Dr Karen Handley

Dr Karen Handley

Lecturer

Newcastle Business School

Career Summary

Biography

Karen Handley is a lecturer in the Newcastle Business School at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her PhD in Accounting examines the development of the Reduced Disclosure Reporting standard in Australia. Karen also holds an Honours degree in Computer Science from Rhodes University and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. She has taught at Macquarie University, the University of Newcastle and the University of Victoria (Canada) in financial accounting, personal financial planning and retail management. Her research interests include financial reporting, accounting standards and corporate governance (particularly for small and medium-sized entities) and workplace diversity. Publications include peer reviewed high quality journal articles, a research monograph and a number of professional publications and articles. Her career prior to academe includes project management of software development projects for mining and retail companies and small business ownership. Karen utilizes her advanced computer literacy and proficiency in analytical tools for both qualitative and quantitative research.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Science (Information Processing), Rhodes University
  • Master of Business Administration, University of Cape Town - South Africa

Keywords

  • Accounting Standards
  • Corporate Governance
  • Intellectual Capital
  • SMEs
  • Work-life balance

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
150314 Small Business Management 20
150101 Accounting Theory and Standards 60
150103 Financial Accounting 20

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
Australia
Casual Web Learn Tutor Newcastle Business School University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
Australia
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
Australia
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
27/05/2013 - 26/05/2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Macquarie University
Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance
Australia

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
ACFI3001 Accounting Theory
Newcastle Business School - The University of Newcaslte
ACFI3001 - Accounting Theory 1/02/2017 - 30/06/2017
Edit

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Hutchinson M, Handley K, University M, A Humane Reckoning From Accounting to Accountability at Macquarie, 1964 - 2014 (2014)
2009 Sturdy A, Handley K, Clark T, Fincham R, Management Consultancy: Boundaries and Knowledge in Action (2009)

© Andrew Sturdy, Karen Handley, Timothy Clark, and Robin Fincham 2009. All rights reserved. Drawing on a three-year, in-depth, 'fly-on-the-wall' study of client-managem... [more]

© Andrew Sturdy, Karen Handley, Timothy Clark, and Robin Fincham 2009. All rights reserved. Drawing on a three-year, in-depth, 'fly-on-the-wall' study of client-management consultant interactions, knowledge flow in management consultancy projects is shown to be mediated by multiple and shifting boundaries or 'insider-outsider' relationships. This challenges dominant assumptions about management consultancy as being either a source of new ideas and processes or simply the legitimation of client knowledge. Rather, different actors, roles, and types of knowledge are involved in an interactive and dynamic process where various boundaries are constructed, reinforced, negotiated, and transformed. The chapters selectively explore these dynamics, revealing the importance of boundary complexity; the role of humour and challenge in often tense relationships; and the importance of shared knowledge domains such as sector knowledge. They are based upon a model of client-consultant relationships developed from theories of knowledge and social boundaries. A wide range of consultancy contexts are covered, including: a US-based strategy firm and a multinational client; the public and private sectors; a sole practitioner consultant; and IT implementation in financial services. These have a wider significance in terms of our understanding of project working, innovation/change, inter-organizational relations and professional and business services.

DOI 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212644.001.0001
Citations Scopus - 62

Chapter (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Handley KL, Ross-Smith A, Wright S, 'The Same or Different: How women have become included in corporate leadership in Australia', Inclusive Leadership - Negotiating Gendered Spaces, Palgrave Macmillan, Sydney 93-124 (2017)
2017 Handley K, McGrath-Champ S, Leung P, 'A new way of working: Flexibility and work-life balance in the accounting profession in Australia', Anywhere Working and the New Era of Telecommuting 113-143 (2017)

© 2017, IGI Global. This chapter provides evidence of the practical implementation of an aspect of 'new ways of working', that is, flexible work arrangements (FWA) in t... [more]

© 2017, IGI Global. This chapter provides evidence of the practical implementation of an aspect of 'new ways of working', that is, flexible work arrangements (FWA) in the Australian accounting profession. It reports and analyses the results of interviews of twenty accounting professionals conducted in 2014. FWA refers to the interrelationship between temporal and spatial flexibility which are facilitated by technology. In this chapter, evidence is provided of the public rhetoric regarding FWA by accounting firms, particularly the Big Four firms. This is contrasted with anecdotal testimony from the interviews to reveal the success with which these goals have been adopted and implemented across the accounting profession, and the impact they have on work-life balance (WLB). The findings reveal inconsistencies and prejudices still in place in Australian accounting firms and suggest that, although there has been some success in this area, some conservative views still need challenging.

DOI 10.4018/978-1-5225-2328-4.ch005
2017 Handley K, McGrath-Champ S, Leung P, 'A new way of working: Flexibility and work-life balance in the accounting profession in Australia', Anywhere Working and the New Era of Telecommuting 113-143 (2017)

© 2017, IGI Global. This chapter provides evidence of the practical implementation of an aspect of 'new ways of working', that is, flexible work arrangements (FWA) in the Austral... [more]

© 2017, IGI Global. This chapter provides evidence of the practical implementation of an aspect of 'new ways of working', that is, flexible work arrangements (FWA) in the Australian accounting profession. It reports and analyses the results of interviews of twenty accounting professionals conducted in 2014. FWA refers to the interrelationship between temporal and spatial flexibility which are facilitated by technology. In this chapter, evidence is provided of the public rhetoric regarding FWA by accounting firms, particularly the Big Four firms. This is contrasted with anecdotal testimony from the interviews to reveal the success with which these goals have been adopted and implemented across the accounting profession, and the impact they have on work-life balance (WLB). The findings reveal inconsistencies and prejudices still in place in Australian accounting firms and suggest that, although there has been some success in this area, some conservative views still need challenging.

DOI 10.4018/978-1-5225-2328-4.ch005
2016 Handley K, Den Outer B, 'Work and careers: Narratives from knowledge workers aged 48-58', Challenges of Active Ageing: Equality Law and the Workplace 209-230 (2016)

© The Editor(s) and The Author(s) 2016. A weakness of the burgeoning policy-related literature on older workers is a tendency to treat ¿older workers¿ as a single, homogenous g... [more]

© The Editor(s) and The Author(s) 2016. A weakness of the burgeoning policy-related literature on older workers is a tendency to treat ¿older workers¿ as a single, homogenous group, overlooking the influence of intersectional factors such as income, education, social background, occupation, age and the type-of-work on individual experience. Only ¿gender¿ has attracted sustained research attention, yet other socio-demographic characteristics are likely to have effects which are just as important. To take one example, professionally qualified accountants have very different opportunities in later life compared with car assembly workers whose activities are tied to ¿the track¿ and therefore lack portability. Age itself is a key variable in older worker research. The experiences, motivations and aspirations of a 50-year-old are likely to be barely comparable with those of an 85-year-old; the 35-year gap is almost a generational difference. This heterogeneity of older worker experiences, contexts and situations suggests that research should be more attentive to variations. This can be partly achieved by investigating sub-groups within the broader ¿older worker¿ category. The potential advantage of doing so is a greater understanding of older workers, which may lead to more targeted policymaking. This study seeks to contribute to this broader agenda by focusing on one particular group of workers: those aged between 48 and 58 years employed in, or studying at, a higher education institution. People in this group are getting older, but are certainly not elderly, and they potentially have many years of work ahead of them. In the literature and the media, they are often referred to as the ¿sandwiched¿ generation with caring responsibilities for their offspring as well as for longer living parents.

DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-53251-0_10
2013 Orsmond P, Merry S, Handley K, 'Students¿ social learning practice as a way of learning from tutor feedback', Reconceptualising Feedback in Higher Education: Developing Dialogue with Students 123-132 (2013)
DOI 10.4324/9780203522813
Citations Scopus - 5
2012 Handley K, Sturdy A, Fincham R, Clark T, 'A space for learning? Physical, relational and agential space in a strategy consultancy project', Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship in Professional Services 65-85 (2012)
DOI 10.4337/9781781009109.00013
2007 Fincham R, Clark T, Handley K, Sturdy A, 'Knowledge narratives and heterogeneity in management consultancy and business services', Redirections in the Study of Expert Labour: Established Professions and New Expert Occupations 183-203 (2007)
DOI 10.1057/9780230592827
Citations Scopus - 5
Show 4 more chapters

Journal article (18 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Perkiss S, Handley KL, 'Making¿sense of contemporary disasters: a liquid development perspective', International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, (2017)
2017 Handley KL, Wright S, Evans E, 'SME reporting in Australia: Where to now for decision-­-usefulness?', Australian Accounting Review, (2017)
2016 Massaro M, Handley K, Bagnoli C, Dumay J, 'Knowledge management in small and medium enterprises: a structured literature review', JOURNAL OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT, 20 258-291 (2016)
DOI 10.1108/JKM-08-2015-0320
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 8
2015 Islam MA, Haque S, Dissanayake T, Leung P, Handley K, 'Corporate Disclosure in Relation to Combating Corporate Bribery: A Case Study of Two Chinese Telecommunications Companies', Australian Accounting Review, 25 309-326 (2015)

© 2015 CPA Australia Ltd (CPA Australia). This paper investigates the association between global community concerns about bribery activities and anti-bribery disclosure practices... [more]

© 2015 CPA Australia Ltd (CPA Australia). This paper investigates the association between global community concerns about bribery activities and anti-bribery disclosure practices by two Chinese telecommunication companies operating internationally, namely China Mobile and ZTE. Based on content analysis of annual reports and global news media articles over a period of 16years from 1995-2010, the findings suggest that the changes in the level of disclosures by the two major Chinese telecommunications companies were closely associated with the level of international concerns over bribery practices within the Chinese telecommunications industry. This finding indicates that the companies adopt anti-bribery disclosure practices in order to minimise the gap of trust (social capital) between companies themselves and global stakeholders. In this paper we argue that, for domestic companies in China, culturally constructed social capital, such as guanxi, creates a level of trust between managers and their stakeholders, which obviates the need for managers to disclose anti-bribery performance information. However, for companies operating internationally, as social capital is inadequate to bridge the gap of trust between managers and global stakeholders, managers use disclosures of anti-bribery performance information as a way to minimise such a gap.

DOI 10.1111/auar.12064
Citations Scopus - 1
2015 Handley K, Hough-Goldstein J, Hanks LM, Millar JG, D'amico V, 'Species richness and phenology of cerambycid beetles in urban forest fragments of Northern Delaware', Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 108 251-262 (2015)

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. Cerambycid beetles are abundant and diverse in forests, but much about the... [more]

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. Cerambycid beetles are abundant and diverse in forests, but much about their host relationships and adult behavior remains unknown. Generic blends of synthetic pheromones were used as lures in traps, to assess the species richness, and phenology of cerambycids in forest fragments in northern Delaware. More than 15,000 cerambycid beetles of 69 species were trapped over 2yr. Activity periods were similar to those found in previous studies, but many species were active 1-3 wk earlier in 2012 than in 2013, probably owing to warmer spring temperatures that year. In 2012, the blends were tested with and without ethanol, a host plant volatile produced by stressed trees. Of cerambycid species trapped in sufficient numbers for statistical analysis, ethanol synergized pheromone trap catches for seven species, but had no effect on attraction to pheromone for six species. One species was attracted only by ethanol. The generic pheromone blend, especially when combined with ethanol, was an effective tool for assessing the species richness and adult phenology of many cerambycid species, including nocturnal, crepuscular, and cryptic species that are otherwise difficult to find.

DOI 10.1093/aesa/sav005
Citations Scopus - 12
2013 den Outer B, Handley K, Price M, 'Situational analysis and mapping for use in education research: a reflexive methodology?', Studies in Higher Education, 38 1504-1521 (2013)

In the quest for a better reflexive research practice and to respond to the challenge of expanding on an education research repertoire, the authors consider situational analysis, ... [more]

In the quest for a better reflexive research practice and to respond to the challenge of expanding on an education research repertoire, the authors consider situational analysis, proposed as a post-modern approach to grounded theory using maps. Originally situating their research projects within a social constructivist theoretical frame, the authors apply situational analysis to a qualitative study on how new joiners to an academic community come to understand the local assessment processes and the meaning of associated criteria and standards in higher education. They conclude that, although situational analysis offers important research prompts which can lead to an enhanced reflexive research practice for the educational researcher, they struggle to reconcile its postmodern approach in some of its elements with a commitment to a reflexivity agenda in the way that they have come to understand it. © 2012 Society for Research into Higher Education.

DOI 10.1080/03075079.2011.641527
Citations Scopus - 3
2013 Handley K, den Outer B, Price M, 'Learning to mark: Exemplars, dialogue and participation in assessment communities', Higher Education Research and Development, 32 888-900 (2013)

The problems of shifting from norm-referenced assessment to criterion-referenced assessment have been identified by several scholars in recent years. These important critiques tou... [more]

The problems of shifting from norm-referenced assessment to criterion-referenced assessment have been identified by several scholars in recent years. These important critiques touch on a number of areas, but neglect a key question about how assessors learn to accomplish what Shay calls a 'socially situated interpretive act'. Research that does exist tends to focus on salaried, full-time academics. This overlooks the heterogeneity of the academic labour force in higher education and the substantial contribution made by contract (hourly-paid) lecturers, particularly in applied disciplines such as Business and Management. This study explores how nine newcomers to a UK Business School - including salaried and contract staff - attempt to understand local assessment practice. We use a situated learning lens to analyse their diary entries and interviews about their experiences of learning to mark. Drawing on scholars such as Sadler, we examine the suggestion that exemplars are important for newcomers coming to understand local assessment practice. We argue for the fundamental importance of dialogue about exemplars and other aspects of practice, both to develop inter-subject understandings of assessment 'anchor points' and also to foster among newcomers (and especially contract lecturers) a greater sense of participating in, and being valued by, the local assessment community. © 2013 HERDSA.

DOI 10.1080/07294360.2013.806438
Citations Scopus - 4
2011 Handley K, Williams L, 'From copying to learning: Using exemplars to engage students with assessment criteria and feedback', Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 36 95-108 (2011)

Feedback is central to pedagogic theory, and if feedback is to be effective, students need to engage with it and apply it at some point in the future. However, student dissatisfac... [more]

Feedback is central to pedagogic theory, and if feedback is to be effective, students need to engage with it and apply it at some point in the future. However, student dissatisfaction with feedback - as evidenced in the National Student Survey - suggests that there are problems which limit student engagement with feedback, such as their perception that much of their feedback is irrelevant to future assignments. This article reports on a study which sought to enhance engagement by giving students exemplar assignments annotated with feedback before submission of their final assignments. This was done by providing an online facility where students could view exemplars and post comments or questions to tutors and peers on a discussion board. The exemplar facility was highly valued by students, although there were no quantitative effects such as an increase in students' assignment marks when compared with the previous cohort. The article reflects on possible reasons for this result and discusses ways to improve the exemplar facility, for example by facilitating dialogue between tutors and students. The article concludes with lessons learned about how to construct exemplars, and considers how exemplars might also be used within marking teams to improve consistency of marking. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

DOI 10.1080/02602930903201669
Citations Scopus - 47
2011 Handley K, Price M, Millar J, 'Beyond 'doing time': Investigating the concept of student engagement with feedback', Oxford Review of Education, 37 543-560 (2011)

Feedback on students' assignments may be comprehensive and well-constructed as a result of careful thought from tutors trying to identify and address students' needs. Ho... [more]

Feedback on students' assignments may be comprehensive and well-constructed as a result of careful thought from tutors trying to identify and address students' needs. However, feedback's utility ultimately depends on the way students engage with it. 'Doing time' by complying with a norm of collecting, but then only skim-reading, feedback is a long way from the 'mindful' engagement associated with reflection, interpretation, deepening understanding and changes in later behaviour. This article argues that the literature's traditional focus on experimental studies of feedback attributes (whilst ignoring students' engagement) is misplaced, particularly given the methodological problems and inconsistent findings associated with these studies. These limitations suggest the need for an alternative line of enquiry. In this article, we develop a conceptual framework intended to illuminate the process of student engagement with feedback. We further propose a research agenda which can convey the variety of student experiences and generate analytic insights about students' evolving engagement as a result of multiple feedback encounters in an educational setting. We suggest that this research agenda can lead to policies and practices to enhance student engagement with feedback, which may build students' sense of responsibility and ownership for their learning. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

DOI 10.1080/03054985.2011.604951
Citations Scopus - 13
2011 Price M, Handley K, Millar J, 'Feedback: Focusing attention on engagement', Studies in Higher Education, 36 879-896 (2011)

Within many higher education systems there is a search for means to increase levels of student satisfaction with assessment feedback. This article suggests that the search is unde... [more]

Within many higher education systems there is a search for means to increase levels of student satisfaction with assessment feedback. This article suggests that the search is under way in the wrong place by concentrating on feedback as a product rather than looking more widely to feedback as a long-term dialogic process in which all parties are engaged. A three-year study, focusing on engaging students with assessment feedback, is presented and analysed using an analytical model of stages of engagement. The analysis suggests that a more holistic, socially-embedded conceptualisation of feedback and engagement is needed. This conceptualisation is likely to encourage tutors to support students in more productive ways, which enable students to use feedback to develop their learning, rather than respond mechanistically to the tutors' 'instruction'. © 2011 Copyright Society for Research into Higher Education.

DOI 10.1080/03075079.2010.483513
Citations Scopus - 50
2010 Price M, Handley K, Millar J, O'Donovan B, 'Feedback: All that effort, but what is the effect?', Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35 277-289 (2010)

Constraints in resourcing and student dissatisfaction with assessment feedback mean that the effectiveness of our feedback practices has never been so important. Drawing on findin... [more]

Constraints in resourcing and student dissatisfaction with assessment feedback mean that the effectiveness of our feedback practices has never been so important. Drawing on findings from a three-year study focused on student engagement with feedback, this paper reveals the limited extent to which effectiveness can be accurately measured and challenges many of the assumptions and beliefs about effectiveness of feedback practices. Difficulties relating to multiple purposes of feedback, its temporal nature and the capabilities of evaluators reveal that measuring effectiveness is fraught with difficulty. The paper argues that the learner is in the best position to judge the effectiveness of feedback, but may not always recognise the benefits it provides. Therefore, the pedagogic literacy of students is key to evaluation of feedback and feedback processes. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

DOI 10.1080/02602930903541007
Citations Scopus - 173
2010 Morosanu L, Handley K, O'Donovan B, 'Seeking support: Researching first-year students' experiences of coping with academic life', Higher Education Research and Development, 29 665-678 (2010)

Students' transition to academia comes with a number of challenges which, if inadequately addressed, may negatively affect their academic performance and psychological well-b... [more]

Students' transition to academia comes with a number of challenges which, if inadequately addressed, may negatively affect their academic performance and psychological well-being. Hence, the question of support becomes critical and has been reflected in the variety of practical measures to provide support with learning and facilitate newcomers' integration into higher education. However, while forms of institutional aid have increased and diversified in recent years, the kind of support the students actually need and prefer to use - from the pool of available resources - remains insufficiently understood in current research. To address this gap, this paper advocates a social network approach to first-year students' experiences of coping with academic life and suggests an agenda for further investigation, which would contrast support 'from above' and support 'from below.' © 2010 HERDSA.

DOI 10.1080/07294360.2010.487200
Citations Scopus - 23
2009 Alvesson M, Kärreman D, Sturdy A, Handley K, 'Unpacking the client(s): Constructions, positions and client-consultant dynamics', Scandinavian Journal of Management, 25 253-263 (2009)

Research on management consultancy usually emphasizes the role and perspective of the consultants. Whilst important, consultants are only one element in a dynamic relationship inv... [more]

Research on management consultancy usually emphasizes the role and perspective of the consultants. Whilst important, consultants are only one element in a dynamic relationship involving both consultants and their clients. In much of the literature, the client is neglected, or is assumed to represent a distinct, immutable entity. In this paper, we argue that the client organisation is not uniform but is instead (like organisations generally) a more or less heterogeneous assemblage of actors, interests and inclinations involved in multiple and varied ways in consultancy projects. This paper draws upon three empirical cases and emphasizes three key aspects of clients in the context of consultancy projects: (a) client diversity, including, but not limited to diversity arising solely from (pre-)structured contact relations and interests; (b) processes of constructing 'the client' (including negotiation, conflict, and reconstruction) and the client identities which are thereby produced; and (c) the dynamics of client-consultant relations and how these influence the construction of multiple and perhaps contested client positions and identities. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI 10.1016/j.scaman.2009.05.001
Citations Scopus - 27
2009 Sturdy A, Clark T, Fincham R, Handley K, 'Between innovation and legitimation-boundaries and knowledge flow in management consultancy', Organization, 16 627-653 (2009)

Management consultancy is seen by many as a key agent in the adoption of new management ideas and practices in organizations. Two contrasting views are dominant-consultants as inn... [more]

Management consultancy is seen by many as a key agent in the adoption of new management ideas and practices in organizations. Two contrasting views are dominant-consultants as innovators, bringing new knowledge to their clients or as legitimating client knowledge. Those few studies which examine directly the flow of knowledge through consultancy in projects with clients favour the innovator view and highlight the important analytical and practical value of boundaries-consultants as both knowledge and organizational outsiders. Likewise, in the legitimator view, the consultants' role is seen in terms of the primacy of the organizational boundary. By drawing on a wider social science literature on boundaries and studies of inter-organizational knowledge flow and management consultancy more generally, this polarity is seen as problematic, especially at the level of the consulting project. An alternative framework of boundary relations is developed and presented which incorporates their multiplicity, dynamism and situational specificity. This points to a greater complexity and variability in knowledge flow and its potential than is currently recognized. This is significant not only in terms of our understanding of management consultancy and inter-organizational knowledge dynamics and boundaries, but of a critical understanding of the role of management consultancy more generally. Copyright © The Author(s), 2009.

DOI 10.1177/1350508409338435
Citations Scopus - 35
2008 Fincham R, Clark T, Handley K, Sturdy A, 'Configuring expert knowledge: The consultant as sector specialist', Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29 1145-1160 (2008)

This study defines an aspect of consultant knowledge that provides credibility without claiming unrealistic status for a field like consulting. Our focus is the "sector knowl... [more]

This study defines an aspect of consultant knowledge that provides credibility without claiming unrealistic status for a field like consulting. Our focus is the "sector knowledge" that consultants accumulate which derives from repeated assignments in the industrial sector in which the client organization resides. This has been under-researched partly because of an emphasis on knowledge as technique and method. But knowledge configured around the sector enables consultants to play the role of the outside expert and draw on a language and experiences held in common with the client. The paper explores the role of consultants as sector intermediaries through a case study of contemporary management consulting in a UK local authority. We see "the sector" as an alternative type of knowledge formation salient for a client-centered occupation like consulting. We also explore sector knowledge as a negotiated setting and dispel overly simple notions of know-how being "brought to" the client. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

DOI 10.1002/job.559
Citations Scopus - 20
2007 Handley K, Clark T, Fincham R, Sturdy A, 'Researching situated learning: Participation, identity and practices in client-consultant telationships', Management Learning, 38 173-191 (2007)

Situated learning theory has emerged as a radical alternative to conventional cognitivist theories of knowledge and learning, emphasizing the relational and structural aspects of ... [more]

Situated learning theory has emerged as a radical alternative to conventional cognitivist theories of knowledge and learning, emphasizing the relational and structural aspects of learning as well as the dynamics of identity construction. However, although many researchers have embraced the theoretical strengths of this perspective, methodological and operational issues remain undeveloped in the literature. This article seeks to address these deficiencies by developing a conceptual framework informed by situated learning theory and by investigating the methodological implications. The framework is applied in the context of an empirical study of how management consultants learn the practices and identities appropriate to clientconsultant projects. By presenting two vignettes and interpreting them using the conceptual framework, we show how learning is regulated by the consulting firm as well as individuals themselves, and that, paradoxically, 'failure to learn' may be an outcome of consultants' efforts to construct a coherent sense of self. Copyright © 2007 Sage Publications.

DOI 10.1177/1350507607075774
Citations Scopus - 45
2006 Handley K, Sturdy A, Fincham R, Clark T, 'Within and beyond communities of practice: Making sense of learning through participation, identity and practice', Journal of Management Studies, 43 641-653 (2006)

Situated learning theory offers a radical critique of cognitivist theories of learning, emphasizing the relational aspects of learning within communities of practice in contrast t... [more]

Situated learning theory offers a radical critique of cognitivist theories of learning, emphasizing the relational aspects of learning within communities of practice in contrast to the individualist assumptions of conventional theories. However, although many researchers have embraced the theoretical strength of situated learning theory, conceptual issues remain undeveloped in the literature. Roberts, for example, argues in this issue that the notion of'communities of practice' - a core concept in situated learning theory - is itself problematic. To complement her discussion, this paper explores the communities of practice concept from several perspectives. Firstly, we consider the perspective of the individual learner, and examine the processes which constitute 'situated learning'. Secondly, we consider the broader socio-cultural context in which communities of practice are embedded. We argue that the cultural richness of this broader context generates a fluidity and heterogeneity within and beyond communities. Finally, we argue that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish conceptually between the terms 'participation' and 'practice' because of occasional duplication of meaning. We propose, instead, a refinement of the definition to allow for greater conceptual clarity. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2006.

DOI 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2006.00605.x
Citations Scopus - 236
2004 Sturdy A, Clark T, Fincham R, Handley K, 'Silence, procrustes and colonization: A response to Clegg et al.'s 'noise, parasites and translation: Theory and practice in management consulting'', Management Learning, 35 337-340 (2004)
DOI 10.1177/1350507604045610
Citations Scopus - 12
Show 15 more journal articles

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Handley KL, 'Flexible working in the accounting profession: Should accounting firms be doing more to enable employees to embrace flexible working arrangements?', (2017) [O1]

Report (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Handley KL, McGrath-Champ S, Leung P, 'Flexibility¿in the Accounting Profession in Australia' (2017)
2015 Handley KL, Leung P, McGrath-Champ S, Kidd M, 'Work conditions, balance and gender equity: A study of chartered accountants 1995 to 2013', Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (2015)
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 3
Total funding $47,592

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20161 grants / $20,000

Accounting for Intangibles in SMEs$20,000

Action research project. How SMEs report and account for Intangible Assets and Intellectual Capital.

Funding body: PKF Australia

Funding body PKF Australia
Project Team

Dr John Dumay, Dr Karen Handley

Scheme Research grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

20141 grants / $20,592

Determining viable thresholds for SME reporting in Australia$20,592

Financial reporting for unlisted entities in Australia is unique in the world, and has been the subject of change and uncertainty regarding future change in recent years. One of the future changes is the proposed removal of the reporting entity concept, which currently determines the requirements for financial reporting for unlisted entities (Hamidi-Ravari, 2014). The reporting entity concept allows companies to self-assess whether there are users of their financial statements and, if not, to produce Special Purpose Financial Statements (SPFS) rather than General Purpose Financial Statements (GPFS). This translates directly into lower costs for those entities producing SPFS, because GPFS require compliance with IFRS measurement and recognition principles.

In the absence of the reporting entity concept, regulators will be required to provide directives regarding which entities should produce GPFS. The determination of these directives is difficult. Some suggestions already appear in AASB documents. First, SAC1 includes some guidance for entities that are uncertain about the existence of users. These indicators include financial characteristics, the separation of management and ownership interest and economic or political importance. Research commissioned by the AASB and ASIC indicates inconsistent interpretation of these principles in practice. Second, ITC12 suggests defined thresholds relating to turnover and assets (AASB, 2007). This approach was not repeated in ED192 after criticism from practitioners (AASB, 2009). Third, ITC12 suggests that a measure of ‘public accountability’ could be tied to the publishing of financial statements on a website or filing with ASIC. Filing with ASIC translates to a size measure as well, as the Corporations Act 2001 stipulates that filing is linked to thresholds determined by turnover, assets and number of employees. In addition, these thresholds have not been revised for quite some time. Whatever new thresholds are set by the regulators in the absence of the reporting entity concept, some entities that previously produced SPFS are likely to have to now produce GPFS, resulting in an increased cost burden for these entities.

In addition, very little is known about Australian unlisted entities. This is because their financial statements are expensive to source, as ASIC charges a fee for access. The cost puts access to a viable dataset for empirical research beyond the reach of most university research teams, and manual coding from PDF reports adds to this burden. To support this research project, the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University has agreed to purchase a single-year sample of financial data for 2000 unlisted companies from Dun and Bradstreet. We will augment this by accessing company websites and publicly available documents. Using this data, this project then seeks to empirically and systematically investigate the possible thresholds to use as triggers for different reporting standards in the place of the reporting entity concept. In an adaptation of a study by Eirle and Helduser (2013), different criteria that should signal the existence of external users are statistically tested against potential thresholds to find those that are significantly related. The research question that will be examined in this study is ‘How effectively do different criteria capture likely users of financial reports?’ 

References:
AASB, 2007. ITC 12 - Request for comment on a proposed revised differential reporting regime for Australia and IASB Exposure draft of a proposed IFRS for small and medium-sized entities. Available: http://www.aasb.com.au/search-result.aspx?search=gefl%C2%9Dk%C2%A0%C2%99%C2%A6%C2%95%C2%9C%C2%A9a%60s%C2%AF%C2%9Aa%C2%A9}%C2%89%C2%B0IY\ [Accessed 13 July 2009].

AASB, 2009. Differential financial reporting - Reducing disclosure requirements. Available: http://www.aasb.gov.au/admin/file/content105/c9/AASB_Consultation_Paper.pdf [Accessed 7 December 2009].

Eirle, B and Helduser, C. 2013. What drives SMEs need to provide internationally comparable accounting information? - Empirical evidence from Germany. Working paper. Available: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2267349

Hamidi-Ravari, A. 2014. AASB Essay 2014-1 The critical role of the reporting entity concept in Australian financial reporting. In: AASB RESEARCH CENTRE (ed.) AASB Essay Series.

Funding body: Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

Funding body Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
Project Team

Dr Karen Handley, Dr Sue Wright, Dr Elaine Evans

Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Non Commonwealth
Category 1NS
UON N

20101 grants / $7,000

Standard setting for Australian Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs): What are user requirements and how were users involved in the creation of the differential reporting standard?$7,000

This  project aims to investigate the requirements and involvement of users of SME General Purpose Financial Statements, in the environment of the introduction of an Australia–specific differential reporting standard in Australia.  The requirements of users of financial reports for entities that are not listed have not been studied in any depth.  An earlier survey has documented the standards used in financial reports in Australia in early 2010, prior to the implementation of an Australian-specific standard for non-publicly accountable reporting entities.  This survey has been reported in The Charter (Handley, 2010). One of the interesting findings of this survey was that there was not uniform application of the AASB’s financial standards across the spectrum of Australian entities represented in the study.  As part of this survey, we asked respondents to indicate the direct recipients of their financial reports.  This study expands on this work through the medium of survey and interviews to examine more closely those aspects of reporting that are useful for decision making about entities in the SME sector. In the context of the debate regarding an increased number of entities in this sector that may be required to produce General Purpose Financial Statements, it is very important to establish if there are any real users of these reports that cannot demand Special Purpose Financial Statements, and if they are, what information they need.  Also of interest in this study is the inclusion of users in the process to create the standard.  There is criticism that users are not included in the deliberations that precede the introduction of a standard, and there is very little evidence of user involvement in the letters in response to calls from the AASB to comment.  However, there is evidence that the professional bodies and other representative bodies have canvassed their membership or  constituents in preparation of their submissions.  This research study seeks to explore via interviews and the survey instrument how users of these statements are involved in the process.  The survey will be distributed in the newsletter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia as well as e-mailed directly to a database of volunteers which was created in the first survey and by approaching the writers of comment letters to Exposure Draft 192 (ED 192).  In addition, key parties involved in the process of producing the standard will be interviewed in person to establish how users requirements were established by them, and how they prioritized the different and often conflicting requirements.  This study will inform on ways to include users in future standards setting procedures in Australia.

Funding body: Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

Funding body Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia
Project Team

Karen Handley, Dr Sue Wright, Dr Elaine Evans

Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2010
Funding Finish 2011
GNo
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON N
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Dr Karen Handley

Positions

Lecturer
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law

Casual Academic
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law

Casual Academic
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law

Casual Web Learn Tutor Newcastle Business School
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law

Contact Details

Email karen.handley@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4349 4468

Office

Room B.O. 1.18
Building Business Offices Ourimbah
Location Ourimbah
10 Chittaway Road
Ourimbah, NSW 2258
Australia
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