When: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PMWhere: Online, Zoom
This seminar is part of the Accounting and Accountability Research Group seminars, taking place on Wednesday 24th March, 1pm-2pm.
Structuring managerial work: Service delivery amidst disturbance and improvisation within professional service firms
This seminar is hosted by Dr Claudine Grisard, AARG.
The presenter is Lisa Baudot, from the University of Central Florida.
Previous studies of large accounting firms (LAF) emphasize the structured and ordered nature of managerial work. However, structure and order are often taken for granted rather than unpacked, leaving room for better understanding of not only the unstructured and unordered circumstances that managers confront in their day-to-day work practices but also how managers respond. We examine such disturbances and responses through a field study of managers in a large accounting firm. Our analysis shows that LAF managers confront a variety of disturbances arising from four interconnected conduits (caprices, ignorance, edge effects, and character flaws). Furthermore, we identify several facets of managerial work related to improvisation that allow the managers to deal with the unpredictable and unordered aspects of their day-to-day work. These facets of improvisation are vehicles through which managers handle circumstances that may otherwise impede the delivery of professional services. As such, our analysis suggests that at the core of disturbances and improvisation lies a largely neglected service logic in LAFs that structures the unstructured nature of managerial work by making things work and getting the job done.