Accounting Values, Controversies, and Compromises in Tests of Worth

Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-78714-380-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-379-1

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 1 June 2017

Abstract

This article will consider the various ways in which accounting can be conceptualized within Boltanski and Thévenot’s economies of worth theoretic. Drawing on two case illustrations, a not-for-profit welfare agency and a government-owned water utility, we follow the unfolding of disputes and the variety of outcomes in which accounting is implicated. We illustrate the role of accounting in justificatory actions and the ways in which it “holds things together” in compromise arrangements. We also illustrate the situations which challenge the “test” of worth and the innovative accounting responses that either facilitate coordination and agreement or become controversial and be the object of organizational and institutional dispute.

Keywords

Citation

Annisette, M., Vesty, G. and Amslem, T. (2017), "Accounting Values, Controversies, and Compromises in Tests of Worth", Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 52), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 209-239. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20170000052007

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited

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