PhD research projects

Below are some of the PhD Research projects completed by PhD candidates affiliated with the Centre.

Dr Mohd Abd Wahab Fatoni Mohd Balwi

Mohd explored the infusion of Islamic values into the management control system (MCS) of a state government agency in Malaysia. Drawing insights from actor-network theory (ANT) and neo-institutional sociology (NIS), his study was designed to understand the reasons for the infusion, how the process took place, and its impacts on the effectiveness of the MCS. The findings indicate the presence of external coercive pressures coming from the state government’s directives to infuse Islamic values. The results also show the existence of powerful opposing external pressures, which collided and influenced the working of MCS and moderated the infusion effort. Several key actors were identified as instrumental in the infusion process. Nevertheless, the process of actors’ enrolment was hindered by issues arising from internal organizational dynamics and external forces’ influence. Further, the results underscore the existing and potential role of religious values to complement or reinforce the existing MCS.

Dr Tharusha Niranjala Gooneratne

Tharusha investigated how management control was exercised in a public sector (Bank Alpha) and a private sector (Bank Omega) commercial bank located in Sri Lanka. Drawing from actor-network theory (ANT) and new institutional sociology (NIS) perspectives, the study was designed to address how organizational actors and external institutional forces influenced the design and use of two formal management control systems (MCS), budgeting and the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), in these two banks. The findings show that actors in different stratas formed relational networks in the implementation and use of MCS in different organisational spaces. Further, the results indicate that actions of actors become intertwined amid multiple external forces, including coercive authority from the state, mimicking processes from competitors, and influences from professional networks.

Dr Joane Jonathan

Joane investigated how the business-like behaviour of the Australian higher education sector has affected Student Unions' core values, norms, and their accountability practices. It revealed how student unions adopted accounting tools to facilitate conflicting economic and welfare values and suggested a framework to categorise their values and norms.

Dr Sajjad Hossain Khan

Sajjad aimed to better understand the changing role of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Office and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament within a developing country context with special reference to Bangladesh. His findings reveal that the impact of social, political, economic and institutional factors on the functioning of the CAG office and the PAC is high. There is a significant change in focus from the traditional views in both the offices and the changes in the internal workings are influenced by interrelated forces, both inside and outside the organisations. The CAG has adopted New Public Management (NPM) practices while the PAC has supported a considerable rise of NPM ideals in the public sector of Bangladesh. This study also finds that the CAG office and the PAC complement each other in promoting public sector accountability and effective governance.

Dr Joanne Margaret Lye

Joanne examined the process of how organisational learning occurs from the use of performance measures by organizational members in a strategic business unit of Zappo Corporation Ltd, a government-owned utility company based in Australia. Through the adoption of an interpretive perspective to elaborate the complexity of the process, the results discovered how organisational learning occurred from performance measures at Zappo. Her study also revealed that organisational learning is a socially constructed process illuminating that the use of performance measures is embedded in everyday thinking of the particular social world examined. From a practice perspective, the study will provide managers with several insights that will be useful guidelines to increase the effectiveness of how to use performance measures for organisational learning in the context within which they operate.

Dr Xuan Thuy Mai

Xuan examined performance measurement practices at a university from a social interaction perspective. Findings suggest that performance measurement practices are formed through individuals’ motivational needs, interactions, and knowledge. She concluded that by understanding their own motivational needs and knowledge, individuals can change their own interactions and performance measurement practice.

Xuan’s PhD was awarded the Nancy Millis Medal, awarded for theses of exceptional merit.

Dr Esin Ozdil

Esin investigated the strategy development and implementation practices of a university and the role of accounting therein. Her findings revealed that accounting information not only helped constitute but also supported the implementation of the strategic goals through contemporary financial strategies and accounting processes.

Dr Samina Rahman

This study investigated why and how a Bangladeshi local city council implemented organisational change and accounting’s role therein. It reveals that politicians at national and local levels played a dominant role in the structural change decision. Accounting played primarily a ceremonial role in organisational change decisions and execution.

Dr Margaret Salter

Drawing on two large Australian government organisations, Margaret investigated the role of accounting in the strategy execution process. Her inductive research in these two organisations demonstrates how institutional forces and individuals in power shape accounting devices and practices and identify opportunities to produce organisational efficiencies and effectiveness.

Dr Chaturika Seneviratne

Drawing on practice and power relations theories, Chaturika investigated how management control practices are constructed by internal micro-processual actions, power relations and conflicting interests among individuals at two Sri Lankan universities. Evidence suggests that management control practice may operate beyond the formal, strategic and abstract forms in an organisation.

Dr Prapaipim (Kay) Sutheewasinnon

Kay investigated why and how a new performance management system was implemented in the Thai public sector. Findings from three government entities suggest that external institutional pressures and institutional entrepreneurs’ social skills and rhetoric play important roles in the successful implementation of a new system in an organisation.

Dr Nur Haiza Muhammad Zawawi

Nur investigated the mechanisms used among several collaborating government organisations to achieve their collective business targets. Her study gains an insight from a government agency suggesting that the specific ways an organisation manages its employees and operations can contribute to the achievement of these targets and consequently successful business collaborations.