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Accounting Colonization, Emancipation and Instrumental Compliance in Nigeria

Ferry, L.; Haslam, J.; Green, S.; Adegbite, E.; Gebreiter, F.

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J. Haslam

Stuart Green
Assistant Professor in Accounting

E. Adegbite

F. Gebreiter


This study explores the extent to which designs for accounting change and accounting colonization can be absorbed through a devious compliance/implementation that deflects new interpretive schemes. To do so, it conducts an in-depth analysis of two contrasting Nigerian public service organizational cases, in which there was an ostensible search for improvements in financial governance. While one of the cases indicates how accounting colonization involved change through an ostensibly coercive accounting design, the other case organization employed budget assurances to deliver public service consistent with an ostensibly more emancipatory design. In both cases, instrumental compliance with the accounting design did not occur during implementation as a devious compliance took hold. Consequently, the delivery of priorities was not exactly as intended. This study contributes to the theorising of emancipatory/oppressive accounting, including vis-à-vis accounting colonization, by providing evidence of both the coercive and emancipatory dimensions of accounting design in this context. In addition, it highlights the relevance of a closely observed and nuanced approach to analysing accounting in action, which is of significant importance to policy-makers and other social actors.


Ferry, L., Haslam, J., Green, S., Adegbite, E., & Gebreiter, F. (2021). Accounting Colonization, Emancipation and Instrumental Compliance in Nigeria. Critical Perspectives On Accounting, 77, Article 102201.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 9, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 5, 2020
Publication Date 2021-06
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 5, 2022
Journal Critical Perspectives On Accounting
Print ISSN 1045-2354
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 77
Article Number 102201
Public URL


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