This module engages with a range of social science perspectives on the expanding role of accounting in organisations and society. It provides advanced skills of analysis and evaluation of contemporary accounting methods and tools through the discussion of cutting-edge research, offering a more conceptual and theoretical understanding of the practices presented in previous years. Moving beyond the mere technical aspects of the craft, students will learn to examine accounting in its social and organizational context, reflecting on how accounting shapes and is shaped by its environment. Drawing, inter alia, on political science, economic sociology and organization studies, students will learn to critically evaluate key accounting notions – such as decision-usefulness, transparency and objectivity – in their real world applications and implications, including some problematic aspects and unintended consequences of those notions.
Provisional Lecture Outline
Lecture 1: Accounting, objectivity and transparency
Lecture 2: Accounting, financialization and “institutional thinking”
Lecture 3: Auditing and assurance I: audit in crisis
Lecture 4: Auditing and assurance II: internal control and risk management
Lecture 5: Accounting in the new public sector
Lecture 6: The audit explosion in the public services
Lecture 7: Accounting and (post)colonialism
Lecture 8: Accounting and surveillance capitalism
Lecture 9: Conclusion: governing by numbers
Lecture 10: Essay writing guidance
30% Group Assessment
Suggested reading list
Key text or background reading
This module will draw on articles published in academic journals and real-world case-studies. The articles will cover research on a variety of settings and in a variety of countries. To include the most recent advances in accounting research, the articles will be chosen in due time.