WMS research seminar: 'How to communicate and use accounting to ensure buy-in from stakeholders'

Date Monday 12 October 2020
Time 1pm - 2pm
Where MSB.4.02, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton
Presenter Professor Charl de Villiers
Admission Cost Free

Visiting academic Professor Charl de Villiers (University of Auckland) will give a research seminar in Waikato Management School on Monday, 12th October on the topic of 'How to communicate and use accounting to ensure buy-in from stakeholders: Lessons for organisations from governments' Covid-19 strategies.'

All staff and postgraduate accounting students are welcome to join us for this talk.

Professor de Villiers is a professor of accounting at the University of Auckland, where his research and teaching interests include management accounting, sustainability accounting, and integrated reporting.

Drawing on legitimacy theory, this talk will examine the communication strategies of New Zealand’s Prime Minster, Jacinda Ardern, during the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to extract lessons for organisations. It contrasts Ardern’s communications with those of Donald Trump, the US President, as evidence that leaders do not necessarily follow these strategies.

Professor de Villiers' research finds that clear, consistent, and credible communications, backed up by open access to the numerical data that underlie the decisions, ensure that these decisions are seen as legitimate, ensure that citizens/stakeholders feel leaders are accountable and believe in the necessity of measures taken, and that they conform to the guidelines and rules.

By contrast, the strategy of attempting to withhold information, blaming others, refusing to acknowledge that there are problems, and refusing to address problems, lead to non-conformance by citizens/stakeholders.

Business leaders could apply these lessons to the best practice management of crises in their organisations to ensure buy-in from employees and other stakeholders. Leaders and organisations that follow these communication strategies can emerge in a stronger position than before the crisis.

Professor de Villiers received the 2019 University of Auckland Business School Research Excellence Award, and was president of the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand from 2018 to 2020.

He has more than 300 reseach-based publications, including an average of more than 3 refereed journal articles per year in A or A* journals. His research has been cited more than 5,000 times and his h-index is 38, according to Google Scholar.