Accounting and Finance Seminar - Chris Carter (University of Edinburgh Business School)
G.15, 15-19 Tyndalls Park Road
Title - Leadership, Identity and Accounting
Strategic change in public sector organizations has been well documented. This article suggests that public management research would benefit from a greater appreciation of how calculative practices are deeply imbricated with, and constitutive of, organizational life. In turn, the article argues that the field of interdisciplinary accounting has much to learn from public administration, especially in terms of leadership. The overarching argument is that understanding strategic change in public organizations can be enhanced by bringing together insights from the academic fields of public administration and interdisciplinary accounting. In this respect, organizational reform can be understood as a triptych, involving strategic change, leadership and accounting practices. We illustrate this thesis through a case study of strategic change in the world's largest public service broadcaster—the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It is shown how, during the tenure of one organizational leader—John Birt—accounting became pivotal to his leadership.