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Accounting, hybrids, and hybridity - attending to the value dimension in institutional logics

Ahrens, Thomas and Ferry, Laurence (2022) 'Accounting, hybrids, and hybridity - attending to the value dimension in institutional logics.', Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 19 (5). pp. 696-715.


Purpose - This essay is concerned with the institutional value dimension in recent accounting research into hybrids and hybridity. Such research has been cognitively oriented and neglected the affective and emotional qualities of the values in which institutions are grounded. It assumes that organisational members use accounting for instrumental reasons conditioned by objective facts. We aim to offer new impetus to this literature by taking seriously the nature of institutional value. Design/methodology/approach - Essay combined with discussion of published work. Findings - Cognitive misinterpretations of institutional value underplay the force of institutions. One acts upon these not as a matter of cognitive choice but because of beliefs in deeply held values. In the extreme, the value possesses the actor, not vice versa. However, since institutional values are ideal and abstract, they can never be fully and incontrovertibly achieved in practice. Certain practices, such as accounting, can come to stand in for the pursuit of the institutional value. In particular contexts, practicing accounting can come to be regarded as pursing institutional values, which makes it an institutional object. Originality/value - The explication of accounting as an institutional object can show the potential significance of accounting for institutional values, including hybrid values.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Date accepted:03 September 2022
Date deposited:06 September 2022
Date of first online publication:30 September 2022
Date first made open access:28 November 2022

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