Rhetoric, repetition, reporting and the “dot.com” era: words, pictures, intangibles
AbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to add to theoretical and empirical work on the rhetoric of narratives and pictures in annual reporting by using the lens of repetition to examine the Annual Reviews of British Telecommunications (BT) plc. Design/methodology/approach – The study constructs a conceptual framework of repetition in signifiants (from rhetoric) and signifiés (from philosophy, notably Barthes, Deleuze, Eliade and Jankélévitch). Signifiants are established by reference to rhetorical figures based in repetition: anadiplosis, anaphora, alliteration/rhyme and lists. Signifiés are indicated as conscious rhetorical emphasis, and unconscious reflections of sameness and difference; networks and links; and, of particular interest during the “dot.com” years, exuberance and compulsion; differentiation, ritual and reassurance. The framework is used to analyse BT plc's Annual Reviews from 1996-2001. Findings – The application of the framework is enlightening: repetition is shown to be prevalent in BT plc's Annual Reviews, especially during the “dot.com” years. Repetition emphasises BT plc's intangible assets; less consciously, repetition reflects BT plc's corporate identity and its participation in the “dot.com” era. Research limitations/implications – The paper provides a model which may be applied to the wealth of discretionary narratives and pictures in contemporary annual reporting. It would also benefit from the assessment of readership impact. Practical implications – The analysis is of interest to accounting researchers, practitioners, trainees, auditors and any user of accounting and accountability statements. It illuminates the way in which discretionary words and pictures highlight and supplement accounting information. Originality/value – The paper augments theoretical and empirical work on the significance of narratives and pictures in accounting.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com
Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Preston, Alistair & Oakes, Leslie, 2001. "The Navajo documents: a study of the economic representation and construction of the Navajo," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 39-71, January.
- Preston, Alistair M. & Young, Joni J., 2000. "Constructing the global corporation and corporate constructions of the global: a picture essay," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(4-5), pages 427-449, May.
- Jay Ritter & Ivo Welch, 2002.
"A Review of IPO Activity, Pricing and Allocations,"
Yale School of Management Working Papers
ysm258, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2002.
- Jay R. Ritter & Ivo Welch, 2002. "A Review of IPO Activity, Pricing, and Allocations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1795-1828, 08.
- Jay Ritter & Ivo Welch, 2002. "A Review of IPO Activity, Pricing, and Allocations," NBER Working Papers 8805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Graves, O. Finley & Flesher, Dale L. & Jordan, Robert E., 1996. "Pictures and the bottom line: The television epistemology of U.S. annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 57-88, January.
- Laura Spira, 1999. "Ceremonies of Governance: Perspectives on the Role of the Audit Committee," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 231-260, September.
- Benschop, Yvonne & Meihuizen, Hanne E., 2002. "Keeping up gendered appearances: representations of gender in financial annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 611-636, October.
- Michael J. Cooper, 2001. "A Rose.com by Any Other Name," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2371-2388, December.
- Aerts, Walter, 1994. "On the use of accounting logic as an explanatory category in narrative accounting disclosures," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 19(4-5), pages 337-353.
- W. Aerts, 2001. "Inertia in the attributional content of annual accounting narratives," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 3-32.
- Walter Masocha & Pauline Weetman, 2007. "Rhetoric in standard setting: the case of the going-concern audit," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 74-100, January.
- Jose L. Arquero & Trevor Hassall & John Joyce & Jose A. Donoso, 2007. "Accounting Students and Communication Apprehension: A Study of Spanish and UK Students," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 299-322.
- Young, Joni J., 2003. "Constructing, persuading and silencing: the rhetoric of accounting standards," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 621-638, August.
- Mark A. Clatworthy & Michael John Jones, 2006. "Differential patterns of textual characteristics and company performance in the chairman's statement," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(4), pages 493-511, July.
- Walters, Melissa, 2004. "Alternative accounting thought and the prison-house of metaphor," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 157-187, February.
- Jane Davison, 2007. "Photographs and accountability: cracking the codes of an NGO," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 133-158, January.
- Claire France Picard & Sylvain Durocher & Yves Gendron, 2013. "From Meticulous Professionals To Superheroes Of The Business World: A Historical Portrait Of A Cultural Change In The Field Of Accountancy," Post-Print hal-00993019, HAL.
- Davison, Jane, 2014. "Visual rhetoric and the case of intellectual capital," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 20-37.
- Davison, Jane, 2010. "[In]visible [in]tangibles: Visual portraits of the business élite," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 165-183, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Lister).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.