Effects of Actor-Network Theory in Accounting Research

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to discuss how Bruno Latour's version of actor-network theory has influenced accounting research. It also seeks to show that Latour's writings contain unexplored potential that may inspire future accounting research.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a critical literature review and discussion.

Findings – Since the early 1990s, actor-network theory, particularly the work of Bruno Latour, has inspired accounting researchers and led to a number of innovative studies of accounting phenomena. In particular, Latour's book, Science in Action, has been the primary source of inspiration for accounting research. This means that there is unexplored potential in Latour's more recent writings which may lead to further inspiration and research in the field of accounting.

Research limitations/implications – The paper reviews only a few of the relatively large number of accounting papers that apply actor-network theory. A different sample might have given a somewhat different picture. Furthermore, it focuses on the influence of Latour's work and refrains from discussing how the writings of Michel Callon, John Law or other thinkers within the actor-network tradition are used in accounting research.

Originality/value – This is the first extensive review discussing the influence of Latour on accounting research that engages in a critical discussion of under-explored potential in Latour's recent work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Volume24
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)161 - 193
ISSN1368-0668
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this

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title = "Effects of Actor-Network Theory in Accounting Research",
abstract = "Purpose – This paper aims to discuss how Bruno Latour's version of actor-network theory has influenced accounting research. It also seeks to show that Latour's writings contain unexplored potential that may inspire future accounting research.Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a critical literature review and discussion.Findings – Since the early 1990s, actor-network theory, particularly the work of Bruno Latour, has inspired accounting researchers and led to a number of innovative studies of accounting phenomena. In particular, Latour's book, Science in Action, has been the primary source of inspiration for accounting research. This means that there is unexplored potential in Latour's more recent writings which may lead to further inspiration and research in the field of accounting.Research limitations/implications – The paper reviews only a few of the relatively large number of accounting papers that apply actor-network theory. A different sample might have given a somewhat different picture. Furthermore, it focuses on the influence of Latour's work and refrains from discussing how the writings of Michel Callon, John Law or other thinkers within the actor-network tradition are used in accounting research.Originality/value – This is the first extensive review discussing the influence of Latour on accounting research that engages in a critical discussion of under-explored potential in Latour's recent work.",
keywords = "Accounting theory, Social factors, Strategic change, Networking",
author = "Justesen, {Lise Nederland} and Jan Mouritsen",
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language = "English",
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journal = "Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal",
issn = "1368-0668",
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Effects of Actor-Network Theory in Accounting Research. / Justesen, Lise Nederland; Mouritsen, Jan.

In: Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2011, p. 161 - 193.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Mouritsen, Jan

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AB - Purpose – This paper aims to discuss how Bruno Latour's version of actor-network theory has influenced accounting research. It also seeks to show that Latour's writings contain unexplored potential that may inspire future accounting research.Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a critical literature review and discussion.Findings – Since the early 1990s, actor-network theory, particularly the work of Bruno Latour, has inspired accounting researchers and led to a number of innovative studies of accounting phenomena. In particular, Latour's book, Science in Action, has been the primary source of inspiration for accounting research. This means that there is unexplored potential in Latour's more recent writings which may lead to further inspiration and research in the field of accounting.Research limitations/implications – The paper reviews only a few of the relatively large number of accounting papers that apply actor-network theory. A different sample might have given a somewhat different picture. Furthermore, it focuses on the influence of Latour's work and refrains from discussing how the writings of Michel Callon, John Law or other thinkers within the actor-network tradition are used in accounting research.Originality/value – This is the first extensive review discussing the influence of Latour on accounting research that engages in a critical discussion of under-explored potential in Latour's recent work.

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