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Framing numbers ‘at a distance’: Intangible performance reporting in a theater
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School, Accounting.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting, ISSN 1401-338X, E-ISSN 1758-745X, Vol. 15, no 4, 260-278 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how the framing of numbers may be related to the distance between the information provider and information users.

Design/methodology/approach – The design of the paper is a case study, in an organizational situation where there are perceived problems in producing stable inscriptions for reporting to users at a distance. The study focuses on the top management level in a small-sized publicly-funded theater. The qualitative research design incorporates interviews, observations and document analysis.

Findings – The paper illustrates how knowledge and understanding of the circumstances of measurement form a substantial part of what constitutes “distance” between an accounting user and the referred context. It is argued that the framing of numbers may be utilized as a means to control action at a distance. The findings also imply that the use of measurements regarding intangibles may be perceived as useful for purposes beyond internal management.

Originality/value – The paper contributes in two ways to prior research on accountability relations and accounting as an enabler of action at a distance: it elaborates on what constitutes a distance, and it also adds an emphasis on reciprocal behavior by the provider of information in an accountability relation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 15, no 4, 260-278 p.
Keyword [en]
Accounting users “at a distance”, Framing of numbers, Information management, Information transfer, Intangible performance, Measurement, Theatre
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79167DOI: 10.1108/14013381111197216OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79167DiVA: diva2:547786
Conference
EIASM 7th Interdisciplinary Workshop on "Intangibles, Intellectual Capital & Extra-Financial Information", Warzaw, Poland, September 29-30, 2011
Available from: 2012-08-28 Created: 2012-08-28 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Representing Performance | Performing Representation: Ontology in accounting practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Representing Performance | Performing Representation: Ontology in accounting practice
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Social studies of accounting have drawn attention to the dubious role of accounting as a representational link between organizational realities and action. Based on five years immersion with performance management and board work in a theatre company, this thesis inquires into the ontological significance of accounting practices. The study takes a praxiographic approach, which emphasizes action and relocates questions of representation towards the practices in which representations are mobilized. The research questions refer specifically to ontological work related to commensurability and distance in accounting practices. Four papers attend to the manners in which the organizational performance of the theatre company is represented in different situations of managing, governing and reporting. The papers demonstrate and analyse different examples of ontological work involved in achieving (or retracting) representational links. In conclusion, the thesis places the organizing of ontological tensions – especially the tension between singular accounting representations and multiple organizational realities – at the core of accounting representation practices. The thesis thus contributes to practical, theoretical and philosophical discussions on the links between accounting practices, accounts and reality. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, 2015. 66 p.
Keyword
Accounting; Ontology; Commensuration; Distance; Performance measurement; Praxiography
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119958 (URN)978-91-7649-248-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-16, Gröjersalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Roslagsvägen 101, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-09-24 Created: 2015-08-30 Last updated: 2015-09-14Bibliographically approved

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