Accounting, Simultaneity and Relative Completeness: The Sales and Operations Planning Forecast and the Enactment of the ‘Demand Chain’

Lichen Yu*, Jan Mouritsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study adds to the literature on accounting incompleteness and instability an understanding of how accounting acts upon an object that is practised as a multiple. It explores how accounting, in the form of a sales and operations planning (S&OP) forecast, helps discover the objections attached to the various enactments of an object multiple, namely a ‘demand chain’ - a lateral ordering of the firm's production and products from customers backward to suppliers - and translate these objections into decision mechanisms. The paper finds a process of accumulation of accountings that contributes to the enactment of the ‘demand chain’ multiple. In this process, accounting becomes both performative and provocative. As a source of performativity, accounting is relatively complete because it turns each emerging objection into a specific decision model, enacting the ‘demand chain’ in a certain way. As a force of provocation, accounting stimulates new objections to emerge against what accounting reveals about the ‘demand chain’; this adds new accountings onto existing ones, all of which exist simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101129
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online: 31 March 2020

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