Organisation studies

Chris Carter, Alan McKinlay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter outlines the main features of Foucault’s concept of ‘governmentality’, a term that he introduced only in lectures and never in a finalised text. It focuses on the two conceptual developments that have used Foucault’s governmentality as a point of departure. The chapter considers the development of the concept of ‘mediating instruments’ to suggest that all sorts of social scientific techniques - including accounting - do not simply reflect some underlying, already existing reality but serve to create objects to be understood and, so, managed. It also considers the related notion of ‘management at a distance’; that mediating instruments allow the government of a diverse range of individuals. The will to govern does not necessarily precede or cause the development of a particular accounting technique. That calculation does not necessarily - or, indeed, rarely - answer the functional requirements of institutional objectives is well established in organisation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Critical Accounting
EditorsRobin Roslender
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781317686743
ISBN (Print)9781138025257
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Organisation studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this