Accounting and Accountability of Eastern Highlands Indigenous Cooperative Reporting
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Using historical, geographical and financial material, coupled with observation, narrative and textual analyses, this case-based paper considers the reporting milieu of three forms of Indigenous Eastern Highlands cooperative in Papua New Guinea: a business development cooperative, a financial cooperative and a women's cooperative. This paper seeks to identify ways in which Western and Traditional reporting are used in extant reporting practices of Eastern Highlands cooperatives. It appears that both the business development cooperative and the financial cooperative steered their reporting towards the Western reporting model with mixed success in its links with the localism of their membership base. The women's cooperative, which is registered but yet to start operations, has significant challenges ahead particularly in the areas of reporting, accountability and establishing itself as a going concern. A remarkable implication from this study is to discover the movement of Traditional ways of understanding to more Western ways by linking managerial accountability with socialising forms of accountability. Although the cooperative entity model has generally not fared well in the Eastern Highlands, it is still warmly supported by government officials and locals as an entity which will empower low-income workers in rural communities.
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