Year

1995

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Department of Accounting and Finance

Abstract

It is a belief that accounting researchers need to turn from trying to explain accounting phenomena by weaving them into grand textures of cause and effect to trying to explain them by placing them in local frames of awareness. This is fundamental as there is no doubt that accounting is a social and institutional practice. This belief is central to this study.

This study is, thus, set into the scene of "interpretive turn" by specifically borrowing cultural thought from Geertz's interpretive anthropology. The borrowing is not "eclectic" in the sense that it is with "anchoring" this work comprehensively in Geertz's interpretive methodological framework. As such, an organisation is seen as a socially-constructed web of symbolic relationships. With this perspective, in this study, I desire to search for a local knowledge of how organisational action interplays with the organisational accounting. This knowledge is crucial as so little is known of the organisational nature of accounting practice. Apart from this, current efforts to build better and meaningful knowledge of accounting practice have been unnecessarily limited by the discourse on accounting in action in a Western context. It is here that this study contributes as it refers to an Indonesian listed company, in Jakarta.

This study firstly develops a theoretical discussion on the nature of culture, organisation, and organisational accounting from the perspective of the interpretive anthropology, as we can not go native with an empty hand (as well as an empty head!). The social and cultural construction of the researched company is then traced, and a story of the social construction of the culture of the company is written. A cultural exploration is then made in order to understand how (management) accounting is implicated in the organisational cultural construction process. This study concludes with a discussion of the absence of management accounting practice in the organisational discourse.

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