Ex-citable Accounting and the Development of Pervasive Innovation

Silvana Revellino, Jan Mouritsen

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Abstrakt

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explain the role of the performativity theory for understanding how the calculative instruments of accounting provoke innovation and participate in the generation of values by activating processes that pervade everything rather than being limited to categorical spaces.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on Judith Butler’s work and her notion of excitability to explain how multiple values may arise when accounting interacts with innovation. Through this lens, accounting, as a language based on signs, can be theorised as an ex-citable force involved in provoking and transforming innovation and its associated values, notably beyond innovators’ initial intentions. Thus, innovation is not a stable object but a pervasive movement diffusing multiple values.
Findings: By introducing the notion of pervasiveness, the paper argues that even if values can be imagined ab origine, they may not be contractible to a plan. The calculative instruments of accounting provoke innovation and participate in the generation of value(s) by activating processes that pervade everything rather than being limited to categorical spaces. In the course of this pervasive process, innovations, which are born to develop private interests, can possibly generate public goods.
Originality/value: The notion of pervasiveness the paper advances is used to challenge the division between business and social innovation. It well expresses the effects that ex-citable calculative practices put in place when interacting with innovation. It suggests that it is only possible to create productions – to assemble things – in ongoing processes, and the value(s) produced in such movements are always evolving and multiple. However, in this sense, they are social.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftQualitative Research in Accounting & Management
Vol/bind14
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)448-466
Antal sider19
ISSN1176-6093
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

Emneord

  • Innovation
  • Perfomativity
  • Pervasiveness
  • Values

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