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Accounting representation and the road to commercial salvation

Ezzamel, Mahmoud, Lilley, Simon and Willmott, Hugh 2004. Accounting representation and the road to commercial salvation. Accounting, Organizations and Society 29 (8) , pp. 783-813. 10.1016/j.aos.2003.10.004

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The paper examines the contribution of inscriptions, in particular new accounting measures, to a process of transforming the ethos and operations of ‘Britech', a high-tech division of a major British manufacturer. Focusing upon the increased and changing use of inscriptions at this site, we interpret them as moves to signify and facilitate an increasingly “commercial” orientation towards activities. We describe how new writings, particularly new management accounting measures, were deployed to create spaces of representation in which traditional views and practices were problematized in a strategic effort to constitute a new organisational reality for Britech employees. The new systems of inscription, we argue, were a key resource in the translation of established practices. This translation was facilitated by writings that expressed and promoted conditions of accelerating change that were prompted by pressures to avoid closure or divestment of the Britech assembly site. Analysis of the inscriptions is thus of significance for understanding how a human agency deemed capable of enacting the new commercial agenda at ‘Britech' is constituted and reproduced.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0361-3682
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 16:07

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