Socio‐Political Studies of Financial Reporting and Standard‐Setting
This chapter appraises the influence of Burchell et al. (1985) on interdisciplinary studies of accounting standardization and choice in financial reporting as social and organizational practices. It begins with a brief review of economics-based research streams including a priori accounting measurement theories and theorizations of accounting products as information commodities. These research paradigms provided few insights for understanding processes of accounting change. In contrast, Burchell et al. constructed a theoretically engaged analytical method to study financial accounting change that unpacked taken-for-granted assumptions and stimulated new research directions. Subsequent studies of financial accounting change are organized into three areas emphasized by Burchell et al. — accounting problematization, the social functioning of accounting and its articulation with other fields of action, and the unpacking of taken-for-granted assumptions and values contained within neo-classical economics perspectives on accounting regulation and change. The chapter concludes with suggested avenues for future research.
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