May 21 2012

Accounting Communication

Published by at 11:16 pm under PhD Courses

Jönköping International Business School – PhD COURSE (F2)


Course credits:

7,5 ECTS credits

(1 ECTS =  appr. 5 hrs in class; appr. 20 hrs individual work)

Education Cycle: Third cycle, doctoral program course

The course is given as an accounting research course “Accounting Communication”, equivalent to 7.5 ECTS points, is a course offered to research students at Jönköping International Business School, as well as to partner universities.

Course examiner / managers:

Professor Gunnar Rimmel, JIBS (examiner)


Assitant professor Kristina, HGU

Associate professor Inga-Lill Johansson, HGU


Course language

Language of instruction could be in Swedish and/or in English (depending on international participants).


To be eligible for the course Accounting Communication 7.5 higher education credits, the student must be registered as a PhD student at the department of Accounting & Law at Jönköping International Business School, or at a partner university.


Purpose and objectives

This course emphasizes the use of accounts in accounting communication, i.e. the production and interpretation of oral and written statements referring to accounting numbers to explain conduct. Special attention will be given to issues of disclosure, agency, accountability and trust.


Course content

Seminar I – Overview of Accounting Communication Research

For Seminar I, participants should read two allotted articles from the course literature list. The assignment, which involves writing and presenting a seminar paper based on the allotted articles, will be distributed to all participants by e-mail directly after signing up for the course. The paper should be of maximum 1500 words. Each participant should also act as discussants, i.e. constructively criticize upon the arguments of the paper of another participant. To be able to do this task properly, the discussant do not only have to read the paper carefully, but also study the literature which the paper is based upon.


Seminar II – Issues of Disclosure, Agency, Accountability, and Trust

For Seminar II, participants should write and present a seminar paper on an individually chosen topic from any of the fields of disclosure, agency, accountability, or trust – based on two individually chosen articles from the course literature list plus five other articles of relevance for the topic. Otherwise, Seminar II follows the same procedure as Seminar I (see above).


Seminar III + IV – Methods in Accounting Communication Studies

As a final assignment, participants have an opportunity to learn about linguistic-, communication- discourse-, and narrative analysis related to own PhD project. Seminar III thereby consist of search for relevant articles inspired by the course literature, read them and prepare an academic paper in which the main arguments and debates within the area are described and commented upon. Expected length of the paper is 20 pages in academic style, where sources are related to each other and analyze weaknesses and potentials identified.


Learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student is expected to be able to:


Knowledge and understanding

– be oriented about the theoretical foundations of contemporary accounting communication research

– describe central theoretical streams and their influence and relevance to postgraduate studies


Skills and abilities

– demonstrate how the theoretical foundations of contemporary accounting communication research have been developed during the past decades

– apply research-based literature to describe and analyze particular aspects of contemporary accounting communication research related to own postgraduate studies project


Judgment and approach

– display a reflective approach to the role of theory in contemporary accounting communication research

– exemplify different methodological approaches in relation to own postgraduate studies project


Course/classes methodology

This is an intensive course of one introduction and three day seminars with individual study required prior to the meetings. The course consists of lectures and seminars.

Participants are supposed to read all course literature and participant papers related to seminars and to write short papers that reflect this literature. The course begins with overview lecture, followed in the rest of the seminars by presentations and discussions of the course literature by the participants. At the last seminar, each participant discusses the individual course PM that is related to own PhD-project.



Examination is recurrent through active participation during all tuition and through the fulfillment of individual assignments. Active participation in the form of presentations and discussions at course meetings and a passing grade in the individual course papers.


Course evaluation

A course evaluation will be conducted at the end of the course.


Course dates, time and location

The course consists of 4 meetings: one introduction and four seminars. The first two meetings will be held at Jönköping International Business School. The remaining seminars will be held at the School of Business, Economic and Law at University of Gothenburg.

Introduction:              11.00 – 12.00   (Tuesday, 29 May 2012) JIBS

Seminar 1:                   13.00 – 18.00   (Tuesday, 29 May 2012) JIBS

Seminar 2:                     9.00 – 15.00   (Wednesday, 30 May 2012) JIBS

Seminar 3:                   13.00 – 18.00   (Monday, 13 August 2012) HGU

Seminar 4:                     9.00 – 15.00   (Tuesday, 14 August 2012) HGU


No tuition fee for PhD students, Course participants are responsible for their own costs of travel and overnight arrangements.


The course is limited to 15 participants.

15 May 2012 is the last day for registration.


Course literature

Seminar I – Overview of Accounting Communication Research

  1. Bedford, N. M. & Baladouni, V. (1962) A Communication Theory Approach to Accountancy. The Accounting Review, 37(4), pp. 650-659.
  2. Belkaoui, A. (1978) Linguistic relativity in accounting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 3 (2), pp. 97-104.
  3. Flamholtz, E. & Cook, E. (1977) Connotative Meaning and its Role in Accounting Change: A Field Study. Accounting Organizations and Society, pp. 115-39.
  4. Miller, P. & O’Leary, T. (1987) Accounting and the construction of the governable person, Accounting Organizations and Society, 12 (3), pp. 235-265.
  5. Lavoie, D. (1987) The accounting of interpretations and the interpretation of accounts: The communicative function of “the language of business”. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 12 (6), pp. 579-604.
  6. Evans, L. (2004) Language, translation and the problem of international accounting communication. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 17 (2), pp. 210-248.
  7. Nørreklit, H., Nørreklit, L., & Mitchell, F. (2010) Towards a paradigmatic foundation for accounting practice, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 23 (6), pp. 733-758.
  8. Rowbottom, N. & Lymer, A. (2010) Exploring the use and users of narrative reporting in the online annual report. Journal of Applied Accounting, 11 (2), pp. 99-108.
  9. Davison, J. (2011) Barthesian perspectives on accounting communication and visual images of professional accountancy, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 24 (2), pp. 250-283.
  10. Davison, J. (2011) Paratextual framing of the annual report: Liminal literary conventions and visual devices, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 22 (2), pp. 118-134.


Seminar II – Issues of Disclosure, Agency, Accountability, and Trust

  1. Merkl-Davies, D. M., Brennan, N. M. & McLeay, S. J. (2011) Impression management and retrospective sense-making in corporate narratives: A social psychology perspective. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 24 (3), pp. 315-344.
  2. Fauré, B. & Rouleau, L. (2011) The strategic competence of accountants and middle managers in budget making.  Accounting, Organizations & Society, 36 (3), pp. 167-182.
  3. Moore, D. R. J. (2011) Structuration theory: The contribution of Norman Macintosh and its application to emissions trading. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 22 (2), pp. 212-227.
  4. Craig, R. & Amernic, J. (2011) Detecting Linguistic Traces of Destructive Narcissism At-a-Distance in a CEO’s Letter to Shareholders. Journal of Business Ethics, 101 (4), pp. 563-575.
  5. Arvidsson, S. (2010) Communication of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Study of the Views of Management Teams in Large Companies. Journal of Business Ethics, 96 (3), pp. 339-354.
  6. Kamla, R. & Roberts, C. (2010) The global and the local: Arabian Gulf States and imagery in annual reports. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 23 (4), pp. 449-481.
  7. Aerts, W. & Cormier, D. (2009) Media legitimacy and corporate environmental communication. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 34 (1), pp. 1-27.
  8. Malsch, B. & Gendron, Y. (2009) Mythical representations of trust in auditors and the preservation of social order in the financial community. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 20 (6), pp. 735-750.
  9. Beattie, V., Dhanani, A. & Jones, M. J. (2008) Investigating Presentational Change in U.K. Annual Reports. Journal of Business Communication, 45, pp. 181-222.
  10. Davison, J. (2008) Rhetoric, repetition, reporting and the “” era: words, pictures, intangibles. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 21 (6), pp. 791-826.
  11. Graham, C. (2008) Fearful asymmetry: The consumption of accounting signs in the Algoma Steel pension bailout. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 33, (7-8), pp. 756-782.
  12. Carrington, T. & Johed, G. (2007) The construction of top management as a good steward.  Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 20 (5), pp. 702-728.
  13. Chalos, P. & O’Connor, N. G. (2004) Determinants of the use of various control mechanisms in US-Chinese joint ventures. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 29 (7), pp. 591-608.
  14. Seal, W., Berry, A. & Cullen, J. (2004) Disembedding the supply chain: institutionalized reflexivity and inter-firm accounting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 29 (1), pp. 73-92.


Seminar III + IV – Methods in Accounting Communication Studies

  1. Brennan, Niamh M.; Guillamon-Saorin, Encarna; Pierce, Aileen. Impression management: Developing and illustrating a scheme of analysis for narrative disclosures – a methodological note. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 2009, Vol. 22 Issue 5, pp. 789-832.
  2. Justesen, L. & Mouritsen, J. (2009) The triple visual: Translations between photographs, 3-D visualizations and calculations. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 22 (6), pp. 973-990.
  3. Beattie, V. (2007) Lifting the lid on the use of content analysis to investigate intellectual capital disclosures. Accounting Forum, 31 (2). pp. 129-163.
  4. Baker, C. R. (2006) Epistemological objectivity in financial reporting: Does internet accounting require a new accounting model? Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 19 (5), pp. 663-680.
  5. Beattie, V., McInnes, B. & Fearnley, S. (2004) A methodology for analysing and evaluating narratives in annual reports: a comprehensive descriptive profile and etrics for disclosure quality attributes. Corporate financial communication and voluntary disclosure, 28 (3), pp. 205-236.
  6. Rhianon Edgley, C., Jones, M.J. & Solomon J.F. (2010) Stakeholder inclusivity in social and environmental report assurance Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 23 (4), pp. 532 – 557.