Purpose: This paper aims to identify the possible sources of organizational decoupling and their effects in public universities, as they transition from cash to accrual accounting, by assessing the phases of the innovation assimilation process. Design/methodology/approach: To assess the transition, the authors develop a framework that integrates the possible sources of decoupling with the phases of the innovation process. This framework is then applied to the analysis of six Italian public universities moving from cash to accrual accounting. Findings: The results point to regulation gaps and adverse organizational conditions as the main culprits of decoupling behaviours in the production and use of information. Delays in the characterization of the legal framework and ambiguities in the definition of accounting standards by the regulator are the first barriers to an effective transition. The organizational barriers, instead, depend on lack of adequate skills, over-bureaucratization, limitations of the IT systems and organizational complexity. Such limitations generate hybrid accounting systems that jeopardize the informative function of financial reporting. Originality/value: From a theoretical viewpoint, this paper contributes to a conceptualization of accounting innovations and reforms as processes whose impact depends on dynamics that arise and interact differently across phases. From a practitioner’s point of view, it highlights the factors that may produce adverse effects during the implementation process: these may be taken into account during planning, so as to develop the appropriate remedial actions.

Gigli, S., Mariani, L., & Trivellato, B. (2018). Assimilating accounting innovations: lessons from Italian public universities. JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING & ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE, 14(4), 381-401 [10.1108/JAOC-10-2017-0101].

Assimilating accounting innovations: lessons from Italian public universities

Mariani, L;Trivellato, B
2018

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to identify the possible sources of organizational decoupling and their effects in public universities, as they transition from cash to accrual accounting, by assessing the phases of the innovation assimilation process. Design/methodology/approach: To assess the transition, the authors develop a framework that integrates the possible sources of decoupling with the phases of the innovation process. This framework is then applied to the analysis of six Italian public universities moving from cash to accrual accounting. Findings: The results point to regulation gaps and adverse organizational conditions as the main culprits of decoupling behaviours in the production and use of information. Delays in the characterization of the legal framework and ambiguities in the definition of accounting standards by the regulator are the first barriers to an effective transition. The organizational barriers, instead, depend on lack of adequate skills, over-bureaucratization, limitations of the IT systems and organizational complexity. Such limitations generate hybrid accounting systems that jeopardize the informative function of financial reporting. Originality/value: From a theoretical viewpoint, this paper contributes to a conceptualization of accounting innovations and reforms as processes whose impact depends on dynamics that arise and interact differently across phases. From a practitioner’s point of view, it highlights the factors that may produce adverse effects during the implementation process: these may be taken into account during planning, so as to develop the appropriate remedial actions.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Accounting innovation; Accounting innovation process; Accrual accounting; Cash accounting; Organizational decoupling; Public universities;
English
381
401
21
Gigli, S., Mariani, L., & Trivellato, B. (2018). Assimilating accounting innovations: lessons from Italian public universities. JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING & ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE, 14(4), 381-401 [10.1108/JAOC-10-2017-0101].
Gigli, S; Mariani, L; Trivellato, B
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/209825
Citazioni
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
Social impact