Accountants’ proactivity in intra-organisational communication networks: a strong structuration perspective

Lyn Daff, Lisa Jack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose - The paper provides insights into the importance of accountants’ networks, the parties who comprise those networks and how accountants go about building and maintaining their communication networks. It also illustrates the use of strong structuration theory, which specifically considers the networks that surround agents. The conclusion highlights the significance of communication as agency in the context of accounting practice through a strong structuration perspective.

Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative approach to the inquiry was adopted. Interviews were conducted with 30 Australian accountants from 22 not-for-profit organisations. A thematic approach was used to analyse the transcripts. Structuration theory, supplemented by strong structuration, informed the study.

Findings – The interviewees attested to the importance of communication and developing networks within their organisations. They actively sought to expand and enhance their networks. The accountants played a pivotal role in networks and they pursued both horizontal and vertical relations. The accountants’ organisational positions and perceptions of their roles, worldviews and knowledge of other members of their organisations were used strategically to alter the internal structures of networked others.

Originality/value - The study contributes to the meagre literature regarding accountants’ networks within organisations. It provides insights that may assist accountants in enhancing their own networks. Although structuration theory is well-established in accounting research, the enrichments offered by strong structuration are illustrated in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1719
JournalAccounting Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number6
Early online date22 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • accountants
  • communication
  • networks
  • strong structuration


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