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Acting on distances: A topology of accounting inscriptions

Corvellec, Hervé LU ; Ek, Richard LU ; Patrik, Zapata and Zapata Campos, Maria José LU (2016) In Accounting, Organizations and Society
Abstract
Following on the reiterated claim that accounting inscriptions make action at a distance possible, we draw on post-mathematical topology to explain that this distance work is dependent on inscriptions acting on distances. By adopting a relational understanding of space, we show that accounting inscriptions by themselves create the distances across which they operate. Our case study uses pay-as-you-throw solid waste-collection invoices in a new waste-collection program aimed at increasing the sustainability of waste management. By displaying weight and cost side by side, these invoices conduct topological operations that dissolve, create, and redefine the distance between people and their waste, between the economy and the environment, and... (More)
Following on the reiterated claim that accounting inscriptions make action at a distance possible, we draw on post-mathematical topology to explain that this distance work is dependent on inscriptions acting on distances. By adopting a relational understanding of space, we show that accounting inscriptions by themselves create the distances across which they operate. Our case study uses pay-as-you-throw solid waste-collection invoices in a new waste-collection program aimed at increasing the sustainability of waste management. By displaying weight and cost side by side, these invoices conduct topological operations that dissolve, create, and redefine the distance between people and their waste, between the economy and the environment, and between the city and its residents. The ability of these operations to mobilize a sense of environmental responsibility, enroll residents in the city's plans for sustainability, and translate political ambitions into individual behavior demonstrates that the performativity of accounting inscriptions resides in the efficacy of their distance work.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Inscription, Topology, Environmental governance, Invoice, Waste, Pay-As-You-Throw
in
Accounting, Organizations and Society
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84959274202
ISSN
0361-3682
DOI
10.1016/j.aos.2016.02.005
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f33ba7bd-e8e3-4fbd-ba64-cb3a72d71de3
date added to LUP
2016-04-28 11:01:01
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:24:02
@article{f33ba7bd-e8e3-4fbd-ba64-cb3a72d71de3,
  abstract     = {Following on the reiterated claim that accounting inscriptions make action at a distance possible, we draw on post-mathematical topology to explain that this distance work is dependent on inscriptions acting on distances. By adopting a relational understanding of space, we show that accounting inscriptions by themselves create the distances across which they operate. Our case study uses pay-as-you-throw solid waste-collection invoices in a new waste-collection program aimed at increasing the sustainability of waste management. By displaying weight and cost side by side, these invoices conduct topological operations that dissolve, create, and redefine the distance between people and their waste, between the economy and the environment, and between the city and its residents. The ability of these operations to mobilize a sense of environmental responsibility, enroll residents in the city's plans for sustainability, and translate political ambitions into individual behavior demonstrates that the performativity of accounting inscriptions resides in the efficacy of their distance work.<br/>},
  author       = {Corvellec, Hervé and Ek, Richard and Patrik, Zapata and Zapata Campos, Maria José},
  issn         = {0361-3682},
  keyword      = { Inscription,Topology,Environmental governance,Invoice,Waste,Pay-As-You-Throw},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Accounting, Organizations and Society},
  title        = {Acting on distances: A topology of accounting inscriptions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aos.2016.02.005},
  year         = {2016},
}