JEREMY MORALES (ESCP Europe): "Struggles for recognition: The discourses, identity and “dirty work” of management accountants"

09.02.2015

JEREMY MORALES (ESCP Europe): "Struggles for recognition: The discourses, identity and “dirty work” of management accountants"

Friday, March 6th, 2015 at EMLYON Business School, starting at 9.30am in room 337

 

Abstract

This paper studies symbolic categorisations management accountants produce to speak about their work. A field study conducted by observation and interviews relates the words they use to a diversity of tasks and activities. Management accountants produce a highly standardised, coherent discourse on their occupation, its values, and the general orientation it should be given. Yet such homogeneity masks the diversity of situations, roles and power positions experienced by management accountants. Common categories with heterogeneous meanings are created to build an homogeneous discourse despite empirical diversity. The paper suggests that this categorization work constitutes a tactic for identity recognition. Assuming that management accountants want to be part of a unifying agenda to form an established occupational group, it advances the argument that they produce a common discourse to increase cohesion and produce a standardised, positive image of their occupation. They craft a stable occupational narrative to produce a feeling of consistency and identity. This is how they participate in the constitution of a unified occupational group.