Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

Inter- professional categorization in accounting regulation

    We examine the SEC’s Modernization of Oil and Gas Reserves project to highlight the role of categories and professional interactions in accounting regulation. Drawing from analysis of regulatory documents and interviews with key actors, we find that accounting and engineering professionals are engaged in mutually reinforcing category (re-) construction. Previous research has emphasized professional competition and neglected the important role of ambiguity, in our case associated with the characteristics of knowledge objects and technologies themselves. We view corporate financial reporting as networked and distributed, where intersecting complementary professional knowledge systems occupy the same reporting and regulatory space. In oil and gas reporting, the practices of identification, classification and estimation are fraught with uncertainty of the object. We find that, as a way to stabilize uncertainty, professionals collaborate on embedding ambiguity within the revised regulations, maintaining the categories, practices and measurement technologies, and acceptable ways of knowing the products.

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