This article investigates accounting as a counter-performative practice. For two years and nine months, we followed State Corporation, which participated in a ranking exercise using the Intellectual Asset Health Check launched by the Australian Federal Government in 2010. We find that sceptical employees seized the opportunity made possible by the ranking system to air alternative strategies. Rather than working in a predictable or performative manner, the ranking system was taken out of the hands of management and used against them. The study contributes to extant literatures by showing how accounting can become a tool to mount and sustain resistance. The ranking system, and the ideology it represented, became counter-productive because it produced effects that were ‘counter’ or contrary to its own intent and ideals.
Bibliographical notePublished online: September 18, 2019
- Intellectual assets