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Financialization as a strategy of workplace control in professional service firms

Alvehus, J. and Spicer, A. (2012). Financialization as a strategy of workplace control in professional service firms. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 23(7-8), pp. 497-510. doi: 10.1016/j.cpa.2012.02.001

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 working 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.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2012, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Publisher Keywords: Public interest; Accounting firms; Management Control; Financialization; Performance management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Cass Business School > Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15566
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