Management accounting practices and efficiency in a Colombian multi-utility conglomerate

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4 Citas (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how a state-owned Colombian multi-utility conglomerate (CMC) has used management accounting practices (MAPs) to shape efficiency. The authors bring out the interplay between structures and agency in the process of shaping efficiency, which has enabled the company to operate as a private enterprise, taking advantage of NPM-led reforms and management accounting technologies. Design/methodology/approach: This is an interpretative case study of a CMC. Data for the study are derived from interviews, non-participative observations and document analysis. Giddens' structuration theory (ST) provides the theoretical approach for the study. Findings: Results show that MAPs have shaped efficiency in a CMC, promoting the profitability criteria prevailing in private enterprises. Theoretically, the paper shows how structure and agency are embedded in shaping efficiency in an emerging economy context through MAPs. It does this by analysing both the broader influence of the School of Mines and multilateral development banks and the micro-situated practices of employees at the CMC. The employees who have worked in the company for long periods of time have transformed the profitability criteria into a corporate value that influences their day-to-day practices. Originality/value: The paper adds to the literature that draws on the ST by illustrating a paradigmatic case, in which agents have brought in knowledge and values to a state-owned company, and changed its ethos and practices whilst remaining under state control.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)714-734
Número de páginas21
PublicaciónJournal of Accounting in Emerging Economies
EstadoPublicada - 29 oct. 2021


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