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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Max Baker and Sven Modell

The purpose of this paper is to advance a critical realist perspective on performativity and use it to examine how novel conceptions of corporate social responsibility…

2287

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance a critical realist perspective on performativity and use it to examine how novel conceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have performative effects.

Design/methodology/approach

To illustrate how the authors’ critical realist understanding of performativity can play out, the authors offer a field study of an Australian packaging company and engage in retroductive and retrodictive theorising.

Findings

In contrast to most prior accounting research, the authors advance a structuralist understanding of performativity that pays more systematic attention to the causal relationships that underpin performative tendencies. The authors explain how such tendencies are conditioned by pre-existing, social structures, conceptualised in terms of multiple, intersecting norm circles. The authors illustrate their argument empirically by showing how specific conceptions of CSR, centred on the notion of “shared value”, were cemented by the interplay between the causal powers embedded in such norm circles and how this suppressed alternative conceptions of this phenomenon.

Research limitations/implications

The findings draw attention to the structural boundary conditions under which particular conceptions of CSR can be expected to become performative. Greater attention to such boundary conditions, denoting the social structures that reinforce and counteract performative tendencies, is required to further cumulative, yet context-sensitive, theory development on this topic.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to adopt a critical realist perspective on performativity in the accounting literature. This perspective strikes a middle path between the highly constructivist ontology, adopted in most accounting research concerned with performativity and realist criticisms of this ontological position for de-emphasising the influence of pre-existing, objective realities on performativity.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 April 2017

Sine Nørholm Just, Sara Louise Muhr and Thomas Burø

Queer scholars and activists share a central predicament with critical management studies: how to avoid the dangers of self-defeat. That is, how can one make a critical

Abstract

Queer scholars and activists share a central predicament with critical management studies: how to avoid the dangers of self-defeat. That is, how can one make a critical difference without becoming embroiled with or turning into the powers that be? This chapter offers suggestions for how to remain critical and queer by first introducing the notion of queer posing then exploring its conditions of possibility in terms of performativity and affectivity, respectively.

Here, we encounter another seeming impasse between the epistemological voluntarism of which studies in the performative vein are sometimes accused and the charge of ontological determinism that is often levelled against affect theory. Turning from vain dichotomies to productive tensions, we propose that potential for critical performativity is inherent to affective organizing of materiality as events in relation to which action becomes possible. The concept of plasticity, we suggest, enables investigations of the simultaneously formed and formative character of being and, further, the explosive potential of critique – the shaping of corporeal events is not only confining, but also holds potential for blowing up existing configurations.

On this basis, we sketch three plastic relations of affectivity and performativity, three modes of organizing material assemblages as actionable events: invitation, intervention, and celebration. We illustrate the performative power and critical potential of these three modes of affective organizing by indicating how they give form to, are formed by, and become explosive to Sabaah, a Danish activist network and community for LGBT people with minority ethnic background.

Details

Feminists and Queer Theorists Debate the Future of Critical Management Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-498-3

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 January 2022

Ed Vosselman

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to articulate a framework for different conceptions of accounting’s performativity. Second, it aims to advance a…

1064

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to articulate a framework for different conceptions of accounting’s performativity. Second, it aims to advance a Baradian posthumanist understanding of accounting’s performativity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper traces different foundational conceptions of performativity and then articulates and substantiates different conceptions of accounting’s performativity. It advances one of these conceptions by producing a Baradian posthumanist understanding of accounting’s performativity.

Findings

Seven conceptions of performative accountings are articulated: accounting as a (counter)performative illocution; accounting as a performative perlocution; accounting as a self-fulfilling prophecy; accounting as an overflowing frame; accounting as a controlled relational agency; accounting as a mediator; and accounting as an exclusionary practice. It is argued how a posthumanist understanding of accounting as an exclusionary practice turns accounting from a world-knowing practice into a world-making practice. As such, it should be called to account.

Research limitations/implications

Posthumanist qualitative accounting research that conceives of accounting as an exclusionary practice focuses on how accounting is a material-discursive practice that intra-acts with other practices, and on how there is a power-performativity in the intra-actions that locally and temporarily (re)produces meaningful positions for subjects and objects and the boundaries between them.

Practical implications

A posthumanist understanding teaches practitioners to be attentive to and accountable for the exclusions that come with accounting or, more generally, with measurement. Accounting raises ethical concerns.

Originality/value

This paper articulates different conceptions of accounting’s performativity and makes the case for empirical non-anthropocentric examinations of accounting as an exclusionary practice.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 4 July 2022

Kari Lukka, Sven Modell and Eija Vinnari

This paper examines the influence of the normal science tradition, epitomized by the notion that “theory is king”, on contemporary accounting research and the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the influence of the normal science tradition, epitomized by the notion that “theory is king”, on contemporary accounting research and the epistemological tensions that may emerge as this idea is applied to particular ways of studying accounting. For illustrative purposes, the authors focus on research informed by actor-network theory (ANT) which can be seen as an “extreme case” in the sense that it is, in principle, difficult to reconcile with the normal science aspirations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers an analysis based on a close reading of how accounting scholars, using ANT, theorize, and if they do engage in explicit theorizing, how they deal with the tensions that might emerge from the need to reconcile its epistemological underpinnings with those of the normal science tradition.

Findings

The findings of this paper show that the tensions between normal science thinking and the epistemological principles of ANT have, in a few cases, been avoided, as researchers stay relatively faithful to ANT and largely refrain from further theory development. However, in most cases, the tensions have ostensibly been ignored as researchers blend the epistemology of ANT and that of normal science without reflecting on the implications of doing so.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to emerging debates on the role of the normal science tradition in contemporary accounting research, and also extends recent discussions on the role of theory in accounting research inspired by ANT. The paper proposes three reasons for the observed blending of epistemologies: unawareness of tensions, epistemological eclecticism and various political considerations.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2019

Christoph Dörrenbächer and Jens Gammelgaard

This paper aims to address the relationship between critical and mainstream international business (IB) research and discuss the ways forward for the former.

1048

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the relationship between critical and mainstream international business (IB) research and discuss the ways forward for the former.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper empirically maps critical IB scholarship by analysing more than 250 academic articles published in critical perspectives on international business (cpoib) from 2005 to 2017. The paper also includes a citation analysis that uncovers how critical IB research is recognized and discussed in mainstream IB studies.

Findings

The extant critical IB research can be broken into five main topical clusters: positioning critical IB research, postcolonial IB studies, effects of international business activities, financialization and the global financial crisis and “Black IB” and corporate social responsibility. The citation analysis demonstrates that critical IB research is rarely recognized in mainstream IB academic outlets.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to empirically map critical IB research and to measure its impact on mainstream IB research. Based on these insights, as well as discussions of the more critical voices within mainstream IB studies and the debate over critical performativity in critical management studies, ways of developing critical IB research are examined.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 15 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 November 2021

Yannick Kalff

Project studies analyse either managing practices or the temporal nature of project management, which leaves open a research gap: the temporality of managing practice…

Abstract

Purpose

Project studies analyse either managing practices or the temporal nature of project management, which leaves open a research gap: the temporality of managing practice. The paper demonstrates that performativity theory with a temporal perspective helps us to understand how managing a project organises limited temporal resources by aligning activities, deadlines or milestones to reach a goal in a given time.

Design/methodology/approach

The article utilises empirical data and grounded theory methodology. Ten interviews with project managers from two companies support empirically guided theory building and conceptual reasoning.

Findings

The article extends John Law's “modes of ordering” to a project-specific mode of temporal ordering. This mode of temporal ordering describes the underlying rationale of project managers who assign, order and materialise time to generate the temporal structure of the project.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual nature of the paper and its limited empirical data restrict the generalisation of the findings. The article's goal is to initiate further research and to offer a set of tools for such research.

Originality/value

The contribution links managing practice and temporality in a performativity approach. This link focusses the actual actions of the managers and contextualises them in the temporal flow of the project. Managing projects as a mode of temporal ordering describes how project managers enact temporal structures and how they themselves and their activities are temporally embedded.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 September 2013

Alex Faria

Drawing upon the concepts of transmodernity, pluriversality and border thinking the author stands in a more practical fashion for the co-creation of an-other performative…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the concepts of transmodernity, pluriversality and border thinking the author stands in a more practical fashion for the co-creation of an-other performative CMS which fosters the decolonization of (critical) management studies – as a way to contribute “to concretely changing the world(s) for the better” (as claimed by the organizers of the symposium “should critical management studies get anything done?” held at the Academy of Management Meeting in 2012 in Boston).

Methodology/approach

From a more practical and less opaque perspective on border thinking it is shown how and why border thinking can both enable and constrain critical scholars and people to move across the borders of the colonial difference and from Eurocentric modernity toward transmodern pluriversality.

Findings

The current performative turn of CMS fails to address the agency of critical knowledge as a potential reworking of Occidentalism which can be mobilized to “manage” the rise of alternatives and knowledges from the rest of the world in general and from emerging economies in particular.

Originality/value of chapter

Border thinking as a crucial concept from the coloniality/modernity research program from Latin America is taken as an important contribution from the colonial difference to the co-creation of decolonial management studies (DMS), an-other performative CMS which fosters the construction of a world in which many worlds and knowledges can coexist as a way to change it for the better.

Abstract

Details

Feminists and Queer Theorists Debate the Future of Critical Management Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-498-3

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2019

Florian Becker-Ritterspach, Katharina Simbeck and Raghda El Ebrashi

This paper aims to provide multinational corporations (MNCs) with a portfolio of corporate environmental responsibility (CER) responses that help curbing the exacerbated…

1451

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide multinational corporations (MNCs) with a portfolio of corporate environmental responsibility (CER) responses that help curbing the exacerbated negative environmental externalities caused by their business activities in emerging and developing economies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper transposes the market-related concept of institutional voids to the context of CER, that is, to the context of exacerbated negative environmental externalities as result of absent, weak or incoherent institutions.

Findings

This paper proposes that the transfer of products, processes and business models from developed to emerging or developing economies often gives rise to exacerbated negative externalities because of institutional voids in environmental protection. Thus, it suggests a portfolio of CER responses – circumventing, coping and compensating – that allow MNCs to mitigate the exacerbated negative environmental externalities caused by them.

Research limitations/implications

The authors present an analytical framework for identifying and navigating environment related institutional voids, which serves as a starting point for an action research approach. In tune with recent calls for critical performativity in critical management studies, the action research approach aims at tackling the real-life problem of exacerbated negative environmental externalities caused by MNCs’ activities in emerging and developing economies.

Social implications

This paper sensitizes scholars, policymakers and managers to exacerbated negative environmental externalities within the context of international business activities in emerging and developing economies. The contribution provides stakeholders with a better understanding of the causes as well as alternative responses to the problem.

Originality/value

This paper transposes the market-related concept of institutional voids and the strategic responses to dealing with them to the non-market context of CER. The authors argue that institutional voids can be seen as the absence or poor functioning of formal and informal institutions for environmental protection, resulting in exacerbated negative environmental externalities.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 15 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 April 2017

Katherine J. C. Sang and Steven Glasgow

This chapter explores the potential for the classroom to be a space for activism and hope within the contemporary business school. Drawing on the extant literature, a…

Abstract

This chapter explores the potential for the classroom to be a space for activism and hope within the contemporary business school. Drawing on the extant literature, a reflexive account of our own teaching and learning practice, and a small number of interviews with academics using feminist material in their teaching in business schools, we explore the challenges, opportunities and joys experienced in the feminist classroom. We suggest that engaging in feminist teaching practice and theory can offer an opportunity for academics to engage in the critical management studies practice which is often said to be lacking within management research. We begin by setting out the extant positioning of Critical Management Studies, moving to an analysis of the educational context. Interwoven through this are our own perspectives. Our own reflections do not reveal the identities of students.

Details

Feminists and Queer Theorists Debate the Future of Critical Management Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-498-3

Keywords

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