Skip to main content

Profile

Profile

Loading content
Professor John Burns

Professor John Burns

Professor

+44 (0) 1392 72

1.16
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

John has worked at the University of Exeter since 2010, having previously held academic positions at Dundee University, the University of Colorado-Denver, and the University of Manchester. His research is qualitative in its approach, the outputs are usually theoretically-informed case studies. Much of John's earlier research, and continuing, focuses on management accounting change (as process), and the roles of accountants. Recently, he has been involved in studies of accounts, accounting and accountability, and underpinning values, in specific organisations and more generally across society. More immediate publications and present work-in-progress have examined all such themes in the context of hospitals and health services, professional sports, homelessness, sustainable development, forestry, and higher education.

Qualifications

BSc (Econ) Hons, Economics (Hull)

MSc (Econ), Economics (Manchester)

PhD, doctorate (Manchester)

 

Research clusters

Research interests

John's research is qualitative in its approach, the outputs are usually theoretically-informed case studies. Much of his earlier research, and continuing, focuses on management accounting change (as process), and the roles of accountants. Recently, John has been involved in studies of accounts, accounting and accountability, and underpinning values, in specific organisations and more generally across society. More immediate publications and present work-in-progress have examined all such themes in the context of hospitals and health services, professional sports, homelessness, sustainable development, forestry, and higher education.

Research projects

Recently (and externally) funded, and ongoing:

  • Accounting for the vulnerable, homelessness (with S. Jollands) [British Academy, ICAEW]
  • Natural capital accounting and accounting for forestry (with S. Jollands) [CIMA]

Research networks

European Network for Research of Organisational and Accounting Change (ENROAC)

Co-founder, in 1998 

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Feger C, Mermet L, Vira B, Addison P, Barker R, Birkin F, Burns J, Cooper S, Couvet D, Cuckston T, et al (2018). Four priorities for new links between conservation science and accounting research. Conservation Biology DOI.
Burns J, Englund H, Gerdin J (2017). A structuration theory perspective on the interplay between strategy and accounting: unpacking social continuity and transformation. Critical Perspectives on Accounting Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Nyland K, Morland C (2017). The interplay of managerial and non-managerial controls, institutional work. and the coordination of laterally dependent hospital activities. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 14(4). Abstract. DOI.
Contrafatto M, Burns J (2013). Social and environmental accounting, organisational change and management accounting: a processual view. Management Accounting Research, 24(4), 349-365. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Nixon WA (2012). The paradox of strategic management accounting. Management Accounting Research, 23(4), 229-244. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Englund H, Gerdin J (2011). 25 years of Giddens in accounting research: achievements, limitations and the future. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 36(8), 494-513. Abstract. DOI.

Publications by category


Books

Burns J, Oliveira J, Quinn M, Warren E (2013). Management Accounting., McGraw-Hill.
Burns J, Ezzamel M, Scapens RW (2003). Challenge of Management Accounting Change. London, Elsevier/CIMA.
Scapens RW, Burns J, Ezzamel M, Baldvinsdottir G (2003). The changing nature of management accounting in the UK. London, Elsevier/CIMA Publishing.

Journal articles

Burns J, Miller P, Lapsley I (In Press). Innovations in Public Services. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 14(4). Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Knardal PS (In Press). The use of accounting in managing the institutional complexities of a festival organisation pursuing financial and social objectives. Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change, 1-27.
Burns J, Jollands S (2020). Acting in the public interest: Accounting for the vulnerable. Accounting and Business Research, 50(5), 507-534. Abstract. DOI.
Jollands S, Burns J, Milne M (2020). Lessons from a natural capital case study. Financial Management, February 2020, 56-56.
Feger C, Mermet L, Vira B, Addison P, Barker R, Birkin F, Burns J, Cooper S, Couvet D, Cuckston T, et al (2018). Four priorities for new links between conservation science and accounting research. Conservation Biology DOI.
Burns J, Englund H, Gerdin J (2017). A structuration theory perspective on the interplay between strategy and accounting: unpacking social continuity and transformation. Critical Perspectives on Accounting Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Nyland K, Morland C (2017). The interplay of managerial and non-managerial controls, institutional work. and the coordination of laterally dependent hospital activities. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 14(4). Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Nixon B, Jazayeri M (2015). Achieving full-cycle financial targets through collaboration. Financial Management
Burns J, Nixon B, Jazayeri M (2014). Balancing the relative emphasis on products and profits. Financial Management
Burns J, Euske KJ, Malina MA (2014). Debating diversity in management accounting research. Advances in Management Accounting, 24, 39-59. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J (2014). Qualitative management accounting research in QRAM: Some reflections. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 11(1), 71-81. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J (2014). Reflections on the business partner. Controlling and Management Review
Burns J, Baldvinsdottir G, Norreklit H, Scapens R (2013). A business partner in the 1960s. Financial Managment
Contrafatto M, Burns J (2013). Social and environmental accounting, organisational change and management accounting: a processual view. Management Accounting Research, 24(4), 349-365. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Nixon WAJ, Jazayeri M (2012). Profitable new product design and development. Financial Management(April).
Burns J, Nixon B (2012). Strategic management accounting. Management Accounting Research, 23(4), 225-228. DOI.
Burns J, Nixon WA (2012). The paradox of strategic management accounting. Management Accounting Research, 23(4), 229-244. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Englund H, Gerdin J (2011). 25 years of Giddens in accounting research: achievements, limitations and the future. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 36(8), 494-513. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Quinn M (2011). The routinisation of management controls in software. Journal of Management Control, 22(1), 5-24. Abstract. DOI.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2010). Professional Accounting Media - Accountants Handing over Control to the System. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 3(7), 395-414. Abstract. DOI.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2009). Images of the Profession. Financial Management (CIMA), 33-34.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Nørreklit H, Scapens RW (2009). The image of accountants: from bean counters to extreme accountants. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 22(6), 858-882. Abstract. DOI.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2009). The management accountant's role. Financial Management (CIMA), 34-35.
Ahrens T, Becker A, Burns J, Chapman CS, Granlund M, Habersam M, Hansen A, Khalifa R, Malmi T, Mennicken A, et al (2008). The future of interpretive accounting research - a polyphonic debate. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 19(6), 840-866. DOI.
Burns J, Nielsen K (2006). How do embedded agents engage in institutional change?. Journal of Economic Issues, 40(2), 449-456. Abstract.
Burns J, Baldvinsdottir G (2005). An institutional perspective of accountants: new roles - the interplay of contradictions and praxis. European Accounting Review, 14(4), 725-757. Abstract. DOI.
Nixon W, Burns J (2005). Management control in the 21st century. Management Accounting Research, 16(3), 260-268. DOI.
Ezzamel M, Burns J (2005). Professional competition, economic value added, and management control strategies. Organization Studies, 26(5), 775-777. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Vaivio J (2001). Management accounting change. Management Accounting Research, 12(4), 389-402. DOI.
Burns J, Yazdifar H (2001). Trick or treats - the changing roles of management accountants. Financial Management (CIMA), 30-32.
Burns J, Scapens RW (2000). Conceptualising Management Accounting Change: an Institutional Framework. Management Accounting Research, 11(1), 3-25. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J (2000). The Dynamics of Accounting Change: Inter-play of New Practices, Routines, Institutions, Power and Politics. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 13(5), 566-596. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Ezzamel M, Scapens RW (1999). Management accounting change in the UK. Management Accounting (CIMA), 28-30.
Burns J, Scapens RW, Turley S (1997). The crunch for numbers. Accountancy (ICAEW), 86-87.
Burns J, Scapens RW, Turley S (1996). Some further thoughts on the changing practice of management accounting. Management Accounting (CIMA), 58-61.

Chapters

Burns J, Moll J, Major M (2018). Institutional theory in accounting research. In Hoque Z (Ed) Methodological Issues in Accounting Research: theories and methods, London: Spiramus, 225-247.
Burns J, Warren L (2018). The role of the management accountant in the United Kingdom. In Goretzki L, Strauss E (Eds.) The Role of the Management Accountant Local Variations and Global Influences, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 182-199.
Burns J, Dey C (2010). Integrated reporting at Novo Nordisk. In Hopwood A, Unerman J, Fries J (Eds.) Accounting for Sustainability, London: Earthscan, 197-214.
Burns J, Scapens RW (2008). Organizational routines in accounting. In Becker MC (Ed) Handbook of Organizational Routines, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 87-106.
Burns J, Baldvinsdottir G (2007). The changing roles of management accountants. In Hopper T, Scapens RW, Northcott D (Eds.) Issues in management accounting, Prentice Hall, 107-132.  Abstract.
Moll J, Burns J, Major M (2006). Institutional theory. In Hoque Z (Ed) Methodological issues in accounting research, Spiramus Pr, 183-205.
Burns J (2004). Confessions of a research assistant. In Humphrey C, Lee W (Eds.) The real life guide to accounting research, Elsevier Science Ltd, 163-189.  Abstract.
Dietrich M, Burns J (2000). Industrial policy, industrial change and institutional inertia. In Elsner W, Groenewegen J (Eds.) Industrial policies after 2000, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishing, 145-173.

Reports

Jollands S, Burns J, Milne M (2019). Natural capital accounting: Revisiting the elephant in the boardroom. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),  London, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Abstract.
Burns J, Jazayeri M, Nixon WAJ (2011). The role of management accounting in new product design and development decisions. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),  London, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). 10 pages.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2010). Risk manager or risque manager? the new platform for the management accountant. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),  London, CIMA. 7 pages.

Publications by year


In Press

Burns J, Miller P, Lapsley I (In Press). Innovations in Public Services. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 14(4). Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Knardal PS (In Press). The use of accounting in managing the institutional complexities of a festival organisation pursuing financial and social objectives. Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change, 1-27.

2020

Burns J, Jollands S (2020). Acting in the public interest: Accounting for the vulnerable. Accounting and Business Research, 50(5), 507-534. Abstract. DOI.
Jollands S, Burns J, Milne M (2020). Lessons from a natural capital case study. Financial Management, February 2020, 56-56.

2019

Jollands S, Burns J, Milne M (2019). Natural capital accounting: Revisiting the elephant in the boardroom. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),  London, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Abstract.

2018

Feger C, Mermet L, Vira B, Addison P, Barker R, Birkin F, Burns J, Cooper S, Couvet D, Cuckston T, et al (2018). Four priorities for new links between conservation science and accounting research. Conservation Biology DOI.
Burns J, Moll J, Major M (2018). Institutional theory in accounting research. In Hoque Z (Ed) Methodological Issues in Accounting Research: theories and methods, London: Spiramus, 225-247.
Burns J, Warren L (2018). The role of the management accountant in the United Kingdom. In Goretzki L, Strauss E (Eds.) The Role of the Management Accountant Local Variations and Global Influences, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 182-199.

2017

Burns J, Englund H, Gerdin J (2017). A structuration theory perspective on the interplay between strategy and accounting: unpacking social continuity and transformation. Critical Perspectives on Accounting Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Nyland K, Morland C (2017). The interplay of managerial and non-managerial controls, institutional work. and the coordination of laterally dependent hospital activities. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 14(4). Abstract. DOI.

2015

Burns J, Nixon B, Jazayeri M (2015). Achieving full-cycle financial targets through collaboration. Financial Management

2014

Burns J, Nixon B, Jazayeri M (2014). Balancing the relative emphasis on products and profits. Financial Management
Burns J, Euske KJ, Malina MA (2014). Debating diversity in management accounting research. Advances in Management Accounting, 24, 39-59. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J (2014). Qualitative management accounting research in QRAM: Some reflections. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 11(1), 71-81. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J (2014). Reflections on the business partner. Controlling and Management Review

2013

Burns J, Baldvinsdottir G, Norreklit H, Scapens R (2013). A business partner in the 1960s. Financial Managment
Burns J, Oliveira J, Quinn M, Warren E (2013). Management Accounting., McGraw-Hill.
Contrafatto M, Burns J (2013). Social and environmental accounting, organisational change and management accounting: a processual view. Management Accounting Research, 24(4), 349-365. Abstract. DOI.

2012

Burns J, Nixon WAJ, Jazayeri M (2012). Profitable new product design and development. Financial Management(April).
Burns J, Nixon B (2012). Strategic management accounting. Management Accounting Research, 23(4), 225-228. DOI.
Burns J, Nixon WA (2012). The paradox of strategic management accounting. Management Accounting Research, 23(4), 229-244. Abstract. DOI.

2011

Burns J, Englund H, Gerdin J (2011). 25 years of Giddens in accounting research: achievements, limitations and the future. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 36(8), 494-513. Abstract. DOI.
Burns J, Jazayeri M, Nixon WAJ (2011). The role of management accounting in new product design and development decisions. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),  London, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). 10 pages.
Burns J, Quinn M (2011). The routinisation of management controls in software. Journal of Management Control, 22(1), 5-24. Abstract. DOI.

2010

Burns J, Dey C (2010). Integrated reporting at Novo Nordisk. In Hopwood A, Unerman J, Fries J (Eds.) Accounting for Sustainability, London: Earthscan, 197-214.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2010). Professional Accounting Media - Accountants Handing over Control to the System. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 3(7), 395-414. Abstract. DOI.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2010). Risk manager or risque manager? the new platform for the management accountant. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA),  London, CIMA. 7 pages.

2009

Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2009). Images of the Profession. Financial Management (CIMA), 33-34.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Nørreklit H, Scapens RW (2009). The image of accountants: from bean counters to extreme accountants. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 22(6), 858-882. Abstract. DOI.
Baldvinsdottir G, Burns J, Norreklit H, Scapens RW (2009). The management accountant's role. Financial Management (CIMA), 34-35.

2008

Burns J, Scapens RW (2008). Organizational routines in accounting. In Becker MC (Ed) Handbook of Organizational Routines, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 87-106.
Ahrens T, Becker A, Burns J, Chapman CS, Granlund M, Habersam M, Hansen A, Khalifa R, Malmi T, Mennicken A, et al (2008). The future of interpretive accounting research - a polyphonic debate. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 19(6), 840-866. DOI.

2007

Burns J, Baldvinsdottir G (2007). The changing roles of management accountants. In Hopper T, Scapens RW, Northcott D (Eds.) Issues in management accounting, Prentice Hall, 107-132.  Abstract.

2006

Burns J, Nielsen K (2006). How do embedded agents engage in institutional change?. Journal of Economic Issues, 40(2), 449-456. Abstract.
Moll J, Burns J, Major M (2006). Institutional theory. In Hoque Z (Ed) Methodological issues in accounting research, Spiramus Pr, 183-205.

2005

Burns J, Baldvinsdottir G (2005). An institutional perspective of accountants: new roles - the interplay of contradictions and praxis. European Accounting Review, 14(4), 725-757. Abstract. DOI.
Nixon W, Burns J (2005). Management control in the 21st century. Management Accounting Research, 16(3), 260-268. DOI.
Ezzamel M, Burns J (2005). Professional competition, economic value added, and management control strategies. Organization Studies, 26(5), 775-777. Abstract. DOI.

2004

Burns J (2004). Confessions of a research assistant. In Humphrey C, Lee W (Eds.) The real life guide to accounting research, Elsevier Science Ltd, 163-189.  Abstract.

2003

Burns J, Ezzamel M, Scapens RW (2003). Challenge of Management Accounting Change. London, Elsevier/CIMA.
Scapens RW, Burns J, Ezzamel M, Baldvinsdottir G (2003). The changing nature of management accounting in the UK. London, Elsevier/CIMA Publishing.

2001

Burns J, Vaivio J (2001). Management accounting change. Management Accounting Research, 12(4), 389-402. DOI.
Burns J, Yazdifar H (2001). Trick or treats - the changing roles of management accountants. Financial Management (CIMA), 30-32.

2000

Burns J, Scapens RW (2000). Conceptualising Management Accounting Change: an Institutional Framework. Management Accounting Research, 11(1), 3-25. Abstract. DOI.
Dietrich M, Burns J (2000). Industrial policy, industrial change and institutional inertia. In Elsner W, Groenewegen J (Eds.) Industrial policies after 2000, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishing, 145-173.
Burns J (2000). The Dynamics of Accounting Change: Inter-play of New Practices, Routines, Institutions, Power and Politics. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 13(5), 566-596. Abstract. DOI.

1999

Burns J, Ezzamel M, Scapens RW (1999). Management accounting change in the UK. Management Accounting (CIMA), 28-30.

1997

Burns J, Scapens RW, Turley S (1997). The crunch for numbers. Accountancy (ICAEW), 86-87.

1996

Burns J, Scapens RW, Turley S (1996). Some further thoughts on the changing practice of management accounting. Management Accounting (CIMA), 58-61.

External positions

Primary teaching responsibilities are:

BEA3027, Accounting, Organisations & Society

BEAM025, Advanced Management Accounting

BEAM068, Accounting, Accounts and accountability - examining its everyday use

BEAM027, Dissertation for MSc in Acc & Fin

Modules

2022/23