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Accounting, Organizations, and InstitutionsEssays in Honour of Anthony Hopwood$
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Christopher S. Chapman, David J. Cooper, and Peter Miller

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546350

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546350.001.0001

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Studying Accounting in Action: The Challenge of Engaging with Management Accounting Practice

Studying Accounting in Action: The Challenge of Engaging with Management Accounting Practice

Chapter:
(p.65) 4 Studying Accounting in Action: The Challenge of Engaging with Management Accounting Practice
Source:
Accounting, Organizations, and Institutions
Author(s):

Jane Baxter

Wai Fong Chua

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546350.003.0004

This chapter overviews the substantive nature and effects of Hopwood's (1983) seminal paper encouraging researchers to study management accounting in its organizational context. Hopwood's paper is significant for two reasons: first, it portrays management accounting in terms of potentially diverse, shifting, local practices; and, second, it encourages researchers to examine such practices using field research methods. Not only has this paper's argument become attached to fundamental methodological debate within the discipline, it has also encouraged a varied stream of engaging and thought provoking empirical research studies over the last twenty-five years. Additionally, Hopwood's arguments are outlined to possess continuing salience, reinvigorating research through its engagement with contemporary practice theories characterizing management accounting as situated accomplishments. Opportunities are created with respect to theorizing local variations in management accounting practices and considering the implications that these may have for notions such as ‘organizations’ and ‘institutions’.

Keywords:   management accounting, practice theory, field research, situated accomplishment, Hopwood, organizations, institutions

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