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Disempowerment and empowerment of accounting: an Indigenous accounting context

journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Luisa Lombardi
Purpose – This paper seeks to examine the disempowering and/or empowering role of accounting in the context of Indigenous Australians.
Design/methodology/approach – A total of thirty-one interviewees participated in this study, which included eighteen self-identified Indigenous Australians and thirteen non- Indigenous Australians. A qualitative research methodology, and in particular an oral history method, was chosen because of its ability to support a deeper and richer form of inquiry. Bourdieu's concepts provide the framework for mobilizing and analysing the findings of this study.
Findings – The damaging role of accounting in the context of Indigenous peoples has largely stemmed from non-Indigenous peoples providing accounting services for Indigenous peoples. The evidence and analysis provided by this study postulates a constructive way forward of accounting’s role in contributing to the empowerment of Indigenous Australians.
Research limitations/implications – Limitations include being a non-Indigenous researcher conducting research in an Indigenous context, which may have prevented some interviewees from feeling comfortable to openly share their experiences and insights.
Practical implications - As this study’s findings have supported the theory that accounting skills can be used in an empowering way when used ‘by’ Indigenous peoples, Indigenous Australians should be actively supported by the accounting bodies to gain the qualifications needed for membership of the accounting profession.
Originality/value - This study contributes to the expanding accounting literature that locates the role of accounting in the context of Indigenous peoples by proposing accounting as a tool of empowerment.



Accounting, auditing & accountability journal






1320 - 1341




Bingley, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2016, Emerald Group Publishing