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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2020

Philipp Hummel and Jacob Hörisch

Stakeholder theory research identifies changes in language as one possible mechanism to overcome the deficiencies of current accounting practices with regard to social…

Abstract

Purpose

Stakeholder theory research identifies changes in language as one possible mechanism to overcome the deficiencies of current accounting practices with regard to social aspects. This study aims to examine the effects of the terms used for specific accounts on company internal decision-making, drawing on the example of “value creation accounting”.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a survey based-experiment to analyze the effects of terms used for specific accounts on decision-making, with a focus on social aspects (in particular expenditures for staff) in cost reduction and expenditure decisions.

Findings

The findings indicate that wordings, which more closely relate to value creation than to costs, decrease cost reductions and increase the priority ascribed to the social aspect of reducing staff costs in times of financial shortage. The effects of terms used on cost reductions are stronger among female decision makers.

Practical implications

The analysis suggests that conventional accounting language best suits organizations that aim at incentivizing decision makers to primarily cut costs. By contrast, if an organization follows an approach that puts importance on social aspects in times of financial shortage and on not doing too sharp cost reductions, value creation-oriented language is the more effective approach.

Social implications

The study suggests that the specific terminology used for accounts should be chosen more carefully and with awareness for the possible effects on cost reduction decisions as well as on social consequences.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a better understanding of the relevance of language in accounting. It suggests that the terms used for accounts should be chosen purposefully because of their far-reaching potential consequences for stakeholders as well as for the organization.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1946

O.E. DEUTSCH

On the invitation of the Editor I am publishing in the JOURNAL OF DOCUMENTATION a selection of lists of music publishers' numbers, with an indication of the date of issue…

Abstract

On the invitation of the Editor I am publishing in the JOURNAL OF DOCUMENTATION a selection of lists of music publishers' numbers, with an indication of the date of issue of their publications so numbered.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1966

A SPLENDID conference, I thought. True, there were those who complained, those who thought some of the papers were elementary and those who thought that we had come a long…

Abstract

A SPLENDID conference, I thought. True, there were those who complained, those who thought some of the papers were elementary and those who thought that we had come a long way to learn very little. I don't agree at all. Some of the papers did, I admit, deal with basic considerations but it does nothing but good to re‐examine the framework of our services from time to time. In any case other papers were erudite, and for the first time I have seen an audience of librarians and authority members stunned, almost, into silence.

Details

New Library World, vol. 68 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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