The disparate roles of accounting in an amateur sports organisation: the case of logic assimilation in the Gaelic Athletic Association

Conor Clune, Roel Boomsma, Richard Pucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine an ongoing process of logic assimilation within an amateur sports organisation (ASO) called the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). It seeks to develop our understanding of how forms of accounting mitigated (or exacerbated) the tensions that arose among GAA members due to the consequences of the assimilation of select elements of a professional logic and a commercial logic within its traditionally dominant social welfare logic. Design/methodology/approach: Interviews were undertaken with representatives and members of the GAA to understand the effects of growing commercialisation and professionalisation on the organisation’s traditional amateur status and social mission. In particular, the authors sought to understand how accounting, in the form of financial reporting, influenced the extent of the tensions that arose. Interviews were supported by an extensive collection of podcasts and news articles that discussed this topic. Findings: The paper’s findings offer unique empirical insights into the role played by forms of accounting in the maintenance of amateurism within an ASO. It reveals the conflicting role of financial reporting within the GAA whereby it was used by the GAA’s management to ease member concerns surrounding logic assimilation while simultaneously being ignored by clubs and counties to facilitate payments to managers thereby eroding the amateur status of Gaelic Games. Originality/value: The paper is unique in its exploration of logic assimilation within a form of hybrid organisation that has previously been unexamined in the accounting literature. It extends extant understandings of how accounting influences the co-existence of potentially conflicting logics. The paper also discusses the implications of what accounting makes visible and keeps invisible on the longevity of the traditionally dominant social welfare logic within an ASO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1926-1955
Number of pages30
JournalAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Accountability
  • Amateur sports organisation
  • Financial reporting
  • Hybrid organizations
  • Institutional logics
  • Logic assimilation
  • Transparency

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