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Article

Margaret A. Abernethy and Johannes U. Stoelwinder

The conflict between professional and bureaucratic models ofbehaviour has long been recognised. Evidence provided in theprofessional/bureaucratic literature indicates that…

Abstract

The conflict between professional and bureaucratic models of behaviour has long been recognised. Evidence provided in the professional/bureaucratic literature indicates that this conflict will impact on the effectiveness of management control systems when dominant professionals, such as physicians, are incorporated into bureaucratic organisations. This article elaborates Mintzberg′s (1979) professional bureaucracy model and empirically examines a number of propositions concerning the way in which activities are controlled and coordinated in hospitals. An analysis of 192 subunit managers in four large Australian teaching hospitals indicated significant differences in the use of control and co‐ordinating mechanisms by health care professionals who manage core operating subunits and managers of subunits which provide support services. These differences do not all follow the predictions of Mintzberg′s model.

Details

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

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Article

Rajko Novak and Aleksander Janeš

The purpose of this paper is to empirically evaluate business process orientation (BPO) of the Slovenian power supply business.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically evaluate business process orientation (BPO) of the Slovenian power supply business.

Design/methodology/approach

Within the empirical investigation, the level of BPO maturity was measured in the 19 organizations of the power supply business. The survey was focused on the top, middle and lower managers. As a measuring instrument, a questionnaire for the extended concept of process orientation with nine elements was used.

Findings

The results of the BPO measurement show that, despite this long-standing preoccupation with processes, certified management system and the computerization of operations, process maturity is not high. Particularly the lowest score for information technology represents a surprise.

Practical implications

This research makes significant contributions to the literature and above all to scholars and practitioners who work professionally in this field and will find useful guidance for a better understanding of applying BPO and maturity models.

Social implications

One important reason for performing the maturity measurement in the power supply business is the importance of its activities for the operation and development and environmental impact of the whole of Slovenian society.

Originality/value

Presented research is the first one which considers the BPO maturity in the Slovenian power supply business and therefore contributes to understanding of the “intangible factors” which have impact on the introduction of business process management and BPO.

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Book part

Stephen B. Salter and Axel K.-D. Schulz

In the current environment, an important firm asset is the employee knowledge base, which in a large part depends on employee willingness to share information. Yet prior…

Abstract

In the current environment, an important firm asset is the employee knowledge base, which in a large part depends on employee willingness to share information. Yet prior research has noted that while employees are delighted to reveal success they are often reluctant to reveal errors. While there are many factors affecting managers’ reluctance to reveal errors, this study focuses on cultural differences between Chinese migrants and Anglo residents as well as the role of acculturation. This is particularly relevant given the very significant foreign direct investment into China, and migration of managers and high-end technical staff from portions of Greater China to the management and higher technical classes of the Anglo world. Prior studies including Chow, Harrison, McKinnon, and Wu (1999a). Accounting, Organizations and Society, 24, 561–582, Chow, Deng, and Ho (2000). Journal of Management Accounting Research, 12, 65–95, and Tinsley and Pillutla (1998). Journal of International Business Studies, 29(4), 711–728, provide conflicting views and evidence for differences in information sharing between Chinese and Anglo managers, and there is no accounting or management literature that deals with changes in information sharing behavior in the migration process.

This study employs an experiment to test for differences in individuals’ willingness to share information about a prior costing error. Using a sample of students from two different nationalities drawn from a major Australian university (Australian and Hong Kong SAR, China), this study finds that migrant Chinese share less information than Anglo-Australians. This study further provides empirical evidence that the relative change in willingness to share this information when the supervisor is removed from the decision context is lower for the migrant Chinese than for the Anglo-Australians. Finally, this study finds evidence for acculturation as the willingness of migrant Chinese managers changes with the length of their stay in the new society. Acculturation occurs relatively quickly and highly acculturated Chinese information-sharing behavior is not significantly different from the Australian-born subjects.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-218-4

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Article

Geoffrey Troughton

This article seeks to augment understanding of the rise of psychological interpretations of the child in New Zealand, and suggest refinements to McDonald’s typology, with…

Abstract

This article seeks to augment understanding of the rise of psychological interpretations of the child in New Zealand, and suggest refinements to McDonald’s typology, with reference to changing religious values and priorities in the years before World War II. In particular, it considers patterns of religious education, with special reference to changing representations of Jesus for children during this time. Consideration of this material indicates that psychological approaches to childhood played an important role in shaping religious education throughout these years. Though noteworthy in itself, this influence highlights the extent to which interest in scientific and psychological understandings of the child had been growing more generally since the beginning of the twentieth century. Indeed, it provides a broader context for understanding the post‐war expansion of psychological approaches to children. Insofar as psychological interpretations of childhood were paradigmatic after 1945, this occurred because such approaches had been disseminated and acquired sufficient legitimacy in preceding years.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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Article

Richard Clarke

In Europe, as in other developed regions of the world, formal protected areas (PA) are, almost by definition, conservation islands within a wider landscape of intensive…

Abstract

Purpose

In Europe, as in other developed regions of the world, formal protected areas (PA) are, almost by definition, conservation islands within a wider landscape of intensive farming, towns, industry and transport links. The recognised need for “more, bigger, better and joined” implies the need for complementary approaches. The purpose of this paper is to examine some innovative funding and delivery mechanisms in the UK and their strengths – and weaknesses – compared to the formal system of PA.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on recent research undertaken for the UK Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) the HLF landscape partnership (LP) programme is described and related to other area-based approaches including the Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscapes, the Futurescapes programme of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the UK government’s Nature Improvement Areas (NIA).

Findings

LPs represent an increasingly important vehicle for securing conservation of the natural and cultural heritage alongside the formal system of designated PA. Their reliance upon local initiative, community engagement and multi-agency participation presents significant advantages. The strength of the LP approach is that it is “bottom up” and in some ways opportunistic.

Practical implications

Non-tax funding of innovative approaches to landscape governance presents significant opportunity for natural and cultural heritage conservation, particularly in their capacity to mobilise local enthusiasm and support. However, it fits also with neo-liberal approaches which seek to transfer to the “third sector” responsibilities previously the province of local and national government.

Originality/value

This paper is one of a very limited number of studies of developed-country LPs. It widens the concept of “PA” beyond formal IUCN categories and indicates the potential for innovations in funding and governance.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article

Robyn King and Peter Clarkson

This study aims to examine the interplay between ownership structure (organisational form) and management control system (MCS) design as governance structures within…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the interplay between ownership structure (organisational form) and management control system (MCS) design as governance structures within Australian primary health-care organisations (PHOs), seeking support for the suggestion that professional services will be most efficiently and effectively provided in organisations that have internal governance that is matched to their ownership form.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a series of in-depth investigations into the MCS choices made by seven Australian PHOs. Arguing that the degree of information impactedness is inversely related to the level of general practitioner (GP) ownership, organisations where more than 50 per cent of the GPs working within the practice are owners are classified as “high ownership” (“low information impactedness”). The adoption by high-performing organisations of their predicted MCS archetype according to Speklé’s development is then interpreted as representing empirical support.

Findings

The findings provide uniform support for the importance of the match between ownership structure and internal governance mechanisms. As predicted, the two high-performing, high member-owned organisations reported MCS resembling exploratory archetypes, the three high-performing, low member-owned organisations reported MCS consistent with a boundary archetype and the two low-performing organisations reported little emphasis on any control.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides evidence of the importance of the appropriate match between ownership structure and internal governance mechanisms for PHOs.

Practical implications

This study has potential to assist managers, owners and advisors to optimise MCS design in professional services organisations where there is heterogeneous ownership by professionals.

Originality/value

This study is one of the few attempts to provide empirical support for the assertion of the importance of a match between ownership structure and MCS design. It also represents one of the few attempts to provide empirical support for Speklé’s (2001) control archetypes, here the boundary and exploratory archetypes, archetypes that are applicable within important sectors of the economy, notably the professional services sector.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article

María J. Sánchez-Expósito and David Naranjo-Gil

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the simultaneous effect of management control system (MCS) designs (belief vs boundary) and cognitive orientations (individualism…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the simultaneous effect of management control system (MCS) designs (belief vs boundary) and cognitive orientations (individualism vs collectivism) on performance misreporting by combining accounting and psychology literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a laboratory experiment with 67 postgraduate students.

Findings

Results show that an individualist cognitive orientation increased performance misreporting. The results also showed that a boundary design of MCS intensified the relationship between individualist orientation and performance misreporting.

Research limitations/implications

This paper shed some light about the role of non-pecuniary control system for reducing managerial performance misreporting. The findings support that the tendency of individuals to avoid misreporting depends not only on the MCS design but also on the match between it and individual’s cognitive orientations.

Practical implications

Managers in organizations should consider the predominant cognitive orientation of individuals when they design MCS. They should consider that control systems, which impose coercive constraints to individuals, may encourage feelings of psychological reactance and then increase performance misreporting.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to combine psychology and accounting literature to analyze how the design of MCS influences individuals’ motivation to misreport their performance. It provided evidence about the effect of non-monetary control systems on individual’s behavior in organizations.

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Article

Lyn Daff and Lisa Jack

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the importance of accountants’ networks inside organisations, the parties who comprise those networks and how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the importance of accountants’ networks inside organisations, the parties who comprise those networks and how accountants go about building and maintaining their networks. It also illustrates the use of strong structuration theory, which specifically considers the networks that surround agents. The theoretical discussion highlights the significance of communication as agency in the context of accounting practice through a strong structuration perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach to the inquiry was adopted. Interviews were conducted with 30 Australian accountants from 22 not-for-profit organisations. A thematic approach was used to analyse the transcripts. Structuration theory, supplemented by strong structuration, informed the study.

Findings

The interviewees attested to the importance of communication and developing networks within their organisations. They actively sought to expand and enhance their networks. The accountants played a pivotal role in networks and they pursued both horizontal and vertical relations. The accountants’ knowledge of organisational positions and perceptions of their own roles were used strategically in attempts to alter the internal structures of networked others.

Research limitations/implications

The interviewed accountants worked in not-for-profit organisations and this may influence the findings. Future research might consider accountants working in for-profit organisations. The study provides insights into strategies to develop intra-organisational networks.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the meagre literature regarding accountants’ networks within organisations. It provides insights that may assist accountants in enhancing their own networks. Although structuration theory is well-established in accounting research, the enrichments offered by strong structuration are illustrated in this study.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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