The makings of a statement: accounting for employee health

Mikael Holmgren Caicedo (School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden Linnaeus School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden)
Maria Mårtensson (School of Business, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden)

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting

ISSN: 1401-338X

Publication date: 2 November 2010



The purpose of this paper is to explore how the idea of health statements is constructed and on what assumptions it rests.


Published health statements from the Swedish municipality of Umeå are analysed in terms of the rhetoric of the arguments that are presented. This is done in order to identify the assumptions the arguments rest on.


Although no empirical proof is provided, the arguments presented in the health statements of Umeå municipality follow a logic that goes from success factors to good results via employee health and satisfaction as a proxy of internal quality of work that in turn is assumed to create good quality of service. The construction of that logic is concomitantly the production and reproduction of a moral system of values that rest on the ambiguousness and implicitness.


A discussion about the assumptions expressed in Umeå municipality's health statements, how they are constructed to make the management accounting of employee health work and the construction of morals that is implicit in that system.



Holmgren Caicedo, M. and Mårtensson, M. (2010), "The makings of a statement: accounting for employee health", Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 286-306.

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