The paper “ Strategies to Overcome the Problems of Women in Accounting ” is an exciting example of the literature review on human resources. The accounting profession has been criticized for marginalizing and ‘ silencing’ some groups, such as women and ethnic minorities (Gallhofer 1998; Kim 2004). Critically evaluate accounting research on the role of women and/or ethnic groups in accounting, with reference to feminist and/or emancipator perspectives. When answering the specific question, your discussion should be put in the context to, and refer to the important role of accounting and the accounting profession in modern society. Nature of accounting and its roleAccording to Broadbent (1988), accounting holds a central place in western capitalism.
It is also being seen as an important tool for ‘ ‘ modernizing’ ’ the newly emerging economies in Eastern Europe and Asia. Its role in market capitalism is in providing accountability to shareholders and other stakeholders to enable them to make decisions about investment in the company and in justifying internal decisions about the nature of the organizational activity. In the Public Sector, it is used increasingly to justify how national resources are spent in providing services to citizens.
Implicit in the increasing adherence to accounting is a belief that the information which is provided is ‘ ‘ useful’ ’ and ‘ ‘ factual’ ’ and debates about how we might maximize its utility in this respect abound. The descriptions of accounting which we find even in the most enlightened textbooks uphold a view that accounting seeks to contribute ‘ ‘ ... to make better decisions and thereby achieve organizational control and enhance organizational effectiveness’ ’ Wilson & Chua, 1993, p. 16. Whilst we may be skeptical about the extent to which accounting is actually used in the way which is claimed, nevertheless, the roles which accounting fulfils Burchell et al. , (1980) can be seen to be central to organisational decision making. If accounting is to encompass multiple values then one way in which this might be developed is through the framework of the ideal speech situation ISS Habermas, 1984, 1987.
The ISS rests on two assumptions, first, that accounting is a form of communication, second, that the ISS is a means of achieving communicative rationality.
Lehman, C. (1992). “Herstory in Accounting: The first eighty years”, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 17 (3 - 4): 261 – 285
Gallhofer, S. (1998). "The Silences of Mainstream Feminist Accounting Research." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 9 (3): 355 – 375.
Kim, S. N. (2004). "Imperialism Without Empire: Silence in Contemporary Accounting Research on Race/Ethnicity." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 15 (1): 95 - 133.
EOC Sex and Power 2007 report
Broadbent, J. (1998). “The Gendered Nature of ‘Accounting Logic’. Pointers to an Accounting that Encompasses Multiple Values”. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 9 (3), 267-297.
Ciancanelli, P., S. Gallhofer, C. Humphrey and L. Kirkham (1990). "Gender and Accountancy: Some Evidence from the UK." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 1 (2): 117 - 144.
Cooper, C. (2001). "From Women's Liberation to Feminism: Reflections in Accounting Academia." Accounting Forum 25 (3): 214 - 245.
Dwyer, P., D. and R. Roberts (2004). "The Contemporary Gender Agenda of the US Public Accounting Profession: Embracing Feminism or Maintaining Empire?" Critical Perspectives on Accounting 15: 159 - 177.
Fearfull, A and Kamenou, N. (2006), “How Do you Account for It?: A Critical Exploration of Career Opportunities for and Experiences of Ethnic Minority Women”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 17, no. 7, pp. 883 - 901.
Gallhofer, S. & Haslem, J. (2003) Accounting and Emancipation, Routledge.
Hammond, T. (1997). "Sexual harassment and the Public Accounting Industry: The Need for Critical Examination." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 8: 267 - 271. (critique of Nichols et al )
Hammond, T. and L. S. Oakes (1992). "Some Feminisms and their Implications for Accounting Practice." Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 5 (3): 52 - 70.
Hull, R. P. and P. H. Umansky (1997). "An Examination of Gender Stereotyping as an Explanation for Vertical Job Integration in Public Accounting." Accounting, Organizations and Society 22 (6): 507 - 528.
Kirkham, L. (1992). "Integrating Herstory and History in Accountancy." Accounting, Organizations and Society 17 (3/4): 287 - 297.
Kirkham, L. and A. Loft (1993). "Gender and the Construction of the Professional Accountant." Accounting, Organizations and Society 18 (6): 507 - 558.
McNicholas, P., M. Humphries and S. Gallhofer (2004). "Maintaining the Empire: Maori Women's Experiences in the Accounting Profession." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 15 (1): 57 - 93.
McNicholas, P. & M. Barrett (2005). "Answering the emancipatory call: An emerging research approach 'on the margins' of accounting." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 16 (4): 391 - 414.
Nichols, D., R. K. Robinson, B. J. Reithel and G. M. Franklin (1997). "An Exploratory Study of Sexual Behavior in Accounting Firms: Do Male and Female CPA's Interpret Sexual Harassment Differently?" Critical Perspectives on Accounting 8 (3): 249 - 264. (see Hammond same issue for critique)
Oakes, L. and T. Hammond (1995). "Biting the Epistemological Hand: Feminist Perspectives on Science and their Implications for Accounting Research." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 6 (1): 49 - 75. See also special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, (2000), 13: 3 on accounting and indigenous peoples.