Moving beyond potential: management accounting as activity and structure

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Volume Title
School of Business | Master's thesis
Date
2016
Major/Subject
Laskentatoimi
Accounting
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
76
Series
Abstract
The thesis at hand is a qualitative study in management accounting research, building on Schatzki's (2005) practice theory. I will propose that the management accounting practice is constructed through organized activity. Consequently, the emphasis of my analysis lies in the examination of arrays of activity, that might compose the management accounting practice in a real organizational setting. However, the constitution of practices, and consequently of the entire social site, is a complex one; accounting practices do not form a discernible field, but constantly interlace with other fields of practice. By illustrating and partly elaborating on claims and suggestions provided by management accounting applications of Schatzki's practice theory, most notably Ahrens and Chapman (2007) as well as Jorgensen and Messner (2009), I will propose, that accounting does not necessarily manifest itself as an independent practice, but also as a structure, framing and directing other practices. From a practice theory perspective, management accounting does not primarily present itself in terms of resistance or programmatic and political potential, but rather as structures, material arrangements and activity.
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Keywords
management accounting, practice theory, activity, structure
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