Presentation on theme: "Making Climate change manageable How accounting constructs new power- knowledge regimes Author: Annette Quayle, Queensland U. of Technology Discussant:"— Presentation transcript:
Making Climate change manageable How accounting constructs new power- knowledge regimes Author: Annette Quayle, Queensland U. of Technology Discussant: Marion Brivot, U. Laval CPA Conference 2014 Toronto
Research questions ‘What are the conditions that made possible accounting’s emergence in the problem of climate change? What roles do accounting practices and discourses play in the creation of climate change as a new accounting object? What are the consequences for individual and organizational identity and practices of accounting within climate change?’ (p. 4)
Theoretical framework and method Draws on… Hoskin and Macve 1986 and 1988 Foucault’s (1977) definition of discipline and power- knowledge … to examine why (context), how (process) and with what consequences (impact) accounting has travelled into the domain of climate change. Method: Qualitative analysis of a very rich set of data: Archives 7 interviews
Main finding The genesis of the Climate Change Act highlights the importance of accounting ideas and practices (including target setting, budgeting, reporting) in how policy makers understand the way in which governments should address the problem of climate change
discussion Very stimulating paper, which addresses a timely and important issue. The dataset is impressive. Some suggestions for improvement are listed below: 1.Linking your case study with the sociological literature on risk management (RM) would be useful. – The notion of turning something that is unknown, feared and highly risky for humanity (e.g, climate change) into something that can be predicted and managed calls for a link with the RM literature. – In particular, the idea that the ‘risk management of everything’ has become the new economic morality in our society (Power, 2007) would be pertinent in our case study. What role might this new economic morality have played in Tony Blair’s intimate conviction that climate change should be a top priority of his government?
Discussion (cont’d) 2.Interlacing your analysis with the chosen theoretical lens would be more convincing (in my subjective opinion) than theorizing your case study only in the discussion section – Suggestion: highlight the presence of disciplinary practices, power- knowledge, etc. directly in the analysis instead of centering it on a historical account of the consecutive steps that lead to the drafting of the climate change bill – Some quick comments in the discussion about the disciplinary role of accounting (p. 26) but you announced upfront, in the introduction, that your aim was to show that accounting practices were implicated in the governing and disciplining of what people do and think about climate change. The reader thus expects that this very disciplining process will be documented and discussed much more in the story. – Currently, the story does not emphasize the ‘power’ side of Foucault’s power-knowlede nexus much…
Discussion (cont’d) 3.The role agency in the travelling of accounting ideas into the ‘climate change’ field deserves more attention, since you claim it is one of your contributions – Based on how you currently tell the story, it is not clear what groups of agents played the most important role -- and for what reasons-- in the accounting framing of climate change. The accounting literature on lobbying the standard setters might provide useful tools for you to analyze the role of each individual or group involved in the process. 4.It would be useful to summarize your answers to the 3 research questions that you pose in the introduction. – In this version of the paper, you seem to primarily address the context and process questions – which, by the way, are difficult to disentangle- but you do not seem to focus so much on the ‘impact’ question.
Discussion (cont’d) 5.Better delineate your contribution by re-focusing the debate more selectively? In this version of the paper, your contribution seems to be mostly empirical: you provide an novel illustration of a process that is already known (accounting tends to travel to new domains). I would suggest that you impose more discipline on how you try to connect our paper with extant accounting research. You could perhaps concentrate on a subset of the topics that you currently evoke in your literature review and discussion. This will help you to better delineate your theoretical contribution. The topics in question include: – Organizational identity – Action at a distance – Performance management – Public accountability and transparency – Management by the numbers - calculative practices and mentalities – CRS – New public management (target setting, budgeting, etc.) – The travelling of accounting ideas – Foucaldian studies of accounting practices