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Imagined Worlds of Accounting

  • Sunder Shyam

    (Yale University)

Science, engineering, and all other learned disciplines, as well as our socio-political-economic organizations are artifacts—results of our imagination and ingenuity. Modern corporation—a marvel of organizational engineering—would not be possible without imagination. To run organizations, in the face of the centrifugal forces of divergent self-interest and inherently dispersed information, we need accounting. Accounting, too, is an artifact that arose from human imagination, as a precursor of, or contemporaneously with, mathematics, writing and the civilization itself. We explore the case for imagination in our discipline with respect to its environment, scholarship and instruction. Specifically, accounting scholarship includes examination not only of the way things were and are, but also of how they can be. Why should we imagine alternate scenarios, instead of simply waiting for changes to occur, or being forced upon us? We must do so, because imagination is necessary to bring about innovation in practice and in institutions, so our children might live in a better world.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Accounting, Economics, and Law.

Volume (Year): 1 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-14

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:aelcon:v:1:y:2011:i:1:n:8
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