of innovation relevant to each context. This approach is in contrast to the contemporary innovation literature, which tends to focus on successful radical innovation. As a result, the paper offers a more holistic view of the diverse and interrelated factors that impact innovation success and/or failure.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 October 2012

Robin Roslender

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247

Abstract

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

Content available

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 17 March 2010

Melody L. Boyd and Kimberly A. Goyette

Purpose – Research finds that youths who are able to align their educational and occupational ambitions are better able to realize both. In this chapter, we describe when…

Abstract

Purpose – Research finds that youths who are able to align their educational and occupational ambitions are better able to realize both. In this chapter, we describe when and how the educational, occupational, and family aspirations and expectations of a subgroup of youth often marginalized in traditional status attainment research are aligned.

Methodology/approach – We use qualitative data from the Gautreaux Two program in Chicago, which gave vouchers to families in existing public housing to move to low-poverty and racially diverse areas. Our sample includes in-depth qualitative interviews with 93 children in 57 of the families included in the study.

Findings – Our results show that there are two groups of youths – one group whose educational, family, and occupational ambitions are aligned and one whose ambitions are misaligned. Many of the narratives of the youths whose ambitions are at odds reflect the ways in which competing ideologies of success for inner-city children can lead to misaligned aspirations. Both groups of youths also discuss their awareness of the difficulties they face in realizing even their aligned ambitions.

Research limitations/implications – This research provides implications for policies and programs seeking to improve youths' experiences both in housing mobility programs and disadvantaged neighborhoods and schools.

Originality/value of paper – This chapter adds to previous research by considering how youths' family plans intersect with their educational and occupational ambitions. Also, we explore the alignment of ambitions among a group of youths who may be considered socially marginalized, those who have grown up in urban housing developments.

Details

Children and Youth Speak for Themselves
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-735-6

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2004

Lara Foley

This chapter is concerned with the varied legitimizing discourses used by midwives to frame their identities in relation to their work. This sociological issue is…

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with the varied legitimizing discourses used by midwives to frame their identities in relation to their work. This sociological issue is particularly important in the context of an occupation, such as this one, that exists at the border of competing service claims. Drawing on 26 in-depth interviews, I use narrative analysis to examine the stories that midwives tell about their work. Through these women’s work narratives, I show the complex intersection of narrative, culture, institution, and biography (Chase, 1995, 2001; DeVault, 1999).

Details

Gendered Perspectives on Reproduction and Sexuality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-088-3

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Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2012

Scott T. Fitzgerald and Jennifer L. Glass

Purpose – Conservative Protestantism is conceptualized as a cultural framework influencing class formation and transmission in the United States.

Abstract

Purpose – Conservative Protestantism is conceptualized as a cultural framework influencing class formation and transmission in the United States.

Design/Methodology/Approach – The framework is tested using Public-Use Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), Waves I, III, and IV. Four key outcomes – educational attainment, earnings, marriage, and parenting – are modeled as functions of class background and religious affiliation, controlling for other factors.

Findings – Religious affiliation and their effects on the normative pathways to adulthood help explain differential social mobility and the imperfect transmission of social class across generations. Religious culture plays an independent role in producing lower adult attainment via the life choices of conservative Protestant youth during the transition to adulthood.

Research limitations/Implications – This study is limited by the final age range (24–32 years) of the sample in Wave IV.

Originality/Value – Contributes to literature on conservative Protestants' educational attainment and labor force participation by charting the educational and income achievement of youth from varying class origins and identifying how childhood class location and childhood religious affiliation interact to affect adult socioeconomic status.

Details

Religion, Work and Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-347-7

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