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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2018

Susan Bassnett, Ann-Christine Frandsen and Keith Hoskin

The purpose of this paper is to investigate accounting as first visible-sign statement form, and also as the first writing, and analyse its systematic differences…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate accounting as first visible-sign statement form, and also as the first writing, and analyse its systematic differences, syntactic and semantic, from subsequent speech-following (glottographic) writing forms. The authors consider how accounting as non-glottographic (and so “unspeakable”) writing form renders “glottography” a “subsystem of writing” (Hyman, 2006), while initiating a mode of veridiction which always and only names and counts, silently and synoptically. The authors also consider the translation of this statement form into the graphs, charts, equations, etc., which are central to the making of modern scientific truth claims, and to remaking the boundaries of “languaging” and translatability.

Design/methodology/approach

As a historical–theoretical study, this draws on work reconceptualising writing vs speech (e.g. Harris, 1986; 2000), the statement vs the word (e.g. Foucault, 1972/2002) and the parameters of translation (e.g. Littau, 2016) to re-think the conceptual significance of accounting as constitutive of our “literate modes” of thinking, acting and “languaging in general”.

Findings

Specific reflections are offered on how the accounting statement, as mathematically regularised naming of what “ought” to be counted, is then evaluated against what is counted, thus generating a first discourse of the norm and a first accounting-based apparatus for governing the state. The authors analyse how the non-glottographic statement is constructed and read not as linear flow of signs but as simulacrum; and on how the accounting statement poses both the practical issue of how to translate non-linear flow statements, and the conceptual problem of how to think this statement form’s general translatability, given its irreducibility to the linear narrative statement form.

Originality/value

The paper pioneers in approaching accounting as statement form in a way that analyses the differences that flow from its non-glottographic status.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 June 2020

Robert Charnock and Keith Hoskin

This paper brings insights from accounting scholarship to the measurement and reporting challenges of metagovernance approaches to sustainable development. Where…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper brings insights from accounting scholarship to the measurement and reporting challenges of metagovernance approaches to sustainable development. Where scholarship on metagovernance—the combination of market, hierarchical and network governance—proposes deductive approaches to such challenges, we contend that a historically informed “abductive” approach offers valuable insight into the realpolitik of intergovernmental frameworks.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a Foucauldian “archaeological–genealogical” method to investigate the inclusion of climate change as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). It analyses more than 100 documents and texts, tracking the statement forms that crystallise prevailing truth claims across the development of climate and SDG metagovernance.

Findings

We show how the truth claims now enshrined in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change constrained the conceptualisation and operationalisation of SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. The paper thereby reframes recent measurement and reporting challenges as outcomes of conceptual conflicts between the technicist emphasis of divisions within the United Nations and the truth claims enshrined in intergovernmental agreements.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates how an archaeological–genealogical approach may start to address the measurement and reporting challenges facing climate and SDG metagovernance. It also highlights that the two degrees target on climate change has a manifest variability of interpretation and shows how this characteristic has become pivotal to operationalising climate metagovernance in a manner that respects the sovereignty of developing nations.

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2020

Bradley Bowden and Peta Stevenson-Clarke

Postmodernist ideas – most particularly those of Foucault but also those of Latour, Derrida and Barthes – have had a much longer presence in accounting research than in…

Abstract

Purpose

Postmodernist ideas – most particularly those of Foucault but also those of Latour, Derrida and Barthes – have had a much longer presence in accounting research than in other business disciplines. However, in large part, the debates in accounting history and management history, have moved in parallel but separate universes. The purpose of this study is therefore one of exploring not only critical accounting understandings that are significant for management history but also one of highlighting conceptual flaws that are common to the postmodernist literature in both accounting and management history.

Design/methodology/approach

Foucault has been seminal to the critical traditions that have emerged in both accounting research and management history. In exploring the usage of Foucault’s ideas, this paper argues that an over-reliance on a set of Foucauldian concepts – governmentality, “disciplinary society,” neo-liberalism – that were never conceived with an eye to the problems of accounting and management has resulted in not only in the drawing of some very longbows from Foucault’s formulations but also misrepresentations of the French philosophers’ ideas.

Findings

Many, if not most, of the intellectual positions associated with the “Historic Turn” and ANTi-History – that knowledge is inherently subjective, that management involves exercising power at distance, that history is a social construct that is used to legitimate capitalism and management – were argued in the critical accounting literature long before Clark and Rowlinson’s (2004) oft cited call. Indeed, the “call” for a “New Accounting History” issued by Miller et al. (1991) played a remarkably similar role to that made by Clark and Rowlinson in management and organizational studies more than a decade later.

Originality/value

This is the first study to explore the marked similarities between the critical accounting literature, most particularly that related to the “New Accounting History” and that associated with the “Historic Turn” and ANTi-History in management and organizational studies.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 1992

Keith Hoskin

Feminism offers new ways of seeing accounting both as practice andtheory. However, just as accounting has increasingly recognized that itstheoretical base and its everyday…

Abstract

Feminism offers new ways of seeing accounting both as practice and theory. However, just as accounting has increasingly recognized that its theoretical base and its everyday practice are problematic, so has feminism discovered new levels of questionability about feminist projects. Both fields are simultaneously discovering how power‐knowledge relations are deeply embedded within them.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Keith Hoskin and Richard Macve

In a 1977 publication Alfred Chandler singled out the Springfield Armoryas the site where single‐unit management was pioneered in the UnitedStates, crediting…

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Abstract

In a 1977 publication Alfred Chandler singled out the Springfield Armory as the site where single‐unit management was pioneered in the United States, crediting Superintendent Roswell Lee (1815‐1833) with establishing a first “managerial” approach to work discipline and labour accounting. However, as economic breakthrough came only in 1841/2, it has since been argued that Lee′s role has been overestimated. Re‐examines archival evidence to show that: the changes of 1842 at Springfield were not due to external economic pressures, but to pressure exerted by West Point graduates in the Ordnance Department; Lee, as the dominant arms manufacturer in the 1820s, was not “held back” by economic factors from implementing any changes he desired; and his system of work organization was never even potentially managerial, with his accounting system in particular having been fundamentally misinterpreted. The evidence reinforces the case for viewing the invention of modern business and managerialism as primarily a disciplinary breakthrough.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2021

C. Richard Baker and Martin E. Persson

Accounting history has tended to ignore the accounting research enterprise, focusing instead on particular episodes or periods, such as histories of standards setting or…

Abstract

Accounting history has tended to ignore the accounting research enterprise, focusing instead on particular episodes or periods, such as histories of standards setting or histories of the accounting profession. In effect, methodological and theoretical differences within the accounting research discipline have so profoundly divided the discipline that researchers working in one area are relatively unable or unwilling to understand the key issues in other areas. This chapter seeks to shed some light on the greatest divide in accounting research: the divide between positive and critical accounting research. This chapter argues that both positive and critical accounting research can trace their origins to certain key figures who were doctoral students at the University of Chicago in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The chapter employs Foucault’s concept of genealogy to examine the origins of the positivist and critical paradigms in accounting research.

Details

Historical Developments in the Accountancy Profession, Financial Reporting, and Accounting Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-805-1

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2000

Paolo Quattrone

This paper speculates about the potential of the constructivism of Piaget and Morin to offer a framework which might go beyond dualisms and fragmentation in accounting…

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Abstract

This paper speculates about the potential of the constructivism of Piaget and Morin to offer a framework which might go beyond dualisms and fragmentation in accounting research. These, it is argued, are because inter‐disciplinary research is still embedded in a hierarchical organization of human knowledge (“Encyclopaedia”). In pursuing this aim, this paper seeks to reformulate the subject‐matter of accounting in the trans‐disciplinary terms of the “knowledge of knowledge”. Such a theoretical framework will introduce the issues of trans‐disciplinarity, evolution and reflexivity into accounting research. Such issues have already been the concern of other disciplines within and outside the field of managerial studies, providing new insights for understanding organizational problems. However, they have not yet been given enough attention within accounting research.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Annette Quayle

This paper aims to generate new research directions at the intersection of accounting, whistleblowing and publicness: defined as the attainment of public goals, interests…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to generate new research directions at the intersection of accounting, whistleblowing and publicness: defined as the attainment of public goals, interests and values.

Design/methodology/approach

A problematising review is used to challenge and rethink the existing accounting and whistleblowing literature by incorporating readings from the public interest and public value literature. The paper draws on the work of Dewey (1927), Bozeman (2007) and Benington (2009) to open up new ways of theorising relations between accounting, whistleblowing and publicness.

Findings

Firstly, the paper develops a public interest theoretical framework which shows whistleblowing is a public value activity that moves organisational wrongdoing into the public sphere where it is subject to democratic debate and dialogue required to reconcile the public's interests with what the public values. Secondly, this framework provides one answer to continuing questions in the literature of how to define accountings relationship to the public interest. Finally, the paper suggests this conceptual framework be used to stimulate debate on whether and how one should expand existing accounting and accountability knowledge boundaries to incorporate the broader social, political and moral concerns highlighted by whistleblowers acting in the public interest.

Originality/value

Accounting and whistleblowing research has ignored the theoretical implications of whistleblowing in the public interest. The paper shows how accounting and accountability can respond to the challenges of a shifting and intangible public interest by providing a conceptual framework to guide current and future theoretical questions of how accounting is connected to the public interest.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1947

R.S. MORTIMER

It is now forty years since there appeared H. R. Plomer's first volume Dictionary of the booksellers and printers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from

Abstract

It is now forty years since there appeared H. R. Plomer's first volume Dictionary of the booksellers and printers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1641 to 1667. This has been followed by additional Bibliographical Society publications covering similarly the years up to 1775. From the short sketches given in this series, indicating changes of imprint and type of work undertaken, scholars working with English books issued before the closing years of the eighteenth century have had great assistance in dating the undated and in determining the colour and calibre of any work before it is consulted.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Article
Publication date: 2 December 2014

Roderick Andrew Landman

The purpose of this paper is to offer an introduction to the recently recognised phenomenon of “mate crime” as it affects people with learning disabilities. It looks at…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer an introduction to the recently recognised phenomenon of “mate crime” as it affects people with learning disabilities. It looks at how concerns arose, considers what may make people with learning disabilities particularly susceptible, and proposes a provisional definition of “mate crime”.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the author's own project work, and reviews the extant research literature on “disablist” hate crime to examine the extent to which so-called “mate crime” has been both explicitly and implicitly identified and analysed in the literature.

Findings

The literature review indicates that “mate crime” has not been explicitly identified in any scholarly research to date, either under that or any other name. Crimes that we might label as “mate crimes” have, however, appeared in more general literature concerning the experiences of people with disabilities in general, and as victims of crime.

Social implications

Despite a lack of firm data there is sufficient in the literature, combined with increasing anecdotal evidence and case studies, to suggest that people with learning disabilities are particularly susceptible to “mate crime”, and are being targeted by perpetrators. Increasing independence and reduced service provision are likely to increase the risks. The author argues that mate crime differs significantly from other manifestations of hate crime and abuse, and needs to be conceptualised, analysed and handled differently.

Originality/value

Whilst the issue of “mate crime” is gaining increasing professional and media attention it lacks any academic base and a definition. This paper attempts to establish an agreed definition and conceptualisation of “mate crime”.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

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