Organisation studies

Chris Carter, Alan McKinlay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

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
Pages394-407
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781317686743
ISBN (Print)9781138025257
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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