Accounting information discourse and accountability cases from Libya

SALEH, Mustafa Mohamad (2001). Accounting information discourse and accountability cases from Libya. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

[img] Archive (ZIP) - Accepted Version
Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (32MB)


Research to date has focused on explaining disclosure and accountability practices mainly in liberal market economies. Accountability and disclosure studies have been embedded in WestemlEuro-centric economic and social theories. Although there have been a growing number of theoretical accountability studies, few empirical studies have been conducted to explore the nature of accountability in the public sector and the private sector. Disclosure and accountability practices in non-competitive markets have been given little attention in the literature. The focus of this thesis is to understand information disclosure practices and accountability construction processes in the predominant socialist and Arabic context of Libya. This study contributes to knowledge by explaining how the practices of disclosure and accountability in such context occur. Explaining disclosure and accountability practices in relation to the state and the public contributes to the current debate around these practices.

This study reported on data collected from two case studies conducted in Libya: the Secretary of Industry (SI) and the National Trailers Company (NTC). The Secretary of Industry's responsibilities included supervising thirty-one companies including the National Trailers Company. The National Trailers Company was a joint venture company where the State, represented by the Secretary of Industry, owned 75 per cent of the capital and an Italian company, Calabrese, owned 25 per cent of the capital. The aim of the study was to understand how information was disclosed and accountability was constructed and to explain the relationships between disclosure and accountability in the SI-NTC context. The study used Sinclair's (1995) forms of accountability as a point of reference to explore whether these forms were identified and understood similarly in the Libyan context.

The study's observations showed that disclosure and accountability practices within the SI-NTC context were different from those identified in the literature. Information was disclosed upon request and followed mainly accountability routes. The role of managerial and financial accountability in this process was emphasised. The study proposed an explanation for the SI-NTC disclosure and accountability practices that took into consideration the role of not only economic, but also social and cultural aspects in these practices. This explanation encompassed values and beliefs that were related not only to secular, but also to sacred activities. The observations showed that Islamic construction of identity and accountability of a person (all persons) to Allah was embedded in the accountability process.

The study's contribution was two-fold. The first was related to the process and the practice of disseminating the company's information - information enclosure - and the second was related to the accountability construction process - accountability webs. Information enclosure theory was proposed to explain the company's disclosure (enclosure) practices. The proposed theory was different from the conventional disclosure theories in that it reflected the role of not only economic but also social relationships in the information provided. Information was provided to those who constituted "the organisational web" of accountability where the influence of social relationships and personal connections - "the social web" - was present.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 15:34
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2014 15:34

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics