The first 25 years of the Queensland Rugby Football League: Claims to legitimacy in annual reports

Irvine, Helen & Fortune, Michelle (2016) The first 25 years of the Queensland Rugby Football League: Claims to legitimacy in annual reports. Accounting History, 21(1), pp. 48-74.

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Despite the cultural importance of sporting organisations, little academic attention has been paid to the legitimising role of their annual reports. In this paper we examine the role of annual reports in establishing the legitimacy of a new organisation, the Queensland Rugby Football League (QRFL), founded in 1908. Contextualised with media reports from newspapers of the day, twelve annual reports from QRFL’s first 25 years are analysed and interpreted using insights from legitimacy theory. Through the presentation of audited financial statements and persuasive narrative accounts of its operations and success, QRFL made claims to pragmatic, moral and cognitive legitimacy as it sought to establish a niche as a new football code and organisation. This contextualised study situates the annual reports in their historical landscape, providing insights about how they contributed to QRFL’s efforts in overcoming the liability of newness in a competitive sports environment.

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ID Code: 82593
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special Issue: Accounting's Past in Sport
Keywords: legitimacy, Queensland Rugby Football League, annual reports, accounting history, founding, football
DOI: 10.1177/1032373215614116
ISSN: 1032-3732
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Authors
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2015 22:51
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2016 11:24

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