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Organisational change and innovation in small accounting practices: evidence from the field

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of context specific issues and challenges facing small accounting practices (SAPs) in Australian regional and rural centres. It is argued that these firms face a dynamic and continuously changing environment which requires strategic responses on the part of SAP owners. The paper explores how SAPs accommodate and respond to their contextual environment, and in turn, shape that environment. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This paper adopts a qualitative case study research approach involving the review and analysis of the prior literature and relevant archival documents, and semi-structured interviews with the key SAP owner/managers. Findings ‐ The findings suggest that SAPs adopt innovative strategies and structures. The SAPs in this study were generally found to be resilient and dynamic in responding to the changes in their contextual environment. Significant differences between SAPs were also found, particularly on how they addressed contextual uncertainties. Research limitations/implications ‐ This is a case study research on SAPs in rural and regional centres. Any generalization of the conclusions from this study should be undertaken with care, even though there are similarities between SAPs operating in rural and regional centres and those operating in large metropolitan areas. Originality/value ‐ This paper makes an important contribution by highlighting the SAPs' responses depending on their contextual environment.
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Keywords: Accounting firms; Innovation; Organizational change; Small enterprises

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 2, 2010

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