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Title: Accounting for tacit coordination: The passing of accounts and the broader case for accounting theory
Authors: Vollmer, Hendrik
First Published: 29-Jun-2018
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Accounting, Organizations and Society, 2018
Abstract: Tacit coordination is a pervasive aspect of accounting practice. This paper teases out insights on tacit coordination from existing scholarship, starting with studies of everyday life accounting, then turning to professional practice. It develops an understanding that, in the application of rules and accounting standards, in producing, framing, auditing and using statements, records, apologies or excuses, accounting practitioners tacitly coordinate towards the passing of accounts. This passing can be articulated in terms of structures, agencies and processes of tacit coordination involved in making accounting happen. The implications of this understanding of accounting practice and the importance of the wider domain of enquiry it is indicating are discussed with respect to the stewardship position of accounting professionals and the further development of accounting theory. The passing of accounts charges accounting practitioners with the stewardship of silence and indicates a broader case for accounting theory to address the full continuum of accounting practices. One vital role of such theory is to offer antidotes against the idea that any account, any slice of information, or any amount of ‘big data’ could speak for itself – or that it should.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.aos.2018.06.003
ISSN: 0361-3682
Embargo on file until: 29-Jun-2020
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Elsevier 2018. After an embargo period this version of the paper will be an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 24 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Economics

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