Strategizing Management Accounting: Liberal Origins and Neoliberal Trends, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Strategizing Management Accounting

Liberal Origins and Neoliberal Trends, 1st Edition

By Chandana Alawattage, Danture Wickramasinghe


404 pages | 45 B/W Illus.

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The theory and practice of management accounting should be seen within the context of varieties of global capitalism, to appreciate its role as a 'calculative technology of capitalism' which is practiced on factory floors, corporate boards, computer networks, spreadsheets, and so forth. This new textbook is the first to introduce the field from a rounded social science perspective.

Strategizing Management Accounting offers a theoretical discussion on management accounting’s strategic orientation by accommodating two interrelated lines of analyses, from historical and contemporary perspectives. The book illustrates how 'new management accounting' has evolved into the form in which it exists today in its neoliberal context and how those new management accounting practices have become manifestos for the managers, as calculative technologies of decision making, performance management, control, corporate governance, as well as global governance, and development within various forms of organizations across the globe. Each chapter draws on Foucauldian analysis of biopolitics explaining how neoliberal market logic informs a set of strategies and mechanisms through which various social entities and discourses are made governable by considering them as biopolitical entities of global governance.

Written by two recognized accounting experts, this book is vital reading for all students of management accounting and will also be a useful supplementary resource for those wanting to understand and research accounting's vital role in contemporary society.


'Another landmark book by the authors. It is essential and provocative reading for any social scientist, whether an established researcher or a postgraduate aspiring to become one, wishing to understand the history of management accounting knowledge and practices from the emergence of modernity in the seventeenth century until today.' - Trevor Hopper, Professor Emeritus of Management Accounting, University of Sussex, UK

'The authors of this book have tackled management accounting as a social science. It is a massive contemporary literature review which explores many important themes regarding management accounting technologies and practice. It is theoretically informed and provides many alternate theoretical lenses so accounting researchers, educators and students can use this book to explain management accounting in contemporary times. Particularly I like the final chapters that explored the neoliberal governability in a global sense and important issues such as biopolitical security including global financials scandals, systematic financial risks, corruption, environmental and sustainability, development and poverty etc. I highly recommend this book.' - James Guthrie, Distinguished Professor of Accounting, Macquarie University, Australia

Table of Contents

Part I: Liberal Origins 1. Old Spirit of Capitalism: the political-economic context of management accounting 2. Old Spirit of Capitalism: the institutional context of management accounting 3. The Practicist Epistemology of Management Accounting 4. The Scientific Epistemology of Management Accounting PART II: Neoliberal Trends

5. Neoliberalization of Management Accounting 6. Strategizing the Firm: strategic discourses of competitive positioning 7. Strategizing the Firm: strategic discourses of organizational reconfiguration 8. Strategizing theFrm: strategic reconfiguration of the production systems – flexibility and quality 9. Strategizing Cost management 10. Strategizing Interfirm Relations 11. Strategizing the State and NPM Agenda 12. Strategizing Civil Society as a Management Accounting Entity 13. Neoliberalization of Corporate Governance 14. Greening the Firm: environmental management accounting 15. Strategizing Development

About the Authors

Chandana Alawattage is Professor/Chair in Accounting at University of Aberdeen Business School, UK.

Danture Wickramasinghe is Professor/Chair in Management Accounting at Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Accounting
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Accounting / Managerial