The role of resistance in incorporating XBRL into financial reporting practices


  • Adam Krisko Roskilde University, Department of Social Sciences and Business





Accounting Environment, Actor-Network Theory, Financial Reporting Regulation, Translation, XBRL.


Using the actor-network theory (ANT), this article sought to analyze the translation process induced by the Danish regulatory agency for financial reporting to incorporate the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) into the financial reporting practices, giving special attention to how resistance demonstrated by certain actors shapes the process of incorporating the technology into the financial reporting environment. The empirical analysis, relying on a series of semi-structured interviews conducted between November 2013 and February 2016, highlighted the strategic steps taken by the regulatory agency to deal with the emerging resistance. The analysis illustrated how the initial setting created at the early stages of the translation process develops into a socio-technical context in which the participating actors' no longer express resistance, and commit to the incorporation of XBRL. In this respect, the paper contributes to previous studies on XBRL, adds to the financial reporting literature by illustrating how resistance shapes the introduction of complex regulatory changes, and contributes to the ANT literature, especially those based on Michel Callon’s translation model.


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