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The construction of top management as a good steward: A study of Swedish annual general meetings
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
2007 (English)In: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, ISSN 1368-0668, E-ISSN 1758-4205, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 702-728Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to investigate how top management is constructed as a good steward of its company at the annual general meeting (AGM) and how accounting is used in the course of this process.

Design/methodology/approach – To meet these aims the authors attended 36 AGMs of Swedish listed companies. The interactions that occurred at the AGMs were analysed, using the theory of translation.

Findings – One-third of all questions dealt with financial accounting issues, while the majority of the questions concerned non-financial aspects of stewardship, i.e. company’s efforts regarding environmental, equality and ethical issues.

Research limitations/implications – There is some concern that the complexity of accounting information may make shareholders feel remote from the company. However, AGMs provide a setting where the financial accounts can be complemented with verbal explanations and visual aids. This contextualizes the financial accounts and makes them understandable to an audience that includes many private investors. This contributed to the fact that accounting was discussed, questioned and referred to. Hence, accounting enables the stewardship function of the AGM.

Practical implications – Although AGMs have been the subject of criticism, they are still an important part of the corporate governance system. Since AGMs are live events, shareholders are able to pursue a topic with further questions, an option that is not available to other modes of corporate communication.

Originality/value – Whereas the AGM has been in the foreground in government inquiries and codes of conduct, it has been largely neglected in accounting research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 20, no 5, p. 702-728
Keywords [en]
Accounting, Sweden, Annual general meetings, Investors
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-10318DOI: 10.1108/09513570710779018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-10318DiVA, id: diva2:176837
Available from: 2007-12-27 Created: 2007-12-27 Last updated: 2019-07-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
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More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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