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“No time to stand and stare” Imagery of flexible work arrangements in Australian professional accounting journals

“No time to stand and stare” Imagery of flexible work arrangements in Australian professional... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the imagery of flexible work arrangements in professional accounting employment, as presented in the Australian professional accounting journals from 2004‐2007. Design/methodology/approach – The approach takes the form of a critical analysis of discourse in articles in professional accounting journals. Findings – While talk of “balance” and “flexibility” is widespread in the professional accounting journals in Australia, accountancy is portrayed as an environment dominated by a “work hard, play hard” culture. Flexible work arrangements are presented as acceptable work practices when they provide a means of facilitating this culture, rather than as an alternative method of working. Research limitations/implications – The Australian accounting professional bodies continue to actively portray the long hours culture of professional work (and play) as the foundation of success, despite widespread concern about, first, the long‐term implications of such a lifestyle for employees’ personal wellbeing and, second, the lack of appeal of such working conditions for both existing and potential employees. Practical implications – Despite the rhetoric of the need for flexible work practices to attract/retain accounting talent, accountants may find that there is limited support within the profession to facilitate career development while utilising such arrangements as part‐time work. Originality/value – The imagery of the contemporary accounting work environment as presented in the professional journals has not been examined in the accounting literature. As these journals are a primary means by which the profession communicates with its members, they present a good basis for examining how the accounting profession wishes itself to be perceived. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pacific Accounting Review Emerald Publishing

“No time to stand and stare” Imagery of flexible work arrangements in Australian professional accounting journals

Pacific Accounting Review , Volume 20 (2): 20 – Jul 18, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0114-0582
DOI
10.1108/01140580810892481
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the imagery of flexible work arrangements in professional accounting employment, as presented in the Australian professional accounting journals from 2004‐2007. Design/methodology/approach – The approach takes the form of a critical analysis of discourse in articles in professional accounting journals. Findings – While talk of “balance” and “flexibility” is widespread in the professional accounting journals in Australia, accountancy is portrayed as an environment dominated by a “work hard, play hard” culture. Flexible work arrangements are presented as acceptable work practices when they provide a means of facilitating this culture, rather than as an alternative method of working. Research limitations/implications – The Australian accounting professional bodies continue to actively portray the long hours culture of professional work (and play) as the foundation of success, despite widespread concern about, first, the long‐term implications of such a lifestyle for employees’ personal wellbeing and, second, the lack of appeal of such working conditions for both existing and potential employees. Practical implications – Despite the rhetoric of the need for flexible work practices to attract/retain accounting talent, accountants may find that there is limited support within the profession to facilitate career development while utilising such arrangements as part‐time work. Originality/value – The imagery of the contemporary accounting work environment as presented in the professional journals has not been examined in the accounting literature. As these journals are a primary means by which the profession communicates with its members, they present a good basis for examining how the accounting profession wishes itself to be perceived.

Journal

Pacific Accounting ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 18, 2008

Keywords: Accountancy; Flexible working hours; Gender; Australia

References