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Continuity and Change in Development Discourses and the Rhetoric Role of Accounting

Uddin, Shahzad and Jayasinghe, Kelum (2019) 'Continuity and Change in Development Discourses and the Rhetoric Role of Accounting.' Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies. ISSN 2042-1168 (In Press)

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Abstract

The paper uses the case study of development projects in Sri Lanka and development reports published from 1978-2006 to trace how the World Bank has utilised accounting rhetoric/languages in articulating development discourses at different stages of global capitalism. Multiple research methods are employed, such as archival research, observations, and interviews. Development reports published by the World Bank (1978-2006) are closely examined using discourse analysis. Development projects in Sri Lanka and development reports during the last three decades demonstrate that ideological shifts brought about the changes in accounting rhetoric in development discourses. The paper further shows that the articulation and re-articulation of development discourses communicated by accounting rhetoric have yet to grasp the real complexity of the local problems in those villages in Sri Lanka. The mere focus on management and governance styles (albeit important) driven by the development ideology and rational accounting rhetoric of the World Bank seems to bring little reward to villagers or, indeed, to the policy makers. This study concludes that traditional local settings have been in conflict with development ideologies and rational accounting imperatives imported from a different setting over the last three decades. This finding has policy implications for the economic development programmes often prescribed by the World Bank and donor agencies. The paper adds to the literature on the use of accounting languages in development discourses, especially in the context of Less Developed Countries. It will be of great value to researchers and practitioners seeking to gain a better understanding of reforms driven by a particular set of accounting technology in distant places.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: development discourse, World Bank, Sri Lanka, Rhetoric, Accounting Language
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2019 15:18
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:21
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23915

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