References

Aisbitt, S. (2004) ‘Why did(n't) the accountant cross the road?’ OUBS working paper, 04/04.
Bromwich, M. (1992) Financial Reporting, Information and Capital Markets, (in particular Chapter Two ‘The market provision of accounting information’) London, Pitman Publishing.
Burchell, S., Clubb, C. and Hopwood, A. (1985) ‘Accounting in its social context: towards
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2.4 Means of regulation

We have started to draw attention to cultural variables already when talking about the perceived objectives of financial reporting. In this next section, cultural issues can be seen to have a considerable impact on the methods used in each country to regulate its accounting, and indeed on whether regulation is perceived to be necessary.

One of the fundamentals in this area is the underlying legal system. The literature recognises two models: the common law model and the Roman law model.
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2.2 Objectives of financial reporting

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has a conceptual framework that aims to set out publicly which qualities should be in the forefront of the standard-setters' minds when making accounting rules. The IASB explains that ‘the objective of financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, performance and changes in the financial position of an entity that is useful to a wide range of users in making economic decisions’ (IASC, 1989, paragraph 12). (
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1.8 Conclusion

This section has demonstrated that regulation evolves in response to a number of factors. Some of the more significant ones, such as economic development, ‘borrowed’ legislation, colonisation and imperialism and economic domination, have been discussed here. The consequence of this is that accounting regulation has evolved differently in various countries. The reasons for the diversity in accounting regulations will be considered in more detail in Author(s): The Open University

1.4 Information for investors

The next major evolution in accounting was the impact of the Industrial Revolution, when, in the nineteenth century, much of the infrastructure of financial reporting as we now know it was laid down. The special impact of the Industrial Revolution on accounting sprang from the change in the size of the average business and the capital necessary. Before the revolution, businesses were small scale, involving one owner or a partnership, liability was unlimited and the distinction between the own
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1.3 Managing the national economy

The earliest regulation in Europe was not motivated by stewardship concerns, but was aimed at small businesses whose owners did not take the trouble to measure the success of their business. Consequently they went into liquidation, often, as is the case with small business networks, taking other businesses down with them. The 1673 Savary Ordonnance in France, which is regarded as the first national accounting rule created in the world and was subsequently taken up into the French Comme
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1.1 Reporting international financial information

This unit is not concerned with how accounting information is captured or stored, nor how it is used internally within an international group, although those are certainly significant issues, but rather with how public financial statements are prepared, audited and used. Essentially, we are dealing with how reports on a company's financial situation are compiled for external purposes and how that compilation is constrained and shaped. Reporting rules are not exactly the same in any two countr
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you will be able to:

  • identify factors that have influenced the development of financial reporting;

  • provide examples of how those factors have effected change in particular countries;

  • list a number of variables that affect the development of accounting rules in different jurisdictions;

  • explain the contingent model of accounting change;

  • apply the theories of accounting development to new situations
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Acknowledgements

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Unit Image

praatafrikaans: http://www.flickr.com/photos/praatafrikaans/171602015/


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4 The public policy-action relationship: activities

Having read this unit you now have the opportunity to reflect on the public policy-action relationship in more detail. There are two activities and two self assessment questions (SAQs) for you to complete.

Activity 1 A focus for reading

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3 Governance, policy and action

It was noted earlier in this unit that the models you would meet are both descriptive/explanatory and normative. In Section 2 they were used as explanatory tools to illuminate different possible causes as to why change might not happen in the ways that policy makers intended. This might be viewed as failure, or it might signify the system adapting to circumstances that were not covered by the original policy. In other words, not all implementation failure is necessarily a policy failure: poli
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2 The models in action: what counts is what works?

As noted at the start of Session 1, the models of change can be both explanatory and normative. As explanations, each corresponds to a different theoretical tradition. So do you just pick the one that seems most compelling? Or do different theories help explain different kinds of phenomena? The answer suggested here closely follows the work on metaphors by Gareth Morgan (1986), who sets out a number of different models of organisations (some of which map on to those outlined here). Morgan arg
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1.5 The problem of power: policy as political

The plural polity that characterises contemporary policy making means that many stakeholders are involved in the policy-action relationship dynamic, from commercial firms, public and non-profit organisations, the professions, central and local government, service delivery organisations, trade unions and the media, to organised groups of the public itself. Viewing policy as political, then, does not mean simply focusing on politicians. Rather, it signifies adopting a stakeholder perspective in
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1.4 The contribution of culture: policy as meaning making

The third model of the relationship between policy and action, between structure and agency, is based on the idea that human agency cannot be understood by simply regarding people either as cogs in a machine or as elements in an interactive system. Rather, human beings are meaning makers and act on the basis of their understandings and interpretations of events. In other words, they construct their own reality. Such constructions are not unique to them as individuals, but draw on a stock of s
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1.2 The machinery of government: policy as rational planning

Much of the policy literature is imbued with a rather mechanical conception of change: ideas about ‘pulling levers’ to make things happen, or about applying different ‘tools’ or ‘instruments’, all conceive the policy system as something like a machine itself. Component parts – the government departments, regulatory bodies, delivery organisations, and even the people who staff them – are viewed as connected though static and predictable mechanisms. The system is seen as non-ada
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6 Conclusion

We have covered a lot of ground in this unit – yet, at one level, the message is simple: knowledge involves knowers – people – who learn how to think and act in the here-and-now of specific contexts. Practice situated in specific contexts is rarely if ever idiosyncratic, utterly individualistic or random. Rather, it is shaped by past practice. Informal and explicit formal rules – the institutional ‘rules of the game’ (North, 1990) – enable and constrain particular activit
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4.2 Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy as a concept has had an interesting career: it begins in France in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, the German state constructed by its first Chancellor, Bismarck, was a model bureaucracy in both its armed forces and civil administration. Weber (1978) realised that the creation of the modern state of Germany had only been possible because of the development of a disciplined state bureaucracy and a bureaucratised standing army – innovations pioneered in Prussia
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2.5.1 Anglo-zone connections

Much of today's global interconnectedness has been shaped by the legacies of long-standing trading patterns, imperial expansion, colonisation and strategic military interventions. From the late seventeenth century to the mid twentieth century, Britain presided over the largest empire in global history – although expansion was tempered by adjustment as former colonies gained independence. With the benefit of hindsight, the American War of Independence (1775–1783) or the American Revolution
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Introduction

This unit looks at the management of local knowledge-generating practices. You will explore the processes that link practices to global contexts and learn to identify the key dimensions of globalisation and explore the implications for knowing how to ‘do things’ in a variety of contexts. You will go on to compare the approaches to managing and organising, based on universally applicable principles, with context-specific rationalities and look at how viable interpretations of reality might
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6 Summary

The aim of the first section was to introduce you to the concept of the market-led approach to marketing (also referred to as pan-company marketing or marketing orientation) and to differentiate it from ‘marketing department marketing’. I used examples and case studies to make you think about the applicability of this concept to commercial (for-profit) and non-profit organisations, and gave you activities to help you apply it in your own organisation.

Five of the learning outcomes w
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