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The making of the management accountant - Becoming the producer of truthful knowledge

Abstract : In this paper, we analyse the practices through which the management accountant is constructed as a knowing subject and becomes a producer of truthful knowledge. We draw on a case study of an automobile equipment manufacturer in which management accountants play a central role. The centrality of their role is evidenced, among other aspects, by their participation in online reverse auctions, wherein they commit themselves and their company to long-term projects. This commitment is constitutive of their identity as knowing subjects and organisational truth tellers. However, the "validity" of the truth they produce can only be assessed over time. We argue that, in this firm, monthly performance review meetings constitute "accounting trials of truth" during which peers and senior management cross-examine the accounting truth presented. Preparations for these trials of truth constitute a form of subjectivation whereby management accountants act on their ways of being in the firm and become the producers of truthful knowledge.
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https://hal-hec.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00609186
Contributor : Antoine Haldemann <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 18, 2011 - 2:42:14 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 10:02:01 AM

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Caroline Lambert, Eric Pezet. The making of the management accountant - Becoming the producer of truthful knowledge. Accounting Organizations and Society, 2011, 36 (1), pp.10-30. ⟨10.1016/j.aos.2010.07.005⟩. ⟨hal-00609186⟩

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