Title: Giving institutional theory a critical edge: a study of systems change in a Fijian housing authority

Authors: Stewart Lawrence, Umesh Sharma, Ruvendra Nandan

Addresses: Waikato Management School, PO Box 3105 Hamilton, New Zealand. ' Waikato Management School, PO Box 3105 Hamilton, New Zealand. ' Department of Accounting and Finance, Monash University, Clyde Road, Berwick, Victoria 3806, Australia

Abstract: The paper presents a case study of accounting change in a public sector organisation: the Housing Authority of Fiji (HAF). It draws on institutional theory. Institutional theories view organisational functioning (including accounting) as apart of a wider set of social/institutional practices. The typical isomorphic tendencies of globalising influences on public sector organisations are evidenced at the HAF. Following the advice of Laughlin (1987), a critical dimension is introduced to fully grasp the interconnection between the technical and social aspects of practices. The accounting and managerial control practices adopted seem to contradict the original purpose of the housing authority. Tracing the practices to their social and historical roots helps to understand and critique the functioning of the systems in the organisation studied.

Keywords: housing authority; institutional theory; accounting change; Fiji; institutional actors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2009.028063

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2009 Vol.1 No.4, pp.390 - 405

Published online: 03 Sep 2009 *

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