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The making of the management accountant. Becoming the producer of truthful knowledge
() and Eric Pezet
Abstract: In this paper, the authors analyse the practices through
which the management accountant is constructed as a knowing subject and
becomes a producer of truthful knowledge. They draw on a case study of an
automobile equipment manufacturer in which management accountants play a
central role. The centrality of their role is evidenced, among other
aspects, by their participation in online reverse auctions, wherein they
commit themselves and their company to long-term projects. This commitment
is constitutive of their identity as knowing subjects and organisational
truth tellers. However, the “validity” of the truth they produce can only
be assessed over time. They argue that, in this firm, monthly performance
review meetings constitute “accounting trials of truth” during which peers
and senior management crossexamine the accounting truth presented.
Preparations for these trials of truth constitute a form of subjectivation
whereby management accountants act on their ways of being in the firm and
become the producers of truthful knowledge.
Keywords: management accountant; subjectivation; trials of truth; Foucault; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: M49; (follow links to similar papers)
49 pages, October 15, 2010
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