A cultural political economy of management accounting controls: a case study of a textile mill in a traditional Sinhalese village

Wickramasinghe, D. and Hopper, T. (2005) A cultural political economy of management accounting controls: a case study of a textile mill in a traditional Sinhalese village. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 16(4), pp. 473-503. (doi:10.1016/j.cpa.2003.07.001)

Wickramasinghe, D. and Hopper, T. (2005) A cultural political economy of management accounting controls: a case study of a textile mill in a traditional Sinhalese village. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 16(4), pp. 473-503. (doi:10.1016/j.cpa.2003.07.001)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

A cultural political economy of management accounting, drawing from political and economic history, modes of production (MOP) theory in development studies, and cultural anthropology is used here to inform a longitudinal case study of management control in a textile Mill in a traditional Sinhalese village in Sri Lanka. Successive attempts to impose conventional management accounting failed due to workers’ resistance. Management accounting, an embodiment of capitalist MOP and modern industrial culture, took unexpected roles when confronted by a traditional, rural culture based on Kingship obligations. The Mill was founded by the state as a public enterprise. Government interference into operational affairs was considerable and performance was disappointing, leading to pressures for privatisation. Results improved after privatisation, partly because the Mill adopted more commercial budgeting practices. However, problems of cultural asymmetry were inflamed by a coalition of workers and local managers against foreign owners, who fled when financial irregularities were discovered. The government resumed ownership and budgeting practices of previous eras returned. The conclusion examine the study’s implications for further research on management accounting in the Third World.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wickramasinghe, Professor Danture
Authors: Wickramasinghe, D., and Hopper, T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:Critical Perspectives on Accounting
ISSN:1045-2354
Published Online:07 November 2003

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record