This paper uses a stakeholder approach to examine how the role of accounting and the status of accountants changed over a 30 year period (1970 to 2000) in a major Australian government trading enterprise. Data are gathered from semi-structured interviews with organizational participants and documentation. The study provides support for the importance of stakeholders in shaping organizational processes and practices, including accounting practices, and for the effects of changes in stakeholder constituency and agenda on such practices. The study also provides evidence of the roles accounting and accountants may play in implementing a stakeholder agenda, including both instrumental and symbolic roles, and how the status of accountants may rise and fall commensurate with those roles.
- public sector accounting
- stakeholder relations