The objective of this
assignment is to complete a critique and synthesis of the following two papers
which were published in the Management Accounting Research journal; “When being
a partner means more: The external role of football club management accountants”
(Janin, 2017) and “Performance management systems and the enactment of
different institutional logics: Insights from a football organization”
(Carlsson-Wall et al., 2016). Both papers use sport to focus their research on,
in particular, the area of football. The second paper by Carlsson-Wall et al.
(2016) makes reference to both the music and fashion industry which will be
investigated further in this review. Within the paper presented to us by Janin
(2017), there are various limitations which have an impact on the results and
conclusions of the paper.
relationship between management accountants and the football industry:
As cited by Janin
(2017), Mouritsen (1996) states that there are areas that the management
accountant focuses their work on, these are as follows; “Bookkeeping”,
“Administrating”, “Controlling”, “Banking” and “Consulting” (Janin, 2017).
Similarly, Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016) set out two key areas which are
particularly important in performance measurement systems (PMS); ‘Sports excellence’
which may be linked to the role of ‘controlling’ and ‘a financially successful
firm’ which may be linked to ‘Bookkeeping’. Janin (2017) defines the
bookkeeper’s role as one that is associated with ‘calculations’ and ‘Data’.
This gives us a typical view of how the management accountant’s role can vary
across different organizations within an industry or different industries
altogether. Similarly to Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016), Janin (2017) uses
different industries as comparisons for the football industry, In particular citing Ahrens (1996) focus on
the brewing industry and the view that ‘Germans focus on quality’ and the
‘British focus on financial matters’ (Janin, 2017). It very much depends on the organization and
their objectives as a firm as to the direction they wish to pursue. The
direction of the firm will be correlated with the type of work that the
management accountant focuses on.
Janin (2017) draws upon
the work of ‘Luc Boltanski’s’ thinking because of its popularity amongst the
management accounting profession. The management accountant has an important
part to play with the connection that exists between the organizations, both
internally and externally (Janin, 2017). Janin (2017) builds on ‘Luc
Boltanski’s’ work to show us that management
accountants can use this external connection to ‘challenge the industry’s
financial regulatory body’ and to allow ‘French football’ to not be as
heavily influenced by these ‘bodies’ who
have so much power over them, in effect becoming ‘liberal’ (Janin, 2017).
Similarly to Janin (2017) approach in developing their ideologies, and
referring to well-known professionals i.e. ‘Luc Boltanski’; Carlsson-Wall et
al. (2016) make reference to the latest development of theory in the area of
‘institutional logics’. Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016) refer to six main logic
that shows the ‘theoretical background’ of their research. In particular, the
logic which included ‘managing tensions’ was split into two strategies, one
which mainly focused on strategic direction in which were ‘value’ creating and
the other which consisted of ‘structural differentiation’ (Carlsson-Wall et
al., 2016). Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016) refer to strategies as being
‘structural’. The first strategy in which Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016) describes
as ‘value’ creating is very similar to Janin (2017) citing of Ahrens (1996)
of the brewing industry and the view that ‘Germans focus on quality’ and
the ‘British focus on financial matters’ (Janin, 2017). Within this industry,
both of these separate countries focus on particular aspects that they feel
adds the most ‘value’ to their product or service (Carlsson-Wall et al., 2016).
of the research and the way in which it was carried out:
The research in the
first paper was constructed by following a French football team ‘over a one
year period’ and the main basis of the research is on ‘ethnographic immersion’
which involves interviewing personal and focusing on their behaviour (Janin,
2017). To complete the research five interviews were carried out by the
interviewee in which ranged between ‘forty-five minutes and two hours and
fifteen minutes’ (Janin, 2017). From the five interviews conducted, three of
them were used. In comparison to Janin (2017) research, Carlsson-Wall et al.
(2016) carried out their research on a football firm based in Sweden. However,
23 personal within this particular football firm were interviewed, which was a
significantly greater number than the amount of personal interviewed in Janin
(2017) research. This was a major difference and the greater number of
interviewees may have led to a more accurate set of findings. Furthermore,
Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016) interviews were conducted at similar lengths to
Janin (2017) interviews; they ranged between ‘forty to ninety minutes’ and
lasted ‘sixty minutes’ (Carlsson-Wall et al., 2016). However, it did not
specify how long Janin (2017) interviews lasted. In comparison to Janin (2017), Carlsson-Wall
et al. (2016) documented their findings and based their conclusions on both
their results and prior research which was conducted at an earlier time. This
allowed them both to present us with very strong arguments on their findings.
If this research was carried out again by Janin (2017) it could possibly
enhance the findings by interviewing more personal with the objective of
gaining a more accurate set of results such that Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016)
From the research
conducted by Janin (2017), their main findings were that results and
performance are critical to success. The job of the management accountant is to
divide out the amount of money allocated in a correct proportion making sure
that not too much money is spent on buying players and paying them huge
salaries (Janin, 2017). This key finding
highlights Carlsson-Wall et al. (2016) two key areas as previously mentioned
above, which are important in determining performance and success, ‘Sports
excellence’ and ‘a financially successful firm’ (Carlsson-Wall et al., 2016).
Furthermore, Janin (2017) highlights in the findings that the correct
allocation of finance for player’s wages is important in the running of a
successful firm in order not to run into cash shortages. This allocation may be
critical because while a firm is profitable it still might go into liquidation
due to a shortage of cash for the day-to-day running expenses. Thus
highlighting the findings that Janin (20170 set out that the ‘monitoring of
daily expenses’ is very important for the management accountant (Janin, 2017).
In contrast to the findings set out by Janin (2017) research, Carlsson-Wall et
al. (2016) draw upon the view of Hopwood (1972) that although reviewing the
day-to-day expenses is important, managers such as management accountants may,
in fact, prioritise financial targets in order to obtain end of year bonuses.
This may cause problems for the organization (Carlsson-Wall et al., 2016).
Carlsson-Wall, M., Kraus, K. and Messner, M.
(2016). Performance measurement systems and the enactment of different
institutional logics: Insights from a football organization. Management
Accounting Research, 32, pp.45-61.
Janin, F. (2017). When being a partner means
more: The external role of football club management accountants. Management
Accounting Research, 35, pp.5-19.