The purpose of this article is to examine the relationships between absenteeism and presenteeism and employee well-being. Absenteeism is the failure to report for work as scheduled. Presenteeism is showing up to work when one is ill and the decrement in productivity that follows from this practice. On a continuum, presenteeism stands between full work engagement and absenteeism. This article considers how attendance dynamics are affected by employee well-being. It also considers how attendance dynamics might affect well-being, a less researched subject. It takes a broad stance on what constitutes well-being, encompassing physical, mental, and emotional well-being and assuming that a positively evaluated work experience is conducive to employee well-being. It does not assume that the mere occurrence of either behavior somehow “speaks for itself” as an indicator of well-being.
Ensuring high levels of occupational health and safety remains a significant issue. Detailed accident analyses have highlighted the role played by front-line employees as well as the importance of organizational and managerial factors. The realization that organizational accidents occur within a cultural and social context has led to the rise in popularity of the concept of safety climate. Safety climate allows the individual to interpret organizational events and processes in relation to personal and organizational safety values and to determine the appropriateness of safety-related behavior. Although safety climate has been included as an element of the healthy work organization, the contribution that a positive safety climate can make to organizational health and well-being is little understood. Developing a fuller understanding of organizational safety climate has important theoretical and research implications, and also remains a significant issue for industry and wider society in terms of practical application.
Haldor Byrkeflot and Karsten Vrangbaek
The debate on accountability within the public sector has been lively in the past decade. Significant progress has been made in developing conceptual frameworks and typologies for characterizing different features and functions of accountability. However, there is a lack of sector specific adjustment of such frameworks. In this chapter we present a framework for analyzing accountability within health care. The chapter makes use of the concept of “accountability regime” to signify the combination of different accountability forms, directions and functions at any given point in time. We show that reforms can introduce new forms of accountability, change existing accountability relations or change the relative importance of different accountability forms. They may also change the dominant direction and shift the balance between different functions of accountability. The chapter further suggests that developments in accountability regimes are best analyzed with a combination of top-down and bottom up perspectives and that there is a need to develop research strategies to support this aim.
Martin Lodge and Lindsay Stirton
Accountability in regulation will never reach a state of ‘perfection’ and stability, but will remain, given competing values and shifting priorities, in a state of continued tension and fluidity. In other words, debates require transparency regarding the very different ideas concerning the appropriate means and ends of accountability. This article develops this argument in three steps. First, it considers the background to contemporary debates surrounding accountability, pointing to traditional concerns as well as to a change in context captured by discussions about ‘polycentric’ or ‘decentred’ regulation. Second, this article points to key components of any regulatory regime over which demands of accountability are commonly asserted, and to four ways of considering institutional design and accountability. Third, and finally, this article suggests that debates on whether the rise of the regulatory state has led to a decline or rise of accountability and transparency are misplaced.
Mahmoud Ezzamel and Keith Robson
This article aims to provide a brief overview of a variety of critical studies in accounting. Each section is concerned with a particular aspect of accounting practice under categories we regarded as the most obvious and accessible for non-accounting management specialists and students. The first section focuses upon accounting calculations between organizations and society – financial reporting practices and the regulation thereof. The second section examines critical studies of intra-organizational accounting calculations – management accounting and control practices. The third section discusses critical research that has studied the organizational and institutional characteristics of the accounting and auditing profession, with particular reference to the professionalization of accounting, the activities of the large auditing and accounting multinational firms, and the everyday socialization of professional accountants.
Robin Kramar, Vijaya Murthy, and James Guthrie
This article discusses how the shift to a knowledge-based economy has propelled firms' human capital (HC) and associated intellectual resources to center stage. It notes that while organizational researchers have highlighted the increasingly strategic role of HC, and despite a growing realization among firms that their human-knowledge resources are becoming more important, managerial awareness of the value of HC remains low. The article suggests that HC management, measurement, and reporting are increasingly vital capabilities that all organizations will need to acquire. It proceeds to analyse the nature of HC, trace the evolution of HC accounting, identify current accounting challenges, and describe contemporary frameworks that are seeking to address these challenges. The article defines HC within organizations as ‘employee capability, knowledge, innovation, adaptability, and experience’, noting that it is typically represented as one element in a tripartite framework of intellectual capital, the other two being relational capital and organizational capital.
Although the concept of meaningful work has not been addressed in accounting research, accounting scholars and practitioners have long grappled with how to reflect the value of employees and human capital in organizational accounts. This chapter examines how the features of a typical accounting system are likely to impact the treatment of meaningful work in organizations, including consideration of only its potential financial value, the exclusion of unpaid forms of meaningful work, and the limits on recognizing meaningful work as an organizational asset because quantifying its value is typically considered too subjective. It also examines how internal accounting and control practices, such as performance measurement and reward systems, tend to either ignore the possibility of meaningful work or focus on controlling and harnessing its instrumental value to improve organizational performance, thus downplaying its role in expressing values, fulfilling personal needs, and generating and sustaining meaning in our lives.
This article deals primarily with the problem of accounting for the cost of defined-benefit pension schemes in the accounts of the sponsoring company (the employer). This is one of the most controversial issues currently being debated by accounting standard-setters, following the introduction of an innovative standard on the subject, FRS 17, by the UK Accounting Standards Board (ASB). This standard measured the pension-fund deficit or surplus as the difference between the current values of the pension-fund assets and liabilities, and the effects of changes in valuations were to be reported immediately in the Statement of Recognized Gains and Losses (STRGL). The introduction of FRS 17 coincided with: a sharp decline in stock-market prices; a reduction in the value of pension-fund investment; and a revision of actuarial tables to reflect the increased expectation of life, which increased pension-fund liabilities.
The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between the historical development of accounting, information, and communication systems and business organizations since the late eighteenth century. Its findings are based largely on research conducted by accounting and business historians during the last quarter of the century, a period in which accounting history, once a niche area of research heavily focused on the development of double-entry bookkeeping, has been brought more firmly into the business-history fold. This reflects the work of those historians who have focused their attention on the development of cost/management accounting practices within firms, and the “new” accounting historians who have examined the wider relationship between accounting and the organizations and society within which it is embedded.