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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2019

Kelum Jayasinghe and Shahzad Uddin

The purpose of this paper is to use the case study of development projects in Sri Lanka and development reports published from 1978 to 2006 to trace how the World Bank has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use the case study of development projects in Sri Lanka and development reports published from 1978 to 2006 to trace how the World Bank has utilised accounting rhetoric/languages in articulating development discourses at different stages of global capitalism.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple research methods are employed, such as archival research, observations and interviews. Development reports published by the World Bank (1978–2006) are closely examined using discourse analysis.

Findings

Development projects in Sri Lanka and development reports during the last three decades demonstrate that ideological shifts brought about the changes in accounting rhetoric in development discourses. The paper further shows that the articulation and re-articulation of development discourses communicated by accounting rhetoric have yet to grasp the real complexity of the local problems in those villages in Sri Lanka. The mere focus on management and governance styles (albeit important) driven by the development ideology and rational accounting rhetoric of the World Bank seems to bring little reward to villagers or, indeed, to the policy makers.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the literature on the use of accounting languages in development discourses, especially in the context of less developed countries. It will be of great value to researchers and practitioners seeking to gain a better understanding of reforms driven by a particular set of accounting technology in distant places.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2017

Shahzad Uddin, Kelum Jayasinghe and Shaila Ahmed

The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of banking scandals in relation to corporate governance (CG) failures in an emerging economy, arguing that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of banking scandals in relation to corporate governance (CG) failures in an emerging economy, arguing that Anglo-American ideas of CG are misplaced in traditional settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders. Observations of annual general meetings (AGMs) and the personal working experience of one of the researchers, along with documentation, provided triangulating data on CG practices.

Findings

The authors have found that both of the banks studied had adopted CG practices contrary to the expectations of the Sri Lankan CG codes. Key features of CG practices that emerged from their investigations of these two scandals are ineffectual central bank regulations, familial boards of directors, ceremonial board meetings, biased auditing practices and manipulative AGMs, relying on traditional structures of accountability centred around families, kin and social networks.

Research limitations/implications

The authors argue, drawing on Weber (1958, 1961, 1968, 1978), that the traditionalist culture mediates the process of rationality in bank governance codes and regulatory frameworks Therefore, practices fall far short of expectations.

Originality/value

The paper builds on the extended critique of shareholder-centric CG models and their transferability to alien contexts. It contributes to the CG studies calling for more appreciation of the need to move beyond the conventional view of CG problems as simply down to conflicts of interests. The authors complement and advance the decoupling debate in CG studies drawing on the Weberian notion of traditionalism.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2018

Shaila Ahmed and Shahzad Uddin

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate a political economy of corporate governance (CG) change and stability in family business groups (BGs) and assist in explaining…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate a political economy of corporate governance (CG) change and stability in family business groups (BGs) and assist in explaining why certain CG reforms fail in one context but work in others.

Design/methodology/approach

Three BGs in Bangladesh are studied. A mixture of data sources is used, namely interviews, observations of practices, historical documentation, company reports and research papers and theses. The results are analysed by applying Archer’s morphogenetic approach, focussing on both macro- and micro-processes of change.

Findings

A newly-adopted CG framework, which created incentives and pressures for family directors to act in the best interests of general shareholders, did not seem to alter apparently simple but complex internal structural set-ups. Thus, regulatory efforts to empower general shareholders did not produce the expected results. Following Archer’s morphogenetic approach, the authors identify key structural conditioning or emergent properties and agential strategies to explain why and how BGs opted for symbolic compliance and achieved lax regulation and enforcement.

Research limitations/implications

The paper opens up a new methodological and theoretical space for future CG research, especially by applying a meta-theoretical guideline such as the morphogenetic approach, for nuanced explanation and a more inclusive understanding of CG practices, reform and change in different organisational and institutional settings.

Originality/value

The morphogenetic approach aids in developing a political economy of CG change and stability and provides a nuanced explanation of CG practices. This is illustrated through an exploration of CG change initiatives in Bangladeshi BGs.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Mathew Tsamenyi, Trevor Hopper and Shahzad Uddin

The paper aims to examine accounting changes in the Ashanti Gold Corporation (AGC) in Ghana over 120 years from pre-colonialism to recent times and whether the framework…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine accounting changes in the Ashanti Gold Corporation (AGC) in Ghana over 120 years from pre-colonialism to recent times and whether the framework of management accounting transformations in Hopper et al. (2009) is applicable.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed data sources are used, namely, interviews, some observations of practices, historical documentation, company reports and research papers and theses. The results are categorised according to the periods and contextual factors in the Hopper et al. framework to test whether it matches the data collected.

Findings

Despotic controls with minimal management accounting but stewardship accounting to the head office in London prevailed under colonialism. Upon independence state, capitalist policies descended into politicised state capitalism. Under nationalisation, the performance of mines deteriorated, and accounting became decoupled from operations. In the early 1980s, fiscal crises forced Ghana’s government to turn to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for loans. This period marked a gradual transformation of AGC into a foreign multinational, organised along divisional lines and currently exercises despotic control through supply chain management that renders labour precarious and is neglectful of corporate social accounting issues.

Research limitations/implications

The work challenges neo-classical economic prescriptions and analyses of accounting in developed countries by indicating its neglect of the interests of other stakeholders, especially labour and civil society. Accounting is important for development but the article infers other forms may better serve the public interest.

Originality/value

The paper tests the Hopper et al. framework with respect to a large private multinational in the commodity sector over an extended period, which differs from the case studies drawn on originally.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Shahzad Uddin, Boris Popesko, Šárka Papadaki and Jaroslav Wagner

The purpose of this paper aims to make contributions to the debate on “performance measurement in practice” focussing on how organisational participants respond to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper aims to make contributions to the debate on “performance measurement in practice” focussing on how organisational participants respond to the “new regime” of key performance indicators (KPIs) and whether KPIs materialise as intended in a transitional economy.

Design/methodology/approach

Inspired by the epistemological instruction of Schatzki's practice theory, this paper draws on qualitative data collected through face-to-face interviews, observations and documentary analysis of a single organisation.

Findings

KPIs were introduced at PK (a manufacturing concern in Czech Republic) but widely seen as contradictory, inconsequential, top-down and unrealistic. These lead organisational participants to adopt a pragmatic approach towards PM embracing KPIs' subjective assessment and manipulation, common sense or doing the job as given, and superficial compliance (symbolism).

Research limitations/implications

The paper would be interesting to researchers because of its explanation of performance measurement practice in a distinct empirical setting, for its application of a practice theory inspired by Schatzki, and for inspiring new research agendas in transitional economies.

Practical implications

The paper recommends the mobilisation of artefacts, such as various forms of bottom-up discussions, to encourage interactions between organisational members and influence individual beliefs and practical understandings of the intended managerial projects.

Originality/value

The paper has focussed on “organisations of practice” to unravel the “doings” of organisational participants to explore the micro-processes of PM which otherwise would have been ignored. These “doings” and “sayings”, linked by pools of understanding, rules or instructions, and a teleoaffective structure, enabled the authors to unmask inherent tensions and contradictions in a new regime of performance measures such as KPIs.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2020

Zeeshan Mahmood and Shahzad Uddin

This paper aims to deepen the understanding of logics and practice variation in sustainability reporting in an emerging field.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to deepen the understanding of logics and practice variation in sustainability reporting in an emerging field.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts the institutional logics perspective and its conceptualization of society as an inter-institutional system as a theoretical lens to understand reasons for the presence of and variation in sustainability reporting. The empirical findings are based on analysis of 28 semi-structured interviews with significant social actors, and extensive documentary evidence focusing on eight companies pioneering sustainability reporting in Pakistan.

Findings

This paper confirms the presence of multiple co-existing logics in sustainability practices and lack of a dominant logic. Sustainability reporting practices are underpinned by a combination of market and corporate (business logics), state (regulatory logics), professional (transparency logics) and community (responsibility logics) institutional orders. It is argued that institutional heterogeneity (variations in logics) drives the diversity of motivations for and variations in sustainability reporting practices.

Research limitations/implications

The paper offers a deeper theoretical explanation of how various logics dominate sustainability reporting in a field where the institutionalization of practice is in its infancy.

Practical implications

Understanding the conditions that influence the logics of corporate decision-makers will provide new insights into what motivates firms to engage in sustainability reporting. A broader understanding of sustainability reporting in emerging fields will foster its intended use to increase transparency, accountability and sustainability performance.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to relatively scarce but growing empirical research on emerging fields. Its major contribution lies in its focus on how multiple and conflicting institutional logics are instantiated at the organizational level, leading to wide practice variations, especially in an emerging field. In doing so, it advances the institutional logics debate on practice variations within the accounting literature.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 23 December 2010

Abstract

Details

Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-452-9

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Book part
Publication date: 23 December 2010

Abstract

Details

Research in Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-452-9

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2009

Abstract

Details

Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-626-7

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2009

Abstract

Details

Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-626-7

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