Managing climate change ‘by the numbers’ in a UK energy company

Quayle, Annette (2014) Managing climate change ‘by the numbers’ in a UK energy company. In 2014 North Amercian Congress on Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR NA), 2 -3 July 2014, Universite Laval, Quebec. (Unpublished)

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This paper examines how ideas and practices of accounting come together in turning the abstract concept of climate change into a new non-financial performance measure in a large energy company in the UK. It develops the notion of ‘governmental management’ to explain how the firm’s carbon dioxide emissions were transformed into a new organisational object that could be made quantifiable, measureable and ultimately manageable because of the modern power of accounting in tying disciplinary subjectivities and objectivities together whilst operating simultaneously at the level of individual and the organisation.

Examining these interrelations highlights the constitutive nature of accounting in creating not just new categories for accounting’s attention, but in turn new organisational knowledge and knowledge experts in the making up accounting for climate change. Significantly, it appears these new knowledge experts are no longer accountants: which may help explain accounting’s evolution into evermore spheres of influence as we increasingly choose to manage our world ‘by the numbers’.

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ID Code: 79149
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: accounting, climate change, non-financial performance measure, governmental management, Foucault, sustainability, management accounting
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Management Accounting (150105)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2014 04:19
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 11:48

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