Employing neo-Durkheimian institutional theory in cross-cultural accounting research

Linsley Philip, Linsley Alexander, Matthias Beck, Mollan Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
426 Downloads (Pure)


Neo-Durkheimian institutional theory, as developed by the anthropologist Mary Douglas, is proposed as a suitable theory base for undertaking cross-cultural accounting research. Her social theory provides a structure for examining within-country and cross-country actions and behaviours of different groups and communities. It avoids associating nations and cultures, instead contending any nation will comprise four different solidarities engaging in constant
dialogues. Further, it is a dynamic theory able to take account of cultural change.

The paper establishes a case for using neo-Durkheimian institutional theory in cross-cultural accounting research by specifying the key components of the theory and addressing common criticisms. To illustrate how the theory might be utilised in the domain of accounting and finance research, a comparative interpretation of the different experiences of financialization in Germany and the UK is provided drawing on Douglas’s grid-group schema.

Findings (mandatory)
Neo-Durkheimian institutional theory is deemed sufficiently capable of interpreting the
behaviours of different social groups and is not open to the same criticisms as Hofstede’s
work. Differences in Douglasian cultural dialogues in the post-1945 history of Germany and
the UK provide an explanation of the variations in the comparative experiences of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1270-1293
JournalAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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