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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Les Hardy and Harry Ballis

This paper offers a critique of the sacred and secular dichotomy, a theoretical framework recently introduced into the accounting and accountability literature primarily…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper offers a critique of the sacred and secular dichotomy, a theoretical framework recently introduced into the accounting and accountability literature primarily by Laughlin and Booth. The divide has been used to interpret the ambiguous roles of accountants and accounting practices within religious organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The present paper examines the divide by drawing on H. Richard Niebuhr's narrative theology, and in particular, the distinction that he draws between “internal history” and “external history”. Niebuhr's discussion of internal/external history and his typology of social action are used to demonstrate the many ways that religious communities balance faith and social practice.

Findings

The paper argues that the activities and contributions of accountants and accounting practices are not by virtue of their secularity antithetical to the values of religious organizations. It contends that within many religious settings, secular activities, such as accounting, often co‐exist, promote and are used to support religious beliefs and practices.

Research limitations/implications

The paper challenges the dominant paradigm by highlighting the importance of adopting flexible theoretical frameworks.

Originality/value

It will be of value to accounting and accountability researchers who are seeking to gain a better understanding of the fit between accounting practices and the internal histories of religions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Juan Banos Sanchez-Matamoros and Warwick Funnell

The purpose of this paper is to establish the importance of accounting in the management of Spanish military hospitals by the St John’s Order (SJO) of the Roman Catholic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the importance of accounting in the management of Spanish military hospitals by the St John’s Order (SJO) of the Roman Catholic Church in the eighteenth century, a time of crisis between the Church and the State. The sacred mission of the Order required that they had a significant role outside the Roman Catholic Church in the care and treatment of the sick and infirm which required them to establish hospitals throughout Spain and across the lands that it had conquered. The study establishes that accounting played a key role in ensuring the success of the unconventional commercial relationship between the SJO and the government and the military.

Design/methodology/approach

Niebuhr’s typology is used to help understand how accounting practices were consistent, indeed essential, expectations of the sacred mission of the SJO and not something which represented a denial of the Order’s religious beliefs. The paper relies primarily on documents and other material located in Spanish archives.

Findings

The SJO accepted that secular accounting and accountability processes were relevant to their search for God’s love and to showing this love to others. The need for the Order to be accountable to the State was not regarded as profane and antithetical to their religious beliefs. Adopting Niebuhr’s typology of religion and society, this study concludes that the Order was an extraordinary example of Christ the transformer of the culture.

Originality/value

This study recognises the need to deepen the understanding of the way in which accounting practices have often played a critical role in the activities of religious organisations by examining an extraordinary example of one organisation which was engaged in an unusual, ongoing, highly complex commercial relationship with the Spanish State.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

Martin Krygier

This paper seeks to identify in Philip Selznick’s earliest predominantly organizational writings the germs of a strong and unifying temper – or better perhaps, because the…

Abstract

This paper seeks to identify in Philip Selznick’s earliest predominantly organizational writings the germs of a strong and unifying temper – or better perhaps, because the concept plays a significant role in the works, a coherent intellectual and moral character. It infuses Selznick’s work in all the domains he entered. It was evident in his earliest political writings and contributions to organization theory, and remained so in his later contributions to the sociology of law and social and public philosophy.

At one level each of his works had a different subject, at another they all were pondered within a common frame of concerns, intellectual and moral, and approached with a distinctive manner and tone. At a general level, this involved a conception of social science as a “humanist science,” the central concern of which was the fate of values in the world. His specific posture in relation to this subject was underpinned by a commitment to moral realism, or what I call “Hobbesian idealism.”

Selznick began, like Thomas Hobbes as a threat expert, and never lost regard for that expertise. He is alert to fragility, vulnerability, and the need to guard against them. Moreover, his normative reflections are sustained and deepened by his understanding of social processes in general, and of the dangers to which organizations and institutions, but also human personalities and groups, are susceptible. He has a lot to tell us about ways in which those dangers might be avoided. However, Selznick resists stopping where Hobbes stops. Though he stresses the presence and resilience of evil and the need for strenuous efforts to contain it, he holds out for more. Indeed, though recognizing danger might be the beginning of wisdom, it is only half – over time less than half – of the story.

He emphasized the importance of attending both to Hobbesian insights and idealistic ambitions in relation to organizational leadership, to law, to justice, to human achievement of all kinds. To see him, as the earliest critics of his organizational theory did, as a voice of unadulterated melancholy, or as his later ones tended to, as altogether too programmatically sunny and full of hope, is to miss the real core of the intellectual and moral sensibility that pervaded his life of scholarship in the social sciences. The paper concludes by commending this uncommon sensibility, both at the general level of advocacy of “humanist science” and in its specific “Hobbesian idealist” posture.

Details

Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-726-0

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2011

Philip S. Gorski

In 1967, Robert N. Bellah famously argued that there existed an “American Civil Religion,” which was distinct from churchly religion and captured the “transcendental”…

Abstract

In 1967, Robert N. Bellah famously argued that there existed an “American Civil Religion,” which was distinct from churchly religion and captured the “transcendental” dimension of the American project. In this chapter, I revisit the civil religion concept and reconstruct it along more Weberian lines. Specifically, I argue that the civil religion tradition is one of three competing traditions for thinking about the proper relationship between religion and politics in America; the other two are religious nationalism and liberal secularism. Whereas liberal secularism envisions a complete separation of the religious and political value spheres, and religious nationalism longs for their (re)unification, civil religion aims for a mediating position of partial separation and productive tension. Following Bellah, I argue that the two central strands of the civil religion tradition have been covenant theology and civic republicanism. The body of the chapter sketches out the development of the tradition across a series of national foundings and refoundings, focusing on the writings of leading civil theologians from John Winthrop and John Adams through Abraham Lincoln and John Dewey to Martin King and Barack Obama. The conclusion advances a normative argument for American civil religion – and against liberal secularism and religious nationalism. I contend that liberalism is highly inclusive but insufficiently solidaristic; that religious nationalism is highly solidaristic but insufficiently inclusive; and that only civil religion strikes a proper balance between individual autonomy and the common good.

Details

Rethinking Obama
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-911-1

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Book part
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Jeffrey Guhin

How ought religion and democratic politics relate to each other in a spirit of intellectual humility? This chapter suggests four potential understandings of the…

Abstract

How ought religion and democratic politics relate to each other in a spirit of intellectual humility? This chapter suggests four potential understandings of the relationship: hindrance, resource, evaluation, and source. Each of these understandings seems to take for granted a form of Enlightenment rationality (whether in support or opposition), and the final section of the chapter develops a synthesis of Durkheim and Dewey to consider a different way through which religion and deliberative democracy can coexist, one more sensitive to the role of emotion, ritual, and contingency and thereby more open to the problem of epistemic arrogance and the necessity for intellectual humility.

Details

Religion, Humility, and Democracy in a Divided America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-949-7

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Michele Bigoni, Enrico Deidda Gagliardo and Warwick Funnell

Informed by the work of Laughlin and Booth, this paper aims to analyze the role of accounting and accountability practices within the fifteenth century Roman Catholic…

Abstract

Purpose

Informed by the work of Laughlin and Booth, this paper aims to analyze the role of accounting and accountability practices within the fifteenth century Roman Catholic Church, more specifically within the Diocese of Ferrara (northern Italy), in order to determine the presence of a sacred‐secular dichotomy. Pope Eugenius IV had embarked on a comprehensive reform of the Church to counter the spreading moral corruption within the clergy and the subsequent disaffection with the Church by many believers. The reforms were notable not only for the Pope's determination to restore the moral authority and power of the Church, but also for the essential contributions of “profane” financial and accounting practices to the success of the reforms.

Design/methodology/approach

Original fifteenth century Latin documents and account books of the Diocese of Ferrara are used to highlight the link between the new sacred values imposed by Pope Eugenius IV's reforms and accounting and accountability practices.

Findings

The documents reveal that secular accounting and accountability practices were not regarded as necessarily antithetical to religious values, as would be expected by Laughlin and Booth. Instead, they were seen to assume a role which was complementary to the Church's religious mission. Indeed, they were essential to its sacred mission during a period in which the Pope sought to arrest the moral decay of the clergy and reinstate the Church's authority.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows that the sacred‐secular dichotomy cannot be considered as a priori valid in space and time. There is also scope for examining other Italian dioceses where there was little evidence of Pope Eugenius' reforms.

Originality/value

The paper presents a critique of the sacred‐secular divide paradigm by considering an under‐researched period and a non‐Anglo Saxon context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

Sarah Carr

The author provides a mental health service user's perspective on leadership, arguing that users should be empowered by services to lead their own lives. In order to do…

Abstract

The author provides a mental health service user's perspective on leadership, arguing that users should be empowered by services to lead their own lives. In order to do so, leaders in services should have human and emotional skills because their decisions have human and emotional consequences. She argues that leadership and power sharing should happen throughout the organisation, rather than being concentrated at the top. Related and responsible rather than remote leadership may be more likely to lead to better mental health services. User experience is valuable for leadership.

Details

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9886

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Tanja Buch and Annekatrin Niebuhr

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether labour market entry via temporary work has any (persistent) effects on labour market outcomes.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether labour market entry via temporary work has any (persistent) effects on labour market outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Using unique data on several cohorts of graduates from the German apprenticeship system, the authors interpret labour market entry via temporary work agency (TWA) work as a treatment and apply propensity score matching and the control function approach to investigate corresponding effects.

Findings

The results indicate a pronounced wage gap but no significant wage disadvantage in the medium term for graduates who switch to regular employment. Nevertheless, approximately 30 per cent of the graduates do not manage to leave the temporary help sector and, as a result, suffer persistent wage penalties.

Originality/value

The numerous studies that investigate the consequences of TWA work on individual labour market performance have not considered the specific situation of young workers after graduation. The rapidly increasing percentage of TWA jobs and the above average share of young workers among temporary workers call for corresponding evidence.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 39 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Abstract

Details

Documents related to John Maynard Keynes, institutionalism at Chicago & Frank H. Knight
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-061-1

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2006

David Norman Smith

Officially, of course, the world is now post-imperial. The Q’ing and Ottoman empires fell on the eve of World War I, and the last Leviathans of Europe's imperial past, the…

Abstract

Officially, of course, the world is now post-imperial. The Q’ing and Ottoman empires fell on the eve of World War I, and the last Leviathans of Europe's imperial past, the Austro-Hungarian and Tsarist empires, lumbered into the grave soon after. Tocsins of liberation were sounded on all sides, in the name of democracy (Wilson) and socialism (Lenin). Later attempts to remake and proclaim empires – above all, Hitler's annunciation of a “Third Reich” – now seem surreal, aberrant, and dystopian. The Soviet Union, the heir to the Tsarist empire, found it prudent to call itself a “federation of socialist republics.” Mao's China followed suit. Now, only a truly perverse, contrarian regime would fail to deploy the rhetoric of democracy.

Details

Globalization between the Cold War and Neo-Imperialism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-415-7

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