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The Language of Failure: The Use of Accounts in Financial Reports

Sandell, Niklas LU and Svensson, Peter LU (2016) In International Journal of Business Communication 53( 1). p.1-22
Abstract
The natural language that accompanies the accounting language in financial reports is not only a more or less accurate representation of the company but also, the authors argue, a response to explicit as well as implicit external demands, expectations, and accusations. Drawing on the notion of accounts (i.e., statements or responses that neutralize critique of not meeting expectations), the authors analyze the natural language in financial reports. In analyzing financial reports with the use of account theory, both individual actions and structurally anchored financial report discourse are approached. The theory of accounts helps the authors discern the fine-grained anatomy of financial reports by means of which impressions are managed,... (More)
The natural language that accompanies the accounting language in financial reports is not only a more or less accurate representation of the company but also, the authors argue, a response to explicit as well as implicit external demands, expectations, and accusations. Drawing on the notion of accounts (i.e., statements or responses that neutralize critique of not meeting expectations), the authors analyze the natural language in financial reports. In analyzing financial reports with the use of account theory, both individual actions and structurally anchored financial report discourse are approached. The theory of accounts helps the authors discern the fine-grained anatomy of financial reports by means of which impressions are managed, legitimacy is upheld, and the dialogue between companies and their public is maintained. The analysis demonstrates the presence of five types of accounts in the financial reports: excuse, justification, refocusing, concession, and mystification. Financial reporting is a legally and culturally regulated genre of business communication that partakes in the ongoing conversation between a company and its public. Understanding the role of accounts is needed to enhance the genre awareness and reader competence among the readers of financial reports. (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
accounts, discourse, failure, financial reports, performativity
in
International Journal of Business Communication
volume
53
issue
1
pages
1 - 22
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
ISSN
2329-4884
DOI
10.1177/2329488414525452
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f646a253-7d4b-4f5f-bd26-8da90feefea5 (old id 4864368)
alternative location
http://job.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/03/30/2329488414525452.abstract
date added to LUP
2014-12-16 13:34:54
date last changed
2016-08-17 13:00:27
@article{f646a253-7d4b-4f5f-bd26-8da90feefea5,
  abstract     = {The natural language that accompanies the accounting language in financial reports is not only a more or less accurate representation of the company but also, the authors argue, a response to explicit as well as implicit external demands, expectations, and accusations. Drawing on the notion of accounts (i.e., statements or responses that neutralize critique of not meeting expectations), the authors analyze the natural language in financial reports. In analyzing financial reports with the use of account theory, both individual actions and structurally anchored financial report discourse are approached. The theory of accounts helps the authors discern the fine-grained anatomy of financial reports by means of which impressions are managed, legitimacy is upheld, and the dialogue between companies and their public is maintained. The analysis demonstrates the presence of five types of accounts in the financial reports: excuse, justification, refocusing, concession, and mystification. Financial reporting is a legally and culturally regulated genre of business communication that partakes in the ongoing conversation between a company and its public. Understanding the role of accounts is needed to enhance the genre awareness and reader competence among the readers of financial reports.},
  author       = {Sandell, Niklas and Svensson, Peter},
  issn         = {2329-4884},
  keyword      = {accounts,discourse,failure,financial reports,performativity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = { 1},
  pages        = {1--22},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {International Journal of Business Communication},
  title        = {The Language of Failure: The Use of Accounts in Financial Reports},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2329488414525452},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2016},
}