Advanced

Financialization as a strategy of workplace control in professional service firms

Alvehus, Johan LU and Spicer, André (2012) In Critical Perspectives on Accounting 23(497-510).
Abstract
Recently, there has been an increased focus on finance as a form of control in corporations. In this paper, we explore financialization as an employee control strategy in a Big Four accountancy firm, and more specifically how it affects the everyday lives of the professionals within the firm. We found financialization involved attempts to transform employees work- ing lives into an investment activity where work was experienced as ‘billable hours’ that are ‘invested’ in the hope of a high future pay-off. Employees sought to increase the value of their investment by skilful manipulation. If wisely managed, this investment could yield significant benefits in the future. We argue that financialization involves active employee participation... (More)
Recently, there has been an increased focus on finance as a form of control in corporations. In this paper, we explore financialization as an employee control strategy in a Big Four accountancy firm, and more specifically how it affects the everyday lives of the professionals within the firm. We found financialization involved attempts to transform employees work- ing lives into an investment activity where work was experienced as ‘billable hours’ that are ‘invested’ in the hope of a high future pay-off. Employees sought to increase the value of their investment by skilful manipulation. If wisely managed, this investment could yield significant benefits in the future. We argue that financialization involves active employee participation and is a way of binding other forms of control together. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Professional control Financialization Performance management Professional service firm
in
Critical Perspectives on Accounting
volume
23
issue
497-510
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84869870657
ISSN
1045-2354
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
43280fa5-cd38-4deb-8495-79eab984f5dd (old id 3053355)
date added to LUP
2012-10-15 10:40:37
date last changed
2017-11-05 04:40:00
@article{43280fa5-cd38-4deb-8495-79eab984f5dd,
  abstract     = {Recently, there has been an increased focus on finance as a form of control in corporations. In this paper, we explore financialization as an employee control strategy in a Big Four accountancy firm, and more specifically how it affects the everyday lives of the professionals within the firm. We found financialization involved attempts to transform employees work- ing lives into an investment activity where work was experienced as ‘billable hours’ that are ‘invested’ in the hope of a high future pay-off. Employees sought to increase the value of their investment by skilful manipulation. If wisely managed, this investment could yield significant benefits in the future. We argue that financialization involves active employee participation and is a way of binding other forms of control together.},
  author       = {Alvehus, Johan and Spicer, André},
  issn         = {1045-2354},
  keyword      = {Professional control Financialization Performance management Professional service firm},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {497-510},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Critical Perspectives on Accounting},
  title        = {Financialization as a strategy of workplace control in professional service firms},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2012},
}