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This paper aims to explore the entangling of economic, social and cultural values which circulate in visual branding, reflect business practice and add intangibles to…
This paper aims to explore the entangling of economic, social and cultural values which circulate in visual branding, reflect business practice and add intangibles to organisations.
The study is placed in the context of the difficulties and shortcomings of accounting for brands. A conceptual framework is constructed, based in critical theory from arts disciplines, notably from the thought of Barthes, Panofsky and Peirce. The icon is a primary denotation or representation. Iconography is a secondary level of coded meaning. Iconology is an interpretation that calls on the unconscious. Intermingling of the icon and the logos is considered. This accounting context and arts framework are used to compare the financial statements of the Bradford & Bingley Bank with its visual branding.
The financial statements are almost silent regarding brands, in line with regulation. In response to the greater competition that accompanied deregulation and globalisation, the Bank's lending and funding practices become more innovative. The visual framework reveals a changing iconography and iconology where class, detectives, music hall and the bowler‐object may be discerned. An iconology is suggested of dreamlike connotations and magical powers in the collective unconscious. The Bradford & Bingley have actively managed their visual branding to reflect and appeal to a changing society, and a more competitive business environment.
The study provides a model which may be applied to visual aspects of financial reporting and branding. It would benefit from an assessment of readership impact.
The analysis is of interest to accounting researchers, practitioners, trainees and auditors. It illuminates the ways in which visual branding interacts with business practices and conveys intangible values that are not reflected in the accounts.
The paper augments theoretical and empirical work on visual images in accounting.
This paper aims to examine the influence of neoliberalist deregulation on the rash of demutualisations of the 1990s. It explores the extent to which the demutualisation of…
This paper aims to examine the influence of neoliberalist deregulation on the rash of demutualisations of the 1990s. It explores the extent to which the demutualisation of two building societies – Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley – and their subsequent demise in the wake of the credit crunch exemplify key features of the neoliberalist experiment, with a particular focus on their post‐mutualisation business models.
The analysis draws on literature that examines the neoliberal development of the financial sector and examines the media coverage of the financial crisis of 2007/2008 to study the discursive and material conditions of possibility for the development and implosion of the business models used by Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.
The paper argues that the demutualisation of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley was part of a broader neoliberal movement which had processes of financialisation at its centre. By converting into banks, former building societies gained greater access to wholesale borrowing, to new types of investors and to the unrestricted use of financial instruments such as securitisation. The collapse of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley is interpreted in the light of their access to these new sources of funding and their use of financial instruments which were either unavailable for, or antithetical to, the operation of mutual societies.
The paper comments on the contemporary features and current effects of the 2007/2008 crisis of liquidity, whose full long‐term consequences are uncertain. Further research and future events may offer confirmation or serve to qualify or correct its central argument. The intent of the paper is to provide a detailed analysis of the conditions and consequences of building society demutualisation in the context of the neoliberal expansion of the financial sector that resulted in a financial meltdown. It is hoped that this study will stimulate more critical analysis of the financial sector, and of the significance of financialisation more specifically.
The paper adopts an alternative perspective on the so‐called “subprime crisis”. The collapse of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley is understood in relation to the expansion, and subsequent crisis, of financialisation, in which financial instruments such as collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps were at its explosive centre, rather than to the expansion of subprime lending per se. Demutualisation is presented as a symptom of neoliberalism, a development that, in the UK, is seen to have contributed significantly to the financial meltdown.
This chapter questions the way virtue ethics is being drawn into debates about the ethics of social research. In particular, it suggests that discussion of virtue may be…
This chapter questions the way virtue ethics is being drawn into debates about the ethics of social research. In particular, it suggests that discussion of virtue may be motivated by a desire to counter existing, largely principlist, approaches to the ethics of research and its associated administrative structures; virtue ethics has a prima facie appeal for those who are seemingly in need of an alternative moral philosophy. In addition, I argue that, as it stands, the complexity of virtue theory is not fully reflected in, or acknowledged by, debates about the ethics of social research. In the light of these remarks I suggest that the resources of social research can be drawn upon to generate critical theoretical insights into the ethics of social research. I discuss how a normative understanding of practices, and the concept of synderesis understood in a broadly Bourdieuan framework, could provide a starting point for such critical insights. I conclude that this perspective might be taken to suggest that the ethical stance most appropriate to the culture of social research is one of ongoing critical engagement.