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Accountingization and the multiplying of value: 25 years of valuation in a Swedish municipality
Stockholm University, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm, Sweden.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study, we follow how valuation practices evolve over a 25 years period in one single municipal Swedish organisation: The City of Stockholm. By delving into the performativity of accounting instruments, i.e. how accounting becomes part of making up the world we live in, the present study aims at extending the understanding we regarding that accountingization of the public sector rests on external pressures to adopt accounting, and the activity of organisational actors. Guided by a sociomaterial approach, the study shows how the making of conditions for valuation is hard work and fraught with contradictions. For accountingization to “succeed” in such an environment, a series of preparations have to be done that establishes the conditions for accounting to work. These preparatory arrangements are examined, and it is suggested that they are integral for accounting to become dominant in determining what is valuable and not.

The study does not end here, however. Instead, it continues the analysis further, and examines what happens “after” accountingization is “done”. By doing this, it is shown that not only does accounting need certain conditions to work – to be successful in dominating valuation practices and determining what is valuable; accounting, itself, also comes to form conditions for valuation in practice, and in doing so it becomes problematic and therefor needs to be strategically managed. It is argued that this is a process that needs to be further analysed as a performative spiral. This spiral entails the emergence of conditions that allows constitutive elements, such as accounting, to define what is valuable and what is not, constituting both valuability and non-valuability. Through this participation in the constitution of “thingness” – i.e. which things that matter in particular systems of valuation – and “otherness” – i.e. which things that do not matter in particular systems of valuation – accounting participates in multiplying value. Because when things are othered, that is, excluded from a specific valuation practice, it becomes the problem of other practices; and when things that are defined as valuable in one valuation practice begins to matter in other valuation practices, this particular, intruding, version of the valuable becomes problematic for that practice. The main contribution by this paper is to show how accounting, in becoming conditions for valuation, also participates in the multiplying of value.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Accouningisation, multiplying value, public sector, municipality
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71759OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71759DiVA, id: diva2:1281886
Conference
The XXIInd Annual IRSPM Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 11-13, 2018
Available from: 2019-01-23 Created: 2019-01-23 Last updated: 2019-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Wällstedt, Niklas

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf