Teaching and Learning Strategic Management Accounting as a Social Science

  • Wed 8 Jun 22

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Online

    Join this seminar

  • Event speaker

    Professor Chandana Alawattage, Adam Smith Business School

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Chaoyuan She

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support our world-class research activities in five key areas: accounting and global development; capital Markets, audit, regulation & reporting; publicness and resilience, precarity, exclusion & social justice; and environment, climate change & vulnerability. The seminar series is also expected to promote inter-disciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with others both within the university and with external institutions.

Seminar abstract

With discourses such as decolonising accounting curriculum, incorporating sustainability issues, and dealing with the ever globalising and neo-liberalising global political-economic order, there is a necessity to see the possibilities of teaching/learning accounting as a social science capable of engaging with social and ecological justice issues. This is a challenging desire given the pragmatic constraints that we, as accounting academics, face in balancing between the ‘practicist epistemology’ and ‘liberal epistemology’ of accounting education. We have competing demands of teaching ‘techno-managerial’ elements of our subject, on the one hand, and to go beyond that technicality to uplift our subject into the status of social science that many other university disciplines embrace and enjoy, on the other. Taking the subject of strategic management accounting as a specific case here and drawing upon Deleuze and Guattari’s theoretical notions of assemblages, lines, rhizomes, and arborescent structures, this paper aims at providing an epistemological basis for a critical social-justice-oriented system of learning/teaching management accounting. It provides a theoretically informed conceptual schema to locate techno-managerial and calculative elements of ‘strategising’ in its broader political-economic and historical context so that our students would be able to de- and reterritorialise management accounting thought from its conventional arborescent structures of understanding management accounting practices. Students need to understand and appreciate the broader and evolving political-economic logics of the calculations and rationalisations they carry out in the name of strategic management accounting.


How to attend this seminar

This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.

We welcome you to join us online on Wednesday 8 June at 2pm


Speaker bio

 Professor Chandana Alawattage

Professor Chandana Alawattage joined the Adam Smith Business School as a Professor of Accounting in September 2019. Before coming to Glasgow, he was the Chair in Accounting at the University of Aberdeen Business School.

He has experience of teaching and research in accounting and related subjects for more than 20 years now. Chandana is internationally known as a critical accounting scholar through his publications in leading accounting journals, such as: Accounting, Organisations, and Society (AOS), Critical perspectives on Accounting (CPA) and Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ). Well-received academic texts include: “Strategizing management accounting: liberal origins and neoliberal trends” (2019) and “Management accounting change: approaches and perspectives” (2007).

Among many other themes, he has published extensively on the issues pertaining to how western managerial and development discourses implicate on the polities, societies and the economies of the peripheral nations, and how people in peripheral nations accommodate and resist such discourses.

His research has interesting ethnographic insights into the ways in which the dialectic between the global discourses and local practices takes place. He has extensively drawn on Marxist and post-Marxist social theories to theorise the connections between the global and the local.

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