- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Food systems in Europe, North America and Australasia are dominated by a small number of supermarkets supplying over 70% of the food consumers buy, and the model is being translated into other markets such as the Middle East and Asia. Relationships between suppliers and supermarkets are contentious in all such systems. Here, interviews were carried out with representatives of three major grower-packers supplying between them around 50% of the UK's fresh produce. We were interested in three questions, namely: how performance measurement, risk management and communication of accounting information are used by intermediaries in an allegedly unfair commercial environment; the extent to which the accounting and control practices observed support perceptions that suppliers in supermarket-dominated supply networks are treated unfairly; and what accounting and control practices would be indicative of fair commercial relationships? Researchers in the crossdisciplinary literature use John Rawls' theories of ‘justice as fairness’ in this context. Recent developments in business ethics and philosophy apply his theories to questions of relational power and fairness in commercial relationships. We follow these writers to understand where, if at all, the perceived unfairness of these food systems lies. Our empirical work and analysis can make an initial contribution from the discipline to this debate, because it has the potential to show how accounting and control practices are at the centre of the fragilities of the wider system, and of possible remedies.
Our first contribution is to extend the sparse accounting and control literature on intermediaries by providing further empirical evidence of accounting and control practices in such firms. Like Bowman et al. (2013), we find an opportunistic environment in which cost accounting and performance measurement are used minutely within individual businesses to maintain very slight margins and a positive cash flow, but where intermediaries are frustrated in their attempts to hold negotiations with customers using financial information. Our empirical data shows that the findings of Frances and Garnsey (1996) represent a particular instance in fresh produce supply to supermarkets and that although their analysis of the assumption of power by supermarkets is relevant, the particular accounting and information technology practices they envisage have not materialised as expected. The work of Free (2007, 2008) and Neu et al. (2014) examine non-food intermediaries. We demonstrate that further comparative evidence is needed to establish the patterns of practice within intermediary firms and to elucidate further the role played by managers within intermediaries in maintaining or changing existing systems. Our second contribution is to initiate a discussion in accounting about fair commercial relationships within supply networks based on the theories of justice. There are a small number of papers examining theories of justice through financial reporting (Archer, 1996; Flower, 2010; Power, 1992), but none in the areas of management accounting and control. There is some limited theoretical discussions in the wider organisational literature, such as marketing and supply chain management. Theories of justice are discussed in business ethics and corporate governance but there is limited empirical research. Papers such as Bowman et al. (2013, p.313) end with a generalised call for policymakers to maintain “a sustainable and profitable supply chain contributing to national objectives such as food security and continuous employment”, which must be part of a fair basic structure.