Accountants' proactivity in intra-organisational networks: a strong structuration perspective

Article


Daff, Lyn and Jack, Lisa. 2018. "Accountants' proactivity in intra-organisational networks: a strong structuration perspective." Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal. 31 (6), pp. 1691-1719. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-08-2015-2190
Article Title

Accountants' proactivity in intra-organisational networks: a strong structuration perspective

ERA Journal ID19061
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsDaff, Lyn (Author) and Jack, Lisa (Author)
Journal TitleAccounting Auditing and Accountability Journal
Journal Citation31 (6), pp. 1691-1719
Number of Pages29
Year2018
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0951-3574
1368-0668
1758-4205
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-08-2015-2190
Web Address (URL)https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/AAAJ-08-2015-2190/full/html
Abstract

Purpose
The paper provides insights into the importance of accountants’ networks inside organisations, the parties who comprise those networks and how accountants go about building and maintaining their networks. It also illustrates the use of strong structuration theory, which specifically considers the networks that surround agents. The theoretical discussion highlights the significance of communication as agency in the context of accounting practice through a strong structuration perspective.

Design/methodology/approach
A qualitative approach to the inquiry was adopted. Interviews were conducted with 30 Australian accountants from 22 not-for-profit organisations. A thematic approach was used to analyse the transcripts. Structuration theory, supplemented by strong structuration, informed the study.

Findings
The interviewees attested to the importance of communication and developing networks within their organisations. They actively sought to expand and enhance their networks. The accountants played a pivotal role in networks and they pursued both horizontal and vertical relations. The accountants’ knowledge of organisational positions and perceptions of their own roles were used strategically in attempts to alter the internal structures of networked others.

Originality/value
The study contributes to the meagre literature regarding accountants’ networks within organisations. It provides insights that may assist accountants in enhancing their own networks. Although structuration theory is well-established in accounting research, the enrichments offered by strong structuration are illustrated in this study.

Research limitations/implications
The interviewed accountants worked in not-for-profit organisations and this may influence the findings. Future research might consider accountants working in for-profit organisations. The study provides insights into strategies to develop intra-organisational networks.

Keywordsaccountants, communication, networks, strong structuration
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350199. Accounting, auditing and accountability not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Commerce
University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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