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Calculative Measures of Organising and Decision-Making in Developing Countries: The Case of a Quasi-Formal Organisation in Ghana

Agyemang, Jacob and Jayasinghe, Kelum and Adhikari, Pawan and Carmel, Simon and Abongeh, Tunyi (2020) 'Calculative Measures of Organising and Decision-Making in Developing Countries: The Case of a Quasi-Formal Organisation in Ghana.' Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal. ISSN 0951-3574

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper examines how a “quasi-formal” organisation in a developing country engages in informal means of organising and decision-making through the use of calculative measures. Methodology: The paper presents a case study of a large-scale indigenous manufacturing company in Ghana. Data for the study were collected through the use of semi-structured interviews conducted both onsite and off-site, supplemented by informal conversations and documentary analysis. Weber’s notions of rationalities and traditionalism informed the analysis. Findings: The paper advances our knowledge about the practical day-to-day organisation of resources and the associated substantive rational calculative measures used for decision-making in quasi-formal organisations operating in a traditional setting. Instead of formal rational organisational mechanisms such as hierarchical organisational structures, production planning, labour controls and budgetary practices, the organisational mechanisms are found to be shaped by institutional and structural conditions which result from historical, socio-cultural and traditional practices of Ghanaian society. These contextual substantive rational calculative measures consist of the native lineage system of inheritance, chieftaincy, trust and the power concealed within historically established sociocultural practices. Originality: This paper is one of a few studies providing evidence of how local and traditional social practices contribute to shaping organising and decision-making activities in indigenous “quasi-formal” organisations. The paper extends our understanding of the nexus between “technical rational” calculative measures and the traditional culture and social practices prevailing in sub-Saharan Africa in general, and Ghana in particular.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accounting and calculative measures; Sub-Saharan Africa; Ghana; Quasi-formal organisation; Traditionalism
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2020 16:54
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2021 18:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29303

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