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  • 1.
    Bay, Charlotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Accounting for Inclusion: Constructing User Relevance to Private InvestorsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The issue of how to comply with various needs for financial information is said to have low priority within the financial reporting field. Prior research has demonstrated that rather than aiming at including all sorts of potential users, standard setters for example tend to ignore and exclude everyone but the sophisticated ones. This paper, however, investigates the preparation of financial information intended to be used by different kinds of private investors, sophisticated as well as unsophisticated. Informed by categorisation theory, the paper examines the means whereby a pension insurance company determines how numbers and financial accounts need to be presented so as to come across as useful to different pension saver characters. The paper demonstrates how this inclusion dilemma is connected to practices of relevance building, and that relevance is assumed to be a question of individual sense-making and contextualisation. The paper’s findings problematise the influential power of accounting by implying that a direct impact of financial accounts cannot be taken for granted. Rather, in order for an account to have effects on its intended users, it is assumed that the account needs to be made relevant by means of re-moulding it in accordance with the specifics of its user.

  • 2.
    Bay, Charlotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Framing Financial Responsibility: An analysis of the limitations of accounting2011In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354, E-ISSN 1095-9955, Vol. 22, no 6, p. 593-607Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In organisations, accounting—understood broadly as calculative practices—is claimed to serve as a critical vehicle when introducing forms of individual financial responsibility. Whereas most prior accounting research has been preoccupied with asserting this claim, this paper opens an opportunity to examine the limitations of accounting as a technology of responsibilisation. It does so by moving the empirical focus beyond the borders of people’s work settings and into the private sphere of everyday life, investigating governmental efforts to turn high school students into financially responsible citizens. The analysis, informed by framing theory, reveals that the efficiency of accounting is conditioned by people’s calculative understanding. Hence, in situations where individuals are expected to lack this basic calculative competency, accounting is presumed to be inappropriate as a means of introducing financial responsibility. This has implications for re-considering how the relation between accounting and responsibility is constituted.

  • 3.
    Bay, Charlotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Framing Financial Responsibility: The Fabrication of Choice Making Consumers in Everyday Life2010Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    How does one turn everyday people into financially responsible citizens? In organizations, calculative means and procedures are claimed to serve as critical vehicles when introducing reforms coupled with greater individual financial responsibility. However, this paper considers the limits of accounting as a technology of financial responsibilization when targeting non-professional everyday people with no or limited knowledge of financial issues. The paper offers a detailed empirical investigation of how government authorities define and communicate the concept of a “financially responsible person” aiming at influencing young people’s attitude towards their own financial affairs. The analysis demonstrates that in order to assume responsibility, the individual first needs to be equipped with choice making capabilities. The ability of making choices is thus presumed to serve as a prerequisite for taking on financial responsibility. Such capacity building is assumed not to be done by accounting techniques, but requires a variety of other social and discursive exercises. By moving beyond the borders of the organization, investigating the personal financial sphere of everyday life, the paper furthers the understanding of how individual financial responsibility is built.

  • 4.
    Bay, Charlotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Makeover Accounting: Investigating the Financial Edutainment of Everyday LifeManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability of accounting to produce effects has been widely acknowledged in accounting literature. This paper argues however that in order for accounting to have an impact on people, its numbers need to be interpretable by its intended users. But what happens in situations where people are considered as inhibited in reading and interpreting numbers? This paper investigates how accounting numbers are presented to individuals believed to be impaired in their ability to make sense of numerical figures. It does so by moving the empirical focus beyond the borders of the professional organisation and into the private sphere of everyday life, examining how a televised financial makeover show re-presents accounting information in order to turn its participants into financially responsible citizens. The paper’s empirical findings give reasons for problematising the conditions under which accounting is able to affect people, concluding that, without taking people’s ability to interpret numbers into account, the possibilities of the numbers having an impact on their users risk falling short.

  • 5.
    Bay, Charlotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Makeover Accounting: investigating the financial edutainment of everyday life2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The constitutive ability of accounting numbers has been widely acknowledged in recent accounting literature. However, in order for accounting to be constitutive, influential and effectual, its numbers need to be communicated in such a way that they become comprehensible to its intended audience. But what happens in situations where people are considered as innumerate, unable to read and understand numbers? This paper investigates how accounting numbers are communicated in order to make sense to innumerate people. It does so by moving the empirical focus beyond the borders of the professional organisation and into the private sphere of everyday life, examining how a televised financial makeover show re-presents accounting information in order to turn its participants into financially responsible citizens. The empirical findings give reasons for problematising the conditions of accounting’s constitutive ability and the key role accounting has been given in prior literature as a technology of responsibilisation.

  • 6.
    Bay, Charlotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Making Accounting Matter: A Study of the Constitutive Practices of Accounting Framers2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The idea of accounting as a constitutive means, making people think and act in particular ways, is well established in the social strand of accounting literature. In professional organisations, for example, accounting is claimed to be critical to processes of turning people into rational and responsible economic actors. However, this thesis refocuses the empirical attention away from the organisation and into the private sphere of people’s everyday financial lives. As this is a field partly inhabited by people who for various reasons are believed to have difficulty in making sense of financial accounts, a dilemma arises regarding how to influence people’s way of managing their own finances by means of accounting information. How this dilemma is assumed to be resolved in order to make accounting matter is the query of this thesis.

    Through a study of four cases, the thesis investigates the practices of public authorities, a television makeover show, and a pension insurance company – here referred to as accounting framers – whose task it is to construct accounting in such a way so as to make it come across as important, relevant and useful to various groups of the general public. By examining how people’s accounting interpretations are elaborated in order to make them responsive to financial accounts, the thesis contributes to problematising the constitutive role of accounting and the conditions believed to enable it to turn people into financially responsible actors.

    List of papers
    1. Framing Financial Responsibility: An analysis of the limitations of accounting
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Framing Financial Responsibility: An analysis of the limitations of accounting
    2011 (English)In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354, E-ISSN 1095-9955, Vol. 22, no 6, p. 593-607Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    In organisations, accounting—understood broadly as calculative practices—is claimed to serve as a critical vehicle when introducing forms of individual financial responsibility. Whereas most prior accounting research has been preoccupied with asserting this claim, this paper opens an opportunity to examine the limitations of accounting as a technology of responsibilisation. It does so by moving the empirical focus beyond the borders of people’s work settings and into the private sphere of everyday life, investigating governmental efforts to turn high school students into financially responsible citizens. The analysis, informed by framing theory, reveals that the efficiency of accounting is conditioned by people’s calculative understanding. Hence, in situations where individuals are expected to lack this basic calculative competency, accounting is presumed to be inappropriate as a means of introducing financial responsibility. This has implications for re-considering how the relation between accounting and responsibility is constituted.

    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-157122 (URN)10.1016/j.cpa.2011.03.001 (DOI)
    Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-16 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
    2. Makeover Accounting: Investigating the Financial Edutainment of Everyday Life
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Makeover Accounting: Investigating the Financial Edutainment of Everyday Life
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability of accounting to produce effects has been widely acknowledged in accounting literature. This paper argues however that in order for accounting to have an impact on people, its numbers need to be interpretable by its intended users. But what happens in situations where people are considered as inhibited in reading and interpreting numbers? This paper investigates how accounting numbers are presented to individuals believed to be impaired in their ability to make sense of numerical figures. It does so by moving the empirical focus beyond the borders of the professional organisation and into the private sphere of everyday life, examining how a televised financial makeover show re-presents accounting information in order to turn its participants into financially responsible citizens. The paper’s empirical findings give reasons for problematising the conditions under which accounting is able to affect people, concluding that, without taking people’s ability to interpret numbers into account, the possibilities of the numbers having an impact on their users risk falling short.

    Keywords
    accounting interpretation, accounting re-presentations, signifying practices, financial edutainment, everyday life
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172674 (URN)
    Available from: 2012-04-12 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2012-05-14
    3. Accounting for Inclusion: Constructing User Relevance to Private Investors
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Accounting for Inclusion: Constructing User Relevance to Private Investors
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The issue of how to comply with various needs for financial information is said to have low priority within the financial reporting field. Prior research has demonstrated that rather than aiming at including all sorts of potential users, standard setters for example tend to ignore and exclude everyone but the sophisticated ones. This paper, however, investigates the preparation of financial information intended to be used by different kinds of private investors, sophisticated as well as unsophisticated. Informed by categorisation theory, the paper examines the means whereby a pension insurance company determines how numbers and financial accounts need to be presented so as to come across as useful to different pension saver characters. The paper demonstrates how this inclusion dilemma is connected to practices of relevance building, and that relevance is assumed to be a question of individual sense-making and contextualisation. The paper’s findings problematise the influential power of accounting by implying that a direct impact of financial accounts cannot be taken for granted. Rather, in order for an account to have effects on its intended users, it is assumed that the account needs to be made relevant by means of re-moulding it in accordance with the specifics of its user.

    Keywords
    user inclusion/exclusion, financial communication, categorisation, relevance building, pension savers
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172677 (URN)
    Available from: 2012-04-12 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2012-05-14
    4. Situating Financial Literacy
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Situating Financial Literacy
    2016 (English)In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354, E-ISSN 1095-9955, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 36-45Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This paper comments on the conceptualisation of financial literacy by investigating the way it is defined, problematised, and operationalised in efforts to overcome its perceived impediments. The backdrop of this study is the idea that the financial literacy movement goes hand in hand with the financialisation of society. By reporting from a study of practices of financial literacy, the aim is to problematise prior literature by disentangling the notion of financial literacy from the assumption of a singular capability that, when gained, automatically effects people’s financial practices. The paper draws on recent developments in literacy research, New Literacy Studies, and on its division between autonomous and ideological definitions of literacy. The empirical illustrations originate from efforts made to decrease financial illiteracy among Swedish adolescents and the demand for financial literacy in audit committees. Contrary to earlier studies, the paper demonstrates that financial literacy does not merely refer to an ostensive character that researchers may find lacking among marginalised actors in society. As such, financial literacy cannot be viewed as merely the ability to read and write finance and accounting. Instead, financial literacy is a concept that needs to be situated and studied in practice since what constitutes and applies to it varies with time and place.

    Keywords
    financial literacy, new literacy studies, situated practice, financial education, audit committees
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172678 (URN)10.1016/j.cpa.2012.11.011 (DOI)000349568900005 ()
    Available from: 2012-04-12 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
  • 7.
    Bay, Charlotta
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    The Housing of Accounting: On the Making of Financial Man2008Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to empirically explore the role of accounting in making people financially capable, and in that contribute to the theoretical understanding of accounting as a social practice. This is done by illuminating how the accounting discourse is presented and conceptualized to address individuals in situations related to their private, everyday lives – a field of analysis which has received little empirical attention in previous accounting research. Analysing the home-pages of certain actors within the sphere of the housing market reveals that in order to make financial and accounting concepts comprehensible to people, they have to be connected with values, ideals and concerns, hold as critical by the individuals they are to transform. Thus, the paper shows that it is in the linkage between the vocabulary of accounting and other discursive vocabularies that abstract notions of economic discourse are presumed to be made knowable, and hence people are made financially responsible.

  • 8.
    Bay, Charlotta
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
    Catasús, Bino
    Stockholm Univ, Sch Business, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden; Norwegian Sch Econ, Bergen, Norway.
    Johed, Gustav
    Stockholm Univ, Sch Business, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Situating Financial Literacy2016In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354, E-ISSN 1095-9955, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 36-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper comments on the conceptualisation of financial literacy by investigating the way it is defined, problematised, and operationalised in efforts to overcome its perceived impediments. The backdrop of this study is the idea that the financial literacy movement goes hand in hand with the financialisation of society. By reporting from a study of practices of financial literacy, the aim is to problematise prior literature by disentangling the notion of financial literacy from the assumption of a singular capability that, when gained, automatically effects people’s financial practices. The paper draws on recent developments in literacy research, New Literacy Studies, and on its division between autonomous and ideological definitions of literacy. The empirical illustrations originate from efforts made to decrease financial illiteracy among Swedish adolescents and the demand for financial literacy in audit committees. Contrary to earlier studies, the paper demonstrates that financial literacy does not merely refer to an ostensive character that researchers may find lacking among marginalised actors in society. As such, financial literacy cannot be viewed as merely the ability to read and write finance and accounting. Instead, financial literacy is a concept that needs to be situated and studied in practice since what constitutes and applies to it varies with time and place.

1 - 8 of 8
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