Path-dependencies, constrained transformations and dynamic agency. An accounting case study informed by both ANT and NIS
Rautiainen, A., & Scapens, R. (2013). Path-dependencies, constrained transformations and dynamic agency. An accounting case study informed by both ANT and NIS. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 10(2), 100-126. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRAM-08-2012-0030
Published inQualitative Research in Accounting & Management
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Emerald.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the compatibility of actor network theory (ANT) and new institutional sociology (NIS) in analysing a case study of accounting change. Design/methodology/approach – This is an interpretive case study. Findings – The Finnish case city experienced several path-dependent changes concerning performance measurement (PM), financial reporting and the adoption of enterprise resource planning system (ERP). New tools such as the ERP have a potential to transform the actors and to change the agency of the actors. Furthermore, the concepts drawing on both ANT and NIS can together enrich analyses of accounting changes. Research limitations/implications – The case analysis suggests guidelines for using ANT and/or NIS in accounting studies. Practical implications – Understanding accounting developments as an intentional and path-dependent process affected and constrained by complex networks, pressures and actors should contribute to better management of accounting changes. Originality/value – Being informed by both ANT and NIS improves our understanding of accounting change and stability, serendipity, practice variations, changes beyond the minimum required to satisfy external requirements, and of the continued use of some accounting tools despite their limited functionality. Furthermore, we introduce the concepts dynamic agency and constrained transformation for studies of accounting change. ...
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd
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