Accounting, ambiguity, and the new institutionalism

Bruce Greenhow Carruthers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Scopus citations


The New Institutionalism is a recent development in organization theory with great relevance to accounting research. New institutionalists view accounting practices as one of a larger set of features that can legitimize organizations through construction of an appearance of rationality and efficiency. Ceremonial adherence to legitimate norms may have little material impact because formal organizational structure is decoupled from actual organizational processes. Whether substantial decoupling undermines organizational legitimacy, who the key audiences for organizational appearances are, and the relation between technical and institutional factors, are key issues that remain unsettled in new institutionalist research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-328
Number of pages16
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems and Management


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