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Title: On the construction of accounting representations : four studies of accounting in action.
Author: McSweeney, Liam Brendan.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2423 7510
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1994
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The presupposition that accounting is capable of producing representations which correspond with a reality wholly anterior and exterior to them - widely privileged in accounting and other texts - is analysed and challenged in the thesis. A range of analytical methods are used. The first is the deconstruction of ã text from different discursive levels which assert the possibility of correspondence through accounting representations. These texts are directly analysed and subjected to their own proof criterion of correspondence. The aim is to show that each text defers the point at which the purely extra-accounting is deemed to have been fully grasped. No pure, or pre-discursive, position from which an account could begin is located. In each text there is an endless supplementarity. The terminus of correspondence is never reached. The second method of analysis employed is an examination of the advocacy and implantation of accounting change in the name of accounting's alleged correspondence capabilities in the UK Civil Service. More than a decade of advocacy is considered. Some of the pressures for the accounting change considered are located by an analysis of the different, indeed conflicting, purposes for which accounting is advanced by the advocates and compared with an explanation of change which would be consistent with a correspondence characterisation. The evidence provided by the advocates for their claims about the possibility of correspondence is examined and shown to point to yet other discourses. The third approach is participant observation of the functioning of accounting in organizational actions in a private sector manufacturing firm. The construction of accounting representations and some constitutive effects are explored and contrasted with the depiction of accounting as correspondence. Drawing on the contribution of each of the critiques of accounting as correspondence, the thesis concludes that representations are not of pre-existing referents but what is brought into being.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management & business studies