A Postmodern Accounting Theory: An Institutional Approach

Gaétan Breton
Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada


Product Details
Format:
Hardback
ISBN:
9781787697942
Published:
30 Nov 2018
Publisher:
Emerald Publishing Limited
Dimensions:
256 pages - 152 x 229mm
If accounting is a means of communicating information for decision-making, then any attempt to define accounting must draw upon scholarly knowledge of communication and decision-making. This means understanding accounting as a professional jargon, a language, and also as a social and psychological object that influences individual and collective behavior. Only when all of these aspects are accounted for can we hope to achieve a truly descriptive, rather than normative, accounting theory that will stand up to the rigors of academic inquiry. 

Here Gaétan Breton provides a comprehensive overview of what accounting really is, not just what it is presumed to be for the purposes of ordinary, day-to-day, practicality-oriented accounting courses. Drawing upon frameworks employed in the human sciences—including those used in sociology, psychology, the communication sciences, and decision theories—Breton builds a multi-faceted theory of accounting. He explains why it should be conceived as a fundamentally social activity, one that puts preparers of financial statements in contact with users—with the state, shareholders, stakeholders, and citizens—in order to help them make economic decisions based on financial information. It is from this position that he analyzes both the behavior of preparers of financial statements (who only relate financial situations) and the behavior of users (in their own analysis, understanding, and decisions). The result is a groundbreaking move towards the first science of accounting widely acceptable within academic circles. 

For the fundamental questions it poses to the very heart of accounting studies, this book is a must-read for researchers and practitioners as well as teachers and undergraduate students of accounting.
FOREWORD 
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 
CHAPTER 2. THEORIES AND SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT  
CHAPTER 3. THE TRADITIONAL VISION OF ACCOUNTING THEORY  
CHAPTER 4.  ACCOUNTING IN THE SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION 
CHAPTER 5. FOR A DEFINITION OF ACCOUNTING 
CHAPTER 6. ACCOUNTING: THE STATE AND THE FIRM
CHAPTER 7. SOCIOLOGY OF ACCOUNTING 
CHAPTER 8. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF ACCOUNTING 
CHAPTER 9. HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE 
CHAPTER 10. A THEORY OF ACCOUNTING 
CHAPTER 11. ANALYZING THE DOCUMENTS ACCOMPANYING DECISIONS 
CHAPTER 12. MANIPULATING AND LYING
CONCLUSION
Gaétan Breton is author or co-author of over a dozen books, mostly essays, and over 30 academic articles. He graduated from the City University in London and is currently a Professor of Accounting at Université du Québec à Montréal. In the last fifteen years he has concentrated his teaching at the graduate level and supervised many Masters and Ph.D. students. He is also deeply invested in the life of his community, having served as treasurer and councillor for many not-for-profit organizations.

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