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Trying to operationalise typologies of the spectacle: A literature review and a case study

Uddin, S and Gumb, B and Kasumba, S (2011) 'Trying to operationalise typologies of the spectacle: A literature review and a case study.' Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 24 (3). 288 - 314. ISSN 0951-3574

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Purpose – This paper aims to focus on building an interpretive framework for understanding accounting practices and changes, drawing on the situationist concept of the “spectacle”. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews the existing accounting and management literature in light of the concept of the spectacle. The paper presents empirical illustrations of participatory budgeting as a form of the spectacle and the role of donor agencies in local government reforms in Uganda, based on interviews and observations. Findings – It is argued that the transformational – rather than just metaphoric – dimension of the spectacle has the potential to provide a better understanding of accounting practices and their transformations in the context of everchanging capitalism, and to further contribute to the critical accounting literature. Drawing on Debord's work, the paper also extends one's understanding of why donor agencies export ideas, including accounting practices and technologies. Practical implications – The paper further enriches the possibility of critical consciousness and praxis in transforming and shaping the spectacle. By understanding the construction of the spectacle and its transformations, as Boje et al. argued, avenues for resistance are opened up. Originality/review – The paper provides a perspective for the understanding of accounting changes, and it should open up avenues for further research regarding various forms of the spectacle that involve accounting techniques and practices. © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Item Type: Article
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: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2012 13:43
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 11:16

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