تغییر حسابداری به عنوان پیشامد رابطه ای : مطالعه زمینه ای آزمایش با ارزیابی عملکرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|340||2007||36 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 18, Issue 2, June 2007, Pages 273–308
This paper narrates attempts to manufacture performance measures, including a balanced scorecard (BSC). Throughout the field encounter with a business unit of an Australasian telecommunications organisation, various performance measurement approaches were trialled in an effort to obtain a stable suite of metrics. However, in spite of management's desire to improve performance through measurement, the considerable amount of time and resources committed to this project, as well as the intermittent assistance of ‘experts’, such desires remained unfulfilled. Instead, the performance agenda retained an unsettled quality. This unsettledness is argued to be a product of the relationally-dependent and experimental nature of accounting change. Through this account of performance measures ‘in the making’, we engage with recent debates about the nature of accounting change and augment the concept of ‘drift’ introduced by Quattrone and Hopper [Quattrone, P., Hopper, T., 2001. What does organizational change mean? Speculations on a taken for granted category. Manage. Acc. Res. 12(4), 403–435]. We offer the notion of ‘relational drifting’, thus highlighting the situated and experimental means through which accounting inscriptions are fabricated. We also highlight the inherent unsettledness of accounting as a ‘knowledge object’—an object which reflects partial and changing ‘ontologies’, (re)shaped by the variegated and shifting collectives of elements tied to it.
In this paper, we engage with and augment recent conceptions of accounting change. Hopwood (1987) claimed that very little was known of accounting change. Since then, researchers have worked hard to remedy this. Some have offered general models of accounting change (Innes and Mitchell, 1990 and Laughlin, 1991). Others have examined the drivers and correlates of change (Anderson, 1995, Gosselin, 1997 and Libby and Waterhouse, 1996), the ‘conditions of possibility’ for change (Bhimani, 1993 and Miller and O’Leary, 1987) and the influence of institutionalised elements on accounting change (Abernethy and Chua, 1996 and Burns and Scapens, 2000). Detailed case studies have mapped out the politics of change, sites of resistance, and the activities of champions and influential agents in change processes (Briers and Chua, 2001, Chua, 1995 and Dent, 1991). The effects of accounting change have been found to be paradoxical—both intended and unintended, determinate and ambiguous, proximate and remote (Bhimani, 1993 and Miller, 1991). Yet, as Quattrone and Hopper (2001) argue, there is very little debate about the concept of change itself. Change is generally assumed to be engineered, involving a transition from one well-defined point of being (State A) to another (State B). So, for example, through effective execution and management, an organisation moves from being an ‘Organisation without an ABC system’ (State A) to an ‘Organisation with an ABC system’ (State B). This focus on change as a movement between well-defined states is essentially pre-occupied with questions of ‘being’. How does a stable entity move from one state of being to another? Who were the actors and drivers involved? Such questions presume that no matter how circuitous the pathways of change, it is possible to clearly identify ‘old’ and ‘newly purified’ states of being. Building upon the work of Quattrone and Hopper (2001), we develop the debate on accounting change in the following ways. First, we augment Quattrone and Hopper's (2001) metaphor of drift by emphasising the relational and experimental nature of accounting drift. Accordingly, we mobilise the notion of relational drifting. Second, this paper raises questions about the ontological nature of accounting as a knowledge object. Finally, we consider possible implications of relational drifting for accounting ‘change-work’. These contributions are informed by our field encounter with a business unit of a large Australasian telecommunications organisation and its experiences with performance measurement change, which included attempts at constructing a balanced scorecard. The paper progresses as follows. Section 2 provides a review of the literature on accounting change and how this informs our notion of ‘relational drifting’ and the nature of accounting as a knowledge object. We introduce and narrate the field encounter in Section 3. In Section 4, we reflect on: (i) the contributions of the field encounter in terms of conceiving accounting change as relational drifting; (ii) questions raised regarding the ontological status of accounting knowledge objects; and (iii) our reflections on the impact of relational drifting on accounting change-work. Section 5 concludes the paper
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper is concerned with conceptions of accounting change and questions about the ‘essence’ of accounting. Firstly, this paper engages with and augments the concept of drift, introduced to the accounting literature by Quattrone and Hopper (2001), through narrating the experiences of CSS (a business unit of an Australasian telecommunications firm) and their attempts to introduce accounting change in the form of new, ‘contestable’ performance measures. In accordance with Quattrone and Hopper (2001), the change observed did not reflect a linear process of transition. Instead, the field encounter illustrated the experimental and relational nature of accounting change-work. Field participants were engaged in an ongoing struggle to fabricate measures and make them work through iterative trials, improvisation and ‘making do’. Change was also situated in loosely coupled and shifting collectives that conditioned change-work and thus informed the dynamics of drift. As a consequence, we introduce the concept of relational drifting to capture this augmented (experimental and relational) view of drifting accounting technologies. Secondly, this paper also pursues questions raised by the qualities of relational drifting on the nature of accounting as a knowledge object. If accounting fabrications are mobilised in a-centred collectives producing variant meanings and practices for any given object, then it is conceivable that ‘multiple ontologies’ of accounting are produced. In other words, we highlight the inherent unsettledness of accounting as a knowledge object, characterised by partial and changing identities, which are (re)shaped by the shifting collectives tied to an accounting change program. The field narrative illustrates this by describing the challenges connected to partisan attempts to define what the unfolding performance metrics ‘really’ represented. Finally, we reflect on the impact of relational drifting on accounting change-work. Here, we draw attention to the possibilities for accounting change-work to sustain new organisational possibilities and discourses, even where the metrics themselves fail to endure. We also express a need for recognising the ‘messiness’ of accounting change in planning and controlling change activities, suggesting that more modest control objectives should accompany programs of accounting change. Ultimately, we argue that this paper contributes to debates about accounting change. However, our field encounter represents only a small slice of the field organisation's experiences with accounting change. We hope that our work motivates further scholarly inquiry into conceptions of accounting change and the insights which this can offer for characterising the manner in which new accounting technologies become relationally and experimentally embedded in practice