Starjournal Quotation Kornberger, Martin, Pflueger, Dane, Mouritsen, Jan. 2017. Evaluative infrastructures: Accounting for platform organization. Accounting, Organizations and Society. 60 79-95.


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Abstract

Platform organizations such as Uber, eBay and Airbnb represent a growing disruptive phenomenon in contemporary capitalism, transforming economic organization, the nature of work, and the distribution of wealth. This paper investigates the accounting practices that underpin this new form of organizing, and in doing so confronts a significant challenge within the accounting literature: the need to escape what Hopwood (1996) describes as its “hierarchical consciousness”. In order to do so, this paper develops the concept of evaluative infrastructure which describes accounting practices that enable platform based organization. They are evaluative because they deploy a plethora of interacting devices, including rankings, ratings, reviews, and audits to establish orders of worth. They are infrastructures because they provide the invisible yet essential mechanisms for the flow of economic activity and exchange on platforms. Illustrating the concept of evaluative infrastructure with the example of eBay, the paper's contribution is to (1) provide an analytical vocabulary to capture the accounting practices underpinning platforms as new organizational forms, and in so doing (2) extend accounting scholars' analytical focus from hierarchical settings towards heterarchies. Conceptually, this shift from management accounting to evaluative infrastructures entails a focus on relationality (evaluative infrastructures do not represent or reference but relate things, people and ideas with each other); generativity (evaluative infrastructures do not territorialize objects but disclose new worlds); and new forms of control (evaluative infrastructures are not centres of calculation; rather, control is radically distributed, whilst power remains centralized).

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Accounting, Organizations and Society
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A+
Starjournal Y
Language English
Title Evaluative infrastructures: Accounting for platform organization
Volume 60
Year 2017
Page from 79
Page to 95
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aos.2017.05.002
Open Access N

Associations

People
Kornberger, Martin (Details)
External
Mouritsen, Jan (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Pflueger, Dane (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Organization
Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance FI (Details)
Urban Management and Governance (Meyer) (Details)
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