Stewards and Agents in Family Firms: Accounting as a Performative Mechanism in Constructing Steward and Agent Behaviour
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This thesis investigates the role of accounting as a mediator in organisations. It exposes the performativity of accounting and control mechanisms in constructing steward and agent behaviour within the specific context of family firms. Based on an empirical case study this paper illustrates how stewards and agents are interactively constructed by the accounting and control structures and other actors and actants within the network of the organisation. Furthermore, it reveals that the extent to which control structures are performative as well as the type of behaviour they construct differ among the specific accounting and control structures that are in place. Moreover, this case study shows how common control practices of family firms, such as the use of cultural controls instead of more formal controls and a specific tone at the top, are performative in constructing behaviour.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen