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The role of inscriptions in producing a balanced scorecard

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  • Qu, Sandy Q.
  • Cooper, David J.

Abstract

Drawing on a field study in a management consulting firm, we analyze a detailed process of inscription building (through the mobilization of both people and objects) where diverse actors in a consulting firm and in the client organization attempt to edit local specifics to make a management accounting technology acceptable. Extending Robson (1992), we demonstrate how the characteristics of inscriptions are implicated in the process of trying to create and promote a balanced scorecard for a medical client. Our study sheds light on the exercise of power in the development of BSC indicators and how management consultants and clients seek to influence the project in pursuit of their own aims. The resistance of the client to the proposed BSC allows us to not only examine how the characteristics of inscriptions are materialized through different media, but also highlights the variable ability of different media to produce, capture, secure and refute knowledge claims.

Suggested Citation

  • Qu, Sandy Q. & Cooper, David J., 2011. "The role of inscriptions in producing a balanced scorecard," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 344-362.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:36:y:2011:i:6:p:344-362
    DOI: 10.1016/j.aos.2011.06.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Bryer, Alice Rose, 2014. "Participation in budgeting: A critical anthropological approach," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 511-530.
    2. repec:eee:aosoci:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:62-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cristiano Busco & Ariela Caglio & Robert Scapens, 2015. "Management and accounting innovations: reflecting on what they are and why they are adopted," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(3), pages 495-524, August.
    4. Luft, Joan, 2016. "Management accounting in the laboratory and in social context: Four contrasts, 1975–2014," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 9-20.
    5. Mehrpouya, Afshin & Samiolo, Rita, 2016. "Performance measurement in global governance: Ranking and the politics of variability," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 12-31.
    6. Giusi Guzzo, 2015. "L’approccio cognitivo-semiotico in Ragioneria: profili storici nel tempo e nello spazio," CONTABILITA' E CULTURA AZIENDALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(1), pages 37-63.
    7. Huikku, Jari & Mouritsen, Jan & Silvola, Hanna, 2017. "Relative reliability and the recognisable firm: Calculating goodwill impairment value," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 68-83.
    8. Pollock, Neil & D’Adderio, Luciana, 2012. "Give me a two-by-two matrix and I will create the market: Rankings, graphic visualisations and sociomateriality," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 565-586.
    9. Mahama, Habib & Chua, Wai Fong, 2016. "A study of alliance dynamics, accounting and trust-as-practice," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 29-46.
    10. Laura Girella, 2013. "Regulating through the "Logic of Appropriateness" and the "Rhetoric of the Expert": The Role of Consultants in the Case of Intangibles Reporting in Germany," FINANCIAL REPORTING, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(3-4), pages 75-109.
    11. Ezzamel, Mahmoud & Xiao, Jason Zezhong, 2015. "The development of accounting regulations for foreign invested firms in China: The role of Chinese characteristics," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 60-84.
    12. Power, Michael, 2015. "How accounting begins: Object formation and the accretion of infrastructure," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 43-55.
    13. Wæraas , Arild & Agger Nielsen, Jeppe, 2015. "Translation Theory ‘Translated’: Three Perspectives on Translation in Organizational Research," Working Paper Series 16-2015, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business.
    14. Paul Andon & Jane Baxter & Wai Fong Chua, 2015. "Accounting for Stakeholders and Making Accounting Useful," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(7), pages 986-1002, November.

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