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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2020

Bradley Bowden and Peta Stevenson-Clarke

Postmodernist ideas – most particularly those of Foucault but also those of Latour, Derrida and Barthes – have had a much longer presence in accounting research than in…

Abstract

Purpose

Postmodernist ideas – most particularly those of Foucault but also those of Latour, Derrida and Barthes – have had a much longer presence in accounting research than in other business disciplines. However, in large part, the debates in accounting history and management history, have moved in parallel but separate universes. The purpose of this study is therefore one of exploring not only critical accounting understandings that are significant for management history but also one of highlighting conceptual flaws that are common to the postmodernist literature in both accounting and management history.

Design/methodology/approach

Foucault has been seminal to the critical traditions that have emerged in both accounting research and management history. In exploring the usage of Foucault’s ideas, this paper argues that an over-reliance on a set of Foucauldian concepts – governmentality, “disciplinary society,” neo-liberalism – that were never conceived with an eye to the problems of accounting and management has resulted in not only in the drawing of some very longbows from Foucault’s formulations but also misrepresentations of the French philosophers’ ideas.

Findings

Many, if not most, of the intellectual positions associated with the “Historic Turn” and ANTi-History – that knowledge is inherently subjective, that management involves exercising power at distance, that history is a social construct that is used to legitimate capitalism and management – were argued in the critical accounting literature long before Clark and Rowlinson’s (2004) oft cited call. Indeed, the “call” for a “New Accounting History” issued by Miller et al. (1991) played a remarkably similar role to that made by Clark and Rowlinson in management and organizational studies more than a decade later.

Originality/value

This is the first study to explore the marked similarities between the critical accounting literature, most particularly that related to the “New Accounting History” and that associated with the “Historic Turn” and ANTi-History in management and organizational studies.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Jasvinder Sidhu, Peta Stevenson-Clarke, Mahesh Joshi and Abdel Halabi

The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical account of four unsuccessful merger attempts between Australia’s two major professional accounting bodies over a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical account of four unsuccessful merger attempts between Australia’s two major professional accounting bodies over a 30-year period (1969 to 1998), each of which ultimately failed. An analysis of the commonalities and differences across the four attempts is provided and social identity theory is used to explain the differences between members level of support for these merger bids.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a qualitative approach using a historical research methodology to source surviving business records from public archives and other data gathered from oral history interviews.

Findings

The study found that, across all four merger attempts between Australia’s two professional accounting bodies, there was strong support from society members (the perceived lower-status group) and opposition exhibited by institute members (the perceived higher-status group). This study also found that the perceived higher-status organisation always initiated merger discussions, while its members rejected the proposals in the members’ vote.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focusses on the Australian accounting profession, considering a historical account of merger attempts. Further research is required that includes interviews and surveys of those involved in making decisions regarding merger attempts.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to examine in detail these four unsuccessful merger attempts between the largest accounting organisations in Australia.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Allan Hodgson and Peta Stevenson‐Clarke

The fundamental relationship between accounting variables and firm valuation is a recurring theme in capital market research. This paper investigates this relationship…

Abstract

The fundamental relationship between accounting variables and firm valuation is a recurring theme in capital market research. This paper investigates this relationship within a balance sheet context and highlights the importance of controlling for relevant economic factors. We do this by conditioning explanatory power on the firm's relative financial leverage position, after controlling for cashflows and firm size, and using an arctan regression model to take account of temporary components in cash and earnings flows. Using data for 743 firm‐years for Australian Stock Exchange listed stocks, we find that for firms which are ‘above optimal leverage’: (i) earnings contain a greater level of transitory items, particularly when firm size is small; and (ii) cashflows provide higher incremental information. Our results are consistent with investors perceiving earnings as progressively less informative as the probability of failure increases, and the likelihood of earnings manipulation for the purpose of reducing proximity to debt covenants increases.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Peta Stevenson‐Clarke and Allan Hodgson

This paper estimates the value added by Big 8/6/5 auditors after controlling for the permanent and non‐permanent impact of earnings and cash flows using linear and…

Abstract

This paper estimates the value added by Big 8/6/5 auditors after controlling for the permanent and non‐permanent impact of earnings and cash flows using linear and nonlinear (arctan) regression models. The linear model shows significant value added for industrial firms that utilise Big 8/6/5 auditors; while an arctan model shows that large auditors value‐add by attesting to the permanence of earnings for large firms. We demonstrate that refinements to the audit research can be made by using response coefficients to filter out the different timing components inherent in earnings and cash flows.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Bradley Bowden and Peta Stevenson‐Clarke

Much research has focused on the reasons for child labor. This paper, in examining the experiences of late nineteenth century Australia seeks to ask the alternate research…

Abstract

Purpose

Much research has focused on the reasons for child labor. This paper, in examining the experiences of late nineteenth century Australia seeks to ask the alternate research question: “What are the factors that cause managers to desist from the use of child labor during periods of initial industrialization, even where the society is characterized by a youthful demography and low levels of manufacturing productivity?”.

Design/methodology/approach

This study measures the incidence of child labor in Queensland, Australia's third largest state, through an examination of the censuses for 1891 and 1901. It then locates the results of this analysis in the nineteenth century Australian peculiar pattern of economic investment.

Findings

It is found that industrializing Australia had an extremely low incidence of child labor. This is attributed to the highly capitalized nature of the Australian rural and mining sectors, and the linkages between these sectors and the wider economy. This suggests that counties, or regions, with a highly commercialized primary sector, and with manufacturing establishments with high skill requirements (even if characterized by low productivity), will have a low incidence of child labor.

Practical implications

The most effective policy for reducing the incidence of child labor is to enhance capital investment in the primary sector and enhance the need for workplace skills in the secondary sector.

Originality/value

The International Labor Organisation suggests that there is currently a revival in child labor. This paper suggests that the most effective policies for reducing the incidence of child labor are ones that seek to foster increased levels of capital investment in the primary sector, rather than ones directed towards legal restriction or poverty alleviation.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 January 2021

Jean Helms Mills and Albert J. Mills

Abstract

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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