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Management Accounting Practices and efficiency in a Colombian Multi-Utility Conglomerate

Alvarez, Claudia and Adhikari, Pawan and Mejia, Alina (2021) 'Management Accounting Practices and efficiency in a Colombian Multi-Utility Conglomerate.' Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, 11 (5). pp. 714-734. ISSN 2042-1168

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how a state owned Colombian multiutility conglomerate has used management accounting practices to shape efficiency. We bring out the interplay between structures and agency in the process of shaping efficiency, which has enabled the company to operate as a private enterprise, taking advantage of NPM-led reforms and management accounting technologies. Design/methodology/approach - This is an interpretative case study of a Colombian multi-utility conglomerate. Data for the study are derived from interviews, nonparticipative observations and document analysis. Giddens’ structuration theory provides the theoretical approach for the study. Findings: Results show that management accounting practices have shaped efficiency in a Colombian multi-utility conglomerate, promoting the profitability criteria prevailing in private enterprises. Theoretically, the paper shows how structure and agency are embedded in shaping efficiency in an emerging economy context through management accounting practices. It does this by analysing both the broader influence of the School of Mines and multilateral development banks and the micro-situated practices of employees at the Colombian multi-utility conglomerate. The employees who have worked in the company for long periods of time have transformed the profitability criteria into a corporate value that influences their day-to-day practices. Originality/value – The paper adds to the literature that draws on structuration theory by illustrating a paradigmatic case in which agents have brought in knowledge and values to a state-owned company, and changed its ethos and practices whilst remaining under state control.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2021 09:15
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:21

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