Walking the talk? Supply chain accounting and trust among UK supermarkets and suppliers
This paper examines the way in which calculative practices are implicated in the constitution of trust in the UK retail sector. In the sector, where trust receives much attention in declarations of intent, the notion of category management - a framework for orchestrating collaborative buyer-supplier relations based on dualistic modes of information exchange - has become widely adopted. Drawing on Giddens' conceptualization of trust in abstract systems, it is argued that regimes of calculative practices embedded in the category management framework played an integral role in constituting system trust in category management and enabled its rapid diffusion across the sector. However, modes of supply chain accounting can also be deployed as a mechanism to further particular interests behind a veil of talk about trust. This paper presents a longitudinal field study where management accounting practices pursued under the banner of category management operated to dissemble a variety of self-interested actions and trust was deployed largely as a discursive resource which ultimately resulted in distrust and cynicism. This paper presents a framework for conceptualizing the relationship between accounting and inter-organizational trust and provides insights into the way that accounting techniques such as open booking accounting and joint performance management introduced amid 'trust talk' can act to undermine trust in buyer-supplier relations.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cooper, Robin & Slagmulder, Regine, 2004. "Interorganizational cost management and relational context," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-26, January.
- Keith J. Blois, 1999. "Trust in Business to Business Relationships: An Evaluation of its Status," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 197-215, March.
- C Doel, 1999. "Towards a supply-chain community? Insights from governance processes in the food industry," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(1), pages 69-85, January.
- Armstrong, Peter, 1991. "Contradiction and social dynamics in the capitalist agency relationship," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25.
- Tomkins, Cyril, 2001. "Interdependencies, trust and information in relationships, alliances and networks," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 161-191, March.
- Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Robert Forsythe & Thomas W. Ross, 1989. "Communication in the Battle of the Sexes Game: Some Experimental Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(4), pages 568-587, Winter.
- Dekker, Henri C., 2004. "Control of inter-organizational relationships: evidence on appropriation concerns and coordination requirements," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 27-49, January.
- Whitley, R., 1999. "Firms, institutions and management control: the comparative analysis of coordination and control systems," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(5-6), pages 507-524, July.
- Neu, Dean, 1991. "New stock issues and the institutional production of trust," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 185-200.
- McSWEENEY, BRENDAN, 1997. "The Unbearable Ambiguity Of Accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 691-712, October.
- Gietzmann, Miles B., 1996. "Incomplete contracts and the make or buy decision: Governance design and attainable flexibility," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 611-626, August.
- Ross, Andrew, 1994. "Trust as a moderator of the effect of performance evaluation style on job-related tension: A research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 629-635, October.
- Frances, Jennifer & Garnsey, Elizabeth, 1996. "Supermarkets and suppliers in the United Kingdom: System integration, information and control," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 591-610, August.
- Jonsson, Sten & Macintosh, Norman B., 1997. "CATS, RATS, AND EARS: Making the case for ethnographic accounting research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(3-4), pages 367-386.
- Barrett, Michael & Cooper, David J. & Jamal, Karim, 2005. "Globalization and the coordinating of work in multinational audits," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-24, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:33:y:2008:i:6:p:629-662. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.