Accounting for Stakeholders and Making Accounting Useful
Jane Baxter and
Wai Fong Chua
Journal of Management Studies, 2015, vol. 52, issue 7, 986-1002
type="main"> A belief in the importance of available and relevant information to managers and stakeholders has propelled significant accounting change, motivating the development of new forms of reporting argued to provide more useful accounting information. However, accounting is not inherently useful. Accounting information is a heterogeneous agglomeration that is made useful in practice. We overview research, illustrating the experimental, emotional, imaginative and complementation stratagems that practitioners adopt in making accounting information useful. This research shows that diverse stakeholder interests are mobilised in processes making accounting information useful. The ethical implications of accounting for stakeholders are then considered, particularly the problematic consequences of greater transparency. The critical possibilities of accounting for stakeholders are outlined next. We conclude by arguing that further research problematizing the usefulness of accounting information, including the networks of interests accomplishing this, is vital to advance debate on accounting for stakeholders.
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