Getting management accounting off the ground: post-colonial neoliberalism in healthcare budgets

Wickramasinghe, D. (2015) Getting management accounting off the ground: post-colonial neoliberalism in healthcare budgets. Accounting and Business Research, 45(3), pp. 323-355. (doi: 10.1080/00014788.2015.1009358)

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Taking Sven Modell’s (2014, pp. 83–103) “societal relevance of management accounting” agenda forward, and based on a cost accounting initiative in a Sri Lankan hospital, this paper examines how management accounting is implicated in societal relevance. It reports on a postcolonial neoliberal state’s use of cost-saving experiments and the resultant emancipation of the individuals involved. It runs a bottom-up analysis, from micro events in the hospital to policymaking at the level of the Provincial Council. This analysis suggests that cost accounting acts as a mediating instrument: it begins to loosen the old Keynesian postcolonial bureaucratic budget confinements, creates a social space for individuals to consider cost-saving experiments, and addresses wider policy concerns about hospital resource management. The story is illuminated by Gilles Deleuze’s and Zigmund Bauman’s ideas on post-panoptic societies: old confinements are being problematized and new flexible, “liquid” spaces created, in which individuals are emancipated in terms of their ability to influence resource management within and beyond the organizational constituency.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wickramasinghe, Professor Danture
Authors: Wickramasinghe, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Journal Name:Accounting and Business Research
ISSN (Online):2159-4260
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Accounting and Business Research 45(3):323-355
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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