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  • 1.
    Abrahamsson, Gun
    et al.
    Örebro universitet, Handelshögskolan vid Örebro Universitet.
    Englund, Hans
    Örebro universitet, Handelshögskolan vid Örebro Universitet.
    Gerdin, Jonas
    Örebro universitet, Handelshögskolan vid Örebro Universitet.
    On the (re)construction of numbers and operational reality: A study of face-to-face interactions2016Ingår i: Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management/Emerald, ISSN 1176-6093, E-ISSN 1758-7654, Vol. 13, nr 2, s. 159-188Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: This paper aims to examine the mobilization of management accounting (MA) numbers and metrics in social interactions. The purpose is to develop a model of how and why managers perceive and mobilize (new) MA numbers/metrics in a changing way over time in situated face-to-face interactions.

    Design/methodology/approach: An observation-based qualitative field study of a change project in a large manufacturing company is used as the basis for our analysis.

    Findings: The empirical study shows that MA numbers and metrics are essential when semi-distant managers strive to solve problems and achieve radical improvement targets, but that the ways in which existing and new metrics are perceived and mobilized during face-to-face interactions change over time. The study provides both a detailed account of the emergent nature of the transformation process and a number of mechanisms as to why managers (inter-)act the way they do to produce such change.

    Originality/value: The paper problematizes the generally held view that MA numbers and metrics primarily work as a structuring device in face-to-face interactions, and also, how the processes are constituted through which MA is transformed into such a structuring device. The paper also adds new insights to our understandings of why managers (inter-)act the way they do to produce MA change.

  • 2.
    Abrahamsson, Gun
    et al.
    Örebro universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, statistik och informatik.
    Gerdin, Jonas
    Örebro universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, statistik och informatik.
    Exploiting institutional contradictions: the role of management accounting in continuous improvement implementation2006Ingår i: Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management/Emerald, ISSN 1176-6093, E-ISSN 1758-7654, Vol. 3, nr 2, s. 126-144Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Based on an institutional perspective, this study explores the role of management accounting (MA) in promoting or impeding changes in the employees’ conceptions of shopfloor worker responsibility in a company trying to implement a Continuous Improvement (CI) working practice.

    Methodology/approach: We use an ethnographically inspired research method where weekly CI meetings in two workgroups were observed over a period of eight months and in-depth interviews with managers and operators were conducted regularly.

    Findings: The study reveals that active and skilful exploiters of inconsistencies within social arrangements may use MA as one important way of transforming a traditional vertical view of worker responsibility into a more horizontally-oriented view by: creating collective reflection and reasoned analysis of the limits of the present order; and, by visualizing and justifying an alternative model(s) of social behaviour. However, the study also shows that MA may contribute to the reinforcement of a vertical view by the use of group-level measures strictly as a one-way performance monitoring device.

    Research limitations/implications: Arguably, it is worthwhile to explore the existence of ‘institutional heterogeneity’ because our study highlights that ‘contradictions’ between social orders may not only nurture institutional stability, but may also be a necessary (although not sufficient) condition for institutional change.

  • 3.
    Englund, Hans
    et al.
    Örebro universitet, Handelshögskolan vid Örebro Universitet.
    Gerdin, Jonas
    Örebro universitet, Handelshögskolan vid Örebro Universitet.
    What can(not) a flat and local structuration ontology do for management accounting research?: A comment on Coad, Jack and Kholeif2016Ingår i: Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management/Emerald, ISSN 1176-6093, E-ISSN 1758-7654, Vol. 13, nr 2, s. 252-263Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on “Structuration theory: reflections on its further potential for management accounting research”, a paper by Coad et al.

    Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents, discusses and challenges the critique that Coad et al. direct towards the notion of a flat and local structuration ontology in management accounting research.

    Findings: This paper offers a number of reflections upon Coad et al.’s key arguments against a flat and local structuration ontology in extant accounting research. Based on the authors’ understanding of such an ontology, they also elaborate on what they believe a flat and local structuration ontology “can do” and “cannot do” for accounting research. Overall, the authors agree with Coad et al. that there is indeed an ontological divide between their different views on a flat and local ontology; a divide largely related to whether researchers have an essentialist view on social phenomena. However, the authors believe that Coad et al.exaggerate how this ontological divide has affected, and may affect, future empirical management accounting research.

    Originality/value: This paper expands the current understanding of a flat and local structuration ontology in management accounting research.

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