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Title: Managing climate change by the numbers in a UK energy company : the double-disciplinary power of accounting
Author: Quayle, Annette Maree
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the modern power of accounting in shaping individuals, organisations and society. It does so by examining a series of theoretical, empirical and historical issues at the intersection of accounting and climate change. Accounting’s modern power is studied from a disciplinary perspective derived from the work of Michel Foucault (Foucault, 1977) and Hoskin & Macve (1986; 1988) and concentrates on those historical moments where power-knowledge practices change in ‘fundamental and significant ways’. It suggests one such moment is at the intersection of accounting and climate change, where climate change becomes an object to be managed ‘by the numbers’ through accounting-based measures of control. These ideas are examined through two separate but related modes of analysis. At a macro level, the research traces the emergence of the UK Climate Change Act (2008) as an example of accounting travelling to a new governmental domain. The micro portion of the study examines the emergence of climate change as a new non-financial performance measure in a large UK energy company. The research suggests that the intersection of accounting and climate change was made possible by the modern power of accounting in tying disciplinary subjectivities and objectivities together whilst operating simultaneously at the level of individuals, organisations and government. Studying these interrelations provide a particularly apposite example of accounting’s double-disciplinary power to increasingly manage our world ‘by the numbers’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HF5601 Accounting