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Annual general meetings - rituals of closure or ideal speech situations? A dual analysis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2007 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, Vol. 23, no 2, 168-190 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper discusses one of the cornerstones of corporate governance, namely the annual general meeting (AGM). The paper builds on field material collected from participating in 36 AGMs during the spring of 2004 as well as on literature on corporate governance. Since the amount of research on AGMs is sparse the research question is rather straightforward and formulated as what goes on at an AGM? The analysis of the field material builds on two separate theoretical frameworks: seeing the AGM as a ritual and an ideal speech situation. The paper notes that AGMs show several traces of an ideal speech situation but that they are also repetitive acts in which the actors seek jointly to support the closing of the accounting year.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 23, no 2, 168-190 p.
Keyword [en]
Accountability, Accounting, Actor network theory, Annual general meetings, Corporate governance, Dual analyses, Ideal speech situation
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95600DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2006.10.009ISI: 000254001100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95600DiVA: diva2:169885
Available from: 2007-11-19 Created: 2007-11-19 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Accounting, Stock Markets and Everyday Life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Accounting, Stock Markets and Everyday Life
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The backdrop of this dissertation is one ubiquitous element of everyday life: the stock market. Traditionally, accounting and stock markets are logically coordinate entities and this thesis analyzes how accounting supports private investors in their role as shareholders – as investors in shares and owners of companies. This analysis is carried out in four independent essays. The first two essays analyze the privatization of Telia, a former state-owned Telecommunication Company in Sweden that went public in 2000. The field material for the two essays consisted of newspaper articles, government bills and interviews. Qualitative and quantitative analyses demonstrate how accounting is used among different actors to realize the privatization. Theoretically, the first two essays lend themselves to the governmentality debate as introduced to accounting research by Miller and Rose (1990). The third and fourth essays are analyses of annual general meetings (AGMs). The field material was generated from a study of participants at 36 AGMs during the spring of 2004.

The choice of these two seemingly unrelated cases was done deliberately. Both cases are stock market events that typically involve an audience of a large number of non-professional investors. In the privatization of Telia over 1 million people took part in the offer. The AGMs are typically seen as the single event by which non-professional investors have an opportunity to meet with top management. Thus, each event represents an instance in which accounting is confronted by a predominantly non-professional audience.

The contribution of this study is two-fold. First, earlier work inspired by the Miller and Rose framework (1990) has favored an analysis of the programmatic. This study develops the technological aspect of the theoretical framework by means of a rich empirical description. In addition the two essays on the privatization of Telia contribute with an analysis of how once a specific technology translates to become and becomes understood at the site of intervention. Second, the two studies of AGMs contest earlier criticism against the meeting as a corporate governance mechanism detached from the overall corporate governance system. The argument here is that the AGM offers a valuable setting for private investors to discuss stewardship issues. That this opportunity is taken advantage of is suggested by the present field material.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen, 2007. 51 p.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 125
Business studies, Accounting, Actor Network Theory, Annual General Meetings, Private Investors, Sociology of Translation, Företagsekonomi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7750 (URN)
Public defence
2007-12-12, Hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2007-11-19 Created: 2007-11-19 Last updated: 2013-06-20Bibliographically approved

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