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Paratextual framing of the annual report: Liminal literary conventions and visual devices

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  • Davison, Jane

Abstract

Despite the annual report's central role as the prime organizational vehicle of communication, the manner in which it functions as a (literary) text has been strangely neglected. This article aims to extend existing work on literary theory and accounting by Macintosh and others by analysing the annual report's paratext, or surround, adapting the framework outlined by the literary (post)structuralist theorist, Genette. As the gateway to the annual report, the paratext provides some of its most critical features, from whose subtle signs may be gained rapid, key and lasting impressions, forming implicit contracts between sender(s) and addressee(s). A study of the paratext assists in unpacking all those most visible, yet equally invisible, narrative and visual elements of the annual report that the reader takes for granted: its physical format, names, authorship, titles, epigraphs, prefaces (introduction/Chairman's Statement) and intertitles. It shows that these frame the reception of the text, add comment on intangibles, and form a zone of connection between the organization, culture and society.

Suggested Citation

  • Davison, Jane, 2011. "Paratextual framing of the annual report: Liminal literary conventions and visual devices," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 118-134.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:22:y:2011:i:2:p:118-134
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2010.06.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chakhovich, Terhi & McGoun, Elton G., 2016. "Why grids in accounting?," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 36-59.

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