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  • 1.
    Carrington, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Johed, Gustav
    The construction of top management as a good steward: A study of Swedish annual general meetings2007In: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, ISSN 1368-0668, E-ISSN 1758-4205, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 702-728Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2.
    Catasús, Bino
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Ersson, Sofi
    Gröjer, Jan-Erik
    Wallentin, Fan Yang
    What gets measured gets … on indicating, mobilizing and acting2007In: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, ISSN 1368-0668, E-ISSN 1758-4205, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 505-521Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the relationship underlying the often used adage “what gets measured gets managed”.

    Design/methodology/approach– The paper starts by reviewing the critique of the adage and then testing it by surveying 109 managers from 41 organizations. The paper includes the idea of mobilizing in the adage in order to highlight that there are other factors than indicating, which affect acting. In the positive test the paper uses the linear structural relations (LISREL) method to analyze the data.

    Findings– The paper finds that that the relationship between indicating and acting is not significant and that the introduction of mobilizing gives a better model fit. As a result the reformulation of the adage is: “What gets mobilized gets managed, especially if it gets measured”.

    Research limitations/implications– The paper shows that measuring is not per se a means to activate the organization. Rather, measurements support those issues that are already important in the organization. In practical terms, a reformulation could be: what gets talked about gets done, especially if there are numbers.

    Practical implications– The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it finds no significant relationship between indicating and acting; and second, it introduces mobilizing to explain the relationship between indicating and acting.

    Originality/value– The paper scrutinizes the conventional wisdom encapsulated in the adage and by introducing mobilizing as an additional variable. The findings suggest that the adage needs to be reformulated.

  • 3.
    Du Rietz, Sabina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Accounting.
    Knowing how to hold to accountIn: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, ISSN 1368-0668, E-ISSN 1758-4205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: to analyse the ability and skill of the one enforcing accountability.

    Design/methodology/approach: Knowing how to hold to account is viewed from a perspective of knowing as situated accomplished action. The empirical case consists of Nordic investors who seek to hold companies accountable for their social and environmental performance.

    Findings: The study finds that holding to account consists of distributed knowing and delegated activities. To coordinate the activities accountability relationships within the holding to account practice develops. Apart from internal relationships and the relationship to the accountable, knowing how to hold to account consists of demonstrating authority and successful practice in situations with important others, such as organizational colleagues, competitors and media. When face-to-face with the accountable, the appropriation of a customised and generalizable vocabulary helps the actors distance discussions from the expertise of the accountable, and facilitates the reorganization of business contexts so that their experiences are ‘transferable’ across these contexts.

    Research implications: A depiction of accountability relationships as involving solely the accountable and the one holding to account is too simplistic. As in the present case, the practice of holding to account may include coordinated, multiple actors, even from separate organizations. Rather than focusing on individuals, the study promotes a focus on situations and the actors found therein as the circumstances of the situations will affect any outcome.

    Originality/value: The study focuses on the practice of enforcing accountability, a know how that is often taken for granted, although earlier studies have indicated that such practice is not always successful.

  • 4.
    Holmgren Caicedo, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Accounting.
    At the heart of accounting2014In: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, ISSN 1368-0668, E-ISSN 1758-4205, Vol. 27, no 8, p. 1p. 1342-1343Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Johansson, Ulf
    et al.
    School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Skoog, Matti
    School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Backlund, Andreas
    School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Almqvist, Roland
    School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Balancing dilemmas of the balanced scorecard2006In: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, ISSN 1368-0668, E-ISSN 1758-4205, Vol. 19, no 6, p. 842-857Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose– The aim of this paper is to debate various critical issues in the implementation and use of the balanced scorecard (BSC) as a management control tool. Because there is no self‐evident solution to these critical issues, they are termed dilemmas.Design/methodology/approach– The paper contributes to the BSC debate by collecting insights from empirical findings, as well as exploring various theoretical aspects.Findings– After presenting four perceived dilemmas and how they affect the implementation and use of the BSC in various settings, the paper concludes that there is a need for further debate and research on these dilemmas.Research limitations/implications– The paper is primarily a contribution to the debate concerning the balanced scorecard and its range of application as a management control model.Practical implications– The paper is motivated by an overall high rate of implementation failure in various practical settings.Originality/value– Some of the problems described have been debated before, whereas others are new. However, there has been hardly any discussion of the dilemmas in conjunction with one another. The paper is an attempt to generate important new questions about the future implementation and use of the BSC.

  • 6.
    Johed, Gustav
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Catasús, Bino
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
    Institutional contradictions at and around the annual general meeting: How institutional logics influence shareholder activism2015In: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, ISSN 1368-0668, E-ISSN 1758-4205, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 102-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine how a shareholder association prepares for and later act at the annual general meeting. It focusses on how the association evaluates corporate proposals to pay dividends and how they vote on equity distributions at the annual general meeting. Design/methodology/approach - This paper relies on observation of the shareholder association before the annual general meeting as well as at the meeting. The analysis is informed by institutional analysis as a way to make sense of how the association experience tension in the setting of the stock market and how it activates responses to these tensions. Findings - The shareholder association failed to target companies that comply with an institutionalized view of good ownership despite those companies distributing more equity than the association deems to be in line with sound governance. This the authors understand to result from institutional tensions between a traditional stewardship model of governance and the more recent financial investor logic that emphasizes equity distributions as mean to create shareholder wealth. As good ownership is often equated with long-term committed owners, which makes the association fail to target non-traditional companies that are similar to companies with traditional ownership in terms of dividend ratios. Research limitations/implications - The paper demonstrates how institutional logics influence micro-level action in offering guidance to individual members. There are two relevant aspects to this. First, it offers guidance in terms of how to identify whether a corporate proposal is in line with the associations' policy. Second, institutional logics influence micro-level action because deviations from it require explanations. Originality/value - There are so far little qualitative research on how participants in governance mechanism use accounting to take decisions. In this way, the paper adds insight to both investor communities as well as behind the doors of the AGM.

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