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1 – 10 of 164
Article
Publication date: 24 April 2007

The aim of this paper is to discuss the lack of harmonization between US rules‐based and European principles‐based approaches to accountancy standards.

874

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to discuss the lack of harmonization between US rules‐based and European principles‐based approaches to accountancy standards.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an interview with Zahirul Hoque.

Findings

Zahirul Hoque has written widely on international accounting, strategic management and organizational issues and public sector reform, and here shares his opinions.

Originality/value

The paper provides an outline of developments and issues regarding harmonization of accounting standards.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 December 2020

Mark Covaleski and Zahirul Hoque

Abstract

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Article
Publication date: 16 December 2020

Nur Haiza Muhammad Zawawi and Zahirul Hoque

This article examines the power of management control mechanisms as “inscriptions” for bringing the interests of organisations within a purchaser–provider network into alignment.

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines the power of management control mechanisms as “inscriptions” for bringing the interests of organisations within a purchaser–provider network into alignment.

Design/methodology/approach

The study contributes to accounting and accountability literature in hybrid organisations by applying actor-network theory to a case study organisation. This enables an analysis of how a government agency, operating as a social service provider to the community, developed and used management control mechanisms in its intra-organisational units to ensure its operations were aligned with the expectations of inter-organisational networks in a purchaser–provider context. Data were collected using open-ended interviews and by examining internal accounting and management reports, government archival records and newspaper articles.

Findings

Analysis of the results demonstrates that inter-organisational network control was internalised within the provider organisation because of the ability of the controls to function as inscriptions that influenced organisational actions. The authors conclude that the network control travelled across boundaries over time and was assimilated by the provider organisation to become its internal management control mechanisms.

Research limitations/implications

A single case study of a government service provider agency may limit the generalisation of the findings to other hybrid entities or networks. The significant practical essence of this study lies in the diversity within the results that offer a rich representation of the impact of purchaser–provider arrangements on internal organisational systems within a hybrid public sector setting.

Originality/value

The outcomes enhance knowledge of how a hybrid government agency developed, mobilised and institutionalised its management control mechanisms to ensure the activities of one party are consistent with the other parties' expectations within a network.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 9 March 2022

Zahirul Hoque, Kate Mai and Esin Ozdil

This paper has two purposes. First, it aims to explore how Australian universities used calculative rhetoric and practices through accounting numbers to persuade employees…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper has two purposes. First, it aims to explore how Australian universities used calculative rhetoric and practices through accounting numbers to persuade employees and legitimize their financial recovery plans to alleviate the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, it aims to analyze how the accounting-based solutions were legitimized through a well-blended pathos, logos and ethos rhetoric.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on a rhetorical theory of diffusion, we employed a qualitative research design within all 37 Australian public universities involving Internet-based documentary analysis.

Findings

This study finds that in an urgent crisis like the fiscal crisis caused by COVID-19, universities again found rescue in accounting tools, in particular budgets, as a rhetorical device to justify their operational and strategic choices such as job-cuts, programs closures and staff pay-cuts. However, in this crisis, the same old accounting-based solutions were even more quickly to be accepted by being delivered in management’s colorful blending of pathos–logos–ethos rhetoric.

Research limitations/implications

While this study is constrained to Australian public universities’ financial responses, its findings have implications for university decision-makers and higher education policymakers across the globe when it comes to university management using calculative devices in persuading employees to work their way through financial hardship caused by an extreme health crisis-like COVID-19 pandemic.

Originality/value

This study adds more evidence that the use of budgets as a calculative tool continues to play a key role in organizations in the construction, mobilization and preservation of certain strategic and operational choices during volatilities. Especially, the same way of creating calculative-based solutions can be communicated via the colorful blending of different rhetoric to make it acceptable.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2021

Tharusha N. Gooneratne and Zahirul Hoque

This paper aims to report on an empirical investigation of the fate of the balanced scorecard (BSC) approach in an organization.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on an empirical investigation of the fate of the balanced scorecard (BSC) approach in an organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on actor-network theory and using a qualitative case study approach, this study analyses how across time certain actors attempted to build a competing network in the organization to gain support for their underlying rationales for replacing the BSC with a budgeting system. Data were collected using interviews, observations and archival data from a Sri Lankan commercial bank.

Findings

This paper finds that despite the enthusiastic journey with all its potentials to be a sustainable accounting innovation, the attraction towards the BSC innovation by the organization appeared to be temporary because the BSC knowledge claims that were advanced by its promoters had not been widely accepted by those involved in the practice. Such a consequence of innovation diffusion appeared to be the result of the failure of the innovation promoters in coordinating the heterogeneous interests of various actors involved in the practice. This study concludes that the BSC failed to be sustained, amid varying ideologies and interests of powerful actors across time and opponent actors’ perceived deficiencies in its adapted design attributes.

Research limitations/implications

Although the findings relate to a Sri Lankan case, they offer important insight into how parallel, competing networks advocating different control systems may exist in an organization, and that the sustainability of a specific system may depend upon the efforts and the relative power of the advocators of that system.

Practical implications

This paper sheds useful insights for practitioners on the effective implementation of accounting innovations and managing management control systems in organizations amid tensions associated with competing networks.

Originality/value

The outcomes enhance the knowledge of how multiple networks operating in an organization could compete with one another, with the result that one network may fall apart while another network gains prominence in the corporate landscape across time, amid varying interests of key actors, their actions and interessement devices used.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Nicholas Pawsey, Jayanath Ananda and Zahirul Hoque

The purpose of this paper is to explore the sensitivity of economic efficiency rankings of water businesses to the choice of alternative physical and accounting capital…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the sensitivity of economic efficiency rankings of water businesses to the choice of alternative physical and accounting capital input measures.

Design/methodology/approach

Data envelopment analysis (DEA) was used to compute efficiency rankings for government-owned water businesses from the state of Victoria, Australia, over the period 2005/2006 through 2012/2013. Differences between DEA models when capital inputs were measured using either: statutory accounting values (historic cost and fair value), physical measures, or regulatory accounting values, were scrutinised.

Findings

Depending on the choice of capital input, significant variation in efficiency scores and the ranking of the top (worst) performing firms was observed.

Research limitations/implications

Future research may explore the generalisability of findings to a wider sample of water utilities globally. Future work can also consider the most reliable treatment of capital inputs in efficiency analysis.

Practical implications

Regulators should be cautious when using economic efficiency data in benchmarking exercises. A consistent approach to account for the capital stock is needed in the determination of price caps and designing incentives for poor performers.

Originality/value

DEA has been widely used to explore the role of ownership structure, firm size and regulation on water utility efficiency. This is the first study of its kind to explore the sensitivity of DEA to alternative physical and accounting capital input measures. This research also improves the conventional performance measurement in water utilities by using a bootstrap procedure to address the deterministic nature of the DEA approach.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 November 2021

Francisco Bastida, Enrico Bracci and Zahirul Hoque

This paper aims at reflecting on the role of accounting and accountability mechanisms in pre-COVID-19 conditions and how it may evolve in “new normal”, post-COVID-19 conditions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at reflecting on the role of accounting and accountability mechanisms in pre-COVID-19 conditions and how it may evolve in “new normal”, post-COVID-19 conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Moving from the papers in this special issue, the authors draw on the literature on the social construction and reflective approaches to understand pre- and post-COVID-19 events and the role of accounting therein.

Findings

The “new normal” may exacerbated the difficulty of public sector organizations to manage the uncertainties and risks associated to the new context. While “old” wicked issues remain, such as social inclusion, poverty and corruption, new ones come. The authors speculate on the “new” and “old” roles accounting and accountability can play to support governments.

Originality/value

The paper contributes by setting new research avenues for future studies in a post-COVID-19 era.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Vassili Joannides De Lautour, Zahirul Hoque and Danture Wickramasinghe

This paper explores how ethnicity is implicated in an etic–emic understanding through day-to-day practices and how such practices meet external accountability demands…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores how ethnicity is implicated in an etic–emic understanding through day-to-day practices and how such practices meet external accountability demands. Addressing the broader question of how ethnicity presents in an accounting situation, it examines the mundane level responses to those accountability demands manifesting an operationalisation of the ethnicity of the people who make those responses.

Design/methodology/approach

The study followed ethnomethodology principles whereby one of the researchers acted both as an active member and as a researcher within a Salvation Army congregation in Manchester (UK), while the others acted as post-fieldwork reflectors.

Findings

The conceivers and guardians of an accountability system relating to the Zimbabwean-Mancunian Salvationist congregation see account giving practices as they appear (etic), not as they are thought and interiorised (emic). An etic–emic misunderstanding on both sides occurs in the situation of a practice variation in a formal accountability system. This is due to the collision of one ethnic group's emics with the emics of conceivers. Such day-to-day practices are thus shaped by ethnic orientations of the participants who operationalise the meeting of accountability demands. Hence, while ethnicity is operationalised in emic terms, accounting is seen as an etic construct. Possible variations between etic requirements and emic practices can realise this operationalisation.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ findings were based on one ethnic group's emic construction of accountability. Further research may extend this to multi-ethnic settings with multiple etic/emic combinations.

Originality/value

This study contributed to the debate on both epistemological and methodological issues in accountability. As it is ill-defined or neglected in the literature, the authors offer a working conceptualisation of ethnicity – an operating cultural unit being implicated in both accounting and accountability.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2022

Kate Thuy Mai and Zahirul Hoque

This paper explores why and how, and in what context, individuals' accounting of self, ethics and morality and self-knowledge of the limits of accountability can frame…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores why and how, and in what context, individuals' accounting of self, ethics and morality and self-knowledge of the limits of accountability can frame their account giving and judging in an organisational formal performance evaluation process.

Design/methodology/approach

Building upon the Butlerian notions of accountability as advanced by Messner (2009) and Roberts (2009), the authors conducted a qualitative field study at a Vietnamese public university, involving face-to-face interviews, observation of performance evaluation meetings and examination of archival documents.

Findings

The authors found that individuals experience conflicting ethical and moral values when they rely on their self-knowledge of accountability (the ability to self-account) in their account giving and judging in the university's formal academic performance evaluation process. In addition, the authors found that when individuals want to provide the best account to the account demander, their understanding of their ability to self-account and the formal organisational accountability process influence their views on what authentic account giving means. As a result, enhanced ethics-to-others has the potential to be an ethical burden and may not lead to authentic or beyond minimum accounting of “self”. Yet, in the Vietnamese socio-cultural and political context within which the university operates, and in the situation of ethical and moral conflicts in self-accountability, the authors found evidence of individuals' self-accountability behaviours that is based on the co-existence of a sense of responsibility to others and self-knowledge of the limits of accountability.

Research limitations/implications

Although this study was limited to one Vietnamese public university, its findings enhance the knowledge about how individual ethical and moral values, self-knowledge of the limits of accountability and the formal organisational accountability process connect with each other in the socio-cultural and political context within which an organisation operates.

Practical implications

The study highlights the role of the context of local socio-cultural norms and values and of physical social interaction in developing the sense of connection to others, which influences the way individuals' ethical and moral values are mobilised to shape account-giving and judging behaviours.

Social implications

The emphasis on the role of the sense of connection to others on personal accountability and the emphasis on physical, face-to-face interaction in developing sense of connection to others leads to an interesting issue regarding the sense of connection in the virtual social interaction setting, which has become increasingly popular globally, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and its implication for the use of personal ethical and moral values in organisational accountability practices.

Originality/value

Adding to the conversation on how a formal organisational accountability process can be effective, this study identified (1) the unpredictable outcomes of using ethics as rules for accountability practices due to potentially conflicting ethical values; (2) the diverse understandings of self-accounting, leading to different ideas of authentic accounting; and (3) the possibility of moral accountability behaviours based on the co-existence of a sense of connection to others and an understanding of the limits of accountability.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

956

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

1 – 10 of 164