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Habermasian accounting colonization and its effect on the schools’ sector

GREEN, STUART (2020) Habermasian accounting colonization and its effect on the schools’ sector. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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As a social activity, accounting has the potential to affect the behaviour of individuals in organizations. Habermasian colonization theory has been used to investigate the way in which accounting affects these organizational micro-practices. The aim of this study is to develop the understanding of Habermasian accounting colonization and to critically evaluate its impact on the schools’ sector.
Qualitative field studies at three secondary schools were used to gather empirical detail in the form of interview data and documentary evidence. The research approach was underpinned by a theoretical perspective drawn from Habermasian colonization theory.
The findings reveal that accounting can have both immediate and subtle effects on organizational micro-practices. These effects can be more complex than is suggested by much of the existing literature. Contrasting accounting disturbances lead to variation in the prevalence of the organizational symptoms of accounting colonization; those that are constitutive-transactional and external to the organization have the greatest impact on behaviour. The findings suggest that absorbing groups, headteacher type and the cumulative effect of exposure to multiple accounting disturbances are also influential. As well as the effect of accounting on organizational micro-practices, this study also provides insights into its broader impact on policy in the schools’ sector.
A closer alignment with Habermas’s social ontology and the organizational symptoms of Habermasian accounting colonization is presented than is found in the existing body of research. Such alignment contributes to the understanding and development of Habermasian accounting colonization as a theoretical framework. A deeper comprehension of the impact of accounting on behaviour is enabled by the application of a developed model of accounting colonization. Knowledge of how accounting affects organizational micro-practices also has practical implications for both the development of policy and the work of accounting professionals.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Accounting; schools' sector; Habermas; Habermasian colonization
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Accounting, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Mar 2020 14:30

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