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Accounting as capital and doxa: exploring power and Resistance in world bank projects in Tonga

Fukofuka, Peni Tupou and Jacobs, K.R. (2018) Accounting as capital and doxa: exploring power and Resistance in world bank projects in Tonga. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 31 (2). pp. 608-625. ISSN 0951-3574

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of accounting both as a resource and an element of the social context in the relationship between the World Bank and the Island Kingdom of Tonga. Design/methodology/approaches We implemented a qualitative field study design collecting data through 13 semi-structured interviews and rich consultation with 10 informants. We also did in depth reviews of various World Bank lending agreements to Tonga. Such an approach is necessary for collecting the rich data required to address our research purpose. Bourdieu’s concepts of doxa and capital provided the framework for problematizing our research purpose and for making sense of our collected data. Findings The role of accounting in dominating and controlling of Indigenous people is mediated by the doxic rules and existing capital arrangements in several contextual levels ranging from the National level to the village level. Research limitations/ implications While we deployed the understanding of the doxic rules and capital arrangements of various fields to better understand the roles of accounting in the relationship between Tonga and the World Bank, we really did not explore the grey area where fields (and by extension the overlapping of doxic rules and capital arrangements) overlap each other. We suspect that an enhanced understanding of the role of accounting will be arrived at if this area is better articulated. Practical implications This study shows that accounting as an accountability tool is deployed in various social contexts each with its own doxic rule complications and capital arrangements. Accordingly, this study provides policy makers and foreign donors to Tonga and other Pacific Islands information on the struggles to implement accounting at local level. And similarly, it provides evidence on local level enablers for the implementation of accounting as an accountability tool. Originality/ value This study contributes to the growing accounting body of work that seeks to better understand accounting in Indigenous settings by proposing that role of accounting as a tool for domination is mediated in various social settings by the doxic value and the existing capital arrangements in those settings.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Peni Fukofuka
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2018 02:29
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 02:29

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