Management, Utopian Thinking and Accountancy: the French Case of the Entrepreneur Godin
Praquin, Nicolas (2007), Management, Utopian Thinking and Accountancy: the French Case of the Entrepreneur Godin, 19th Annual Accounting, Business and Financial History Conference, 2007-09, Cardiff, Royaume-Uni
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title19th Annual Accounting, Business and Financial History Conference
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Abstract (EN)This research is carried out in a broad framework which aims to link three main aspects of management: ideals (understood as the ideal organization), discourses and accounting tools. This article aims to show: i) how a way of thinking in a particular context influences accountancy; ii) how both are linked through management discourses. I support the idea that accounting tools are not technical and presupposed neutral objects; they are also a means of building social and economic relations between stakeholders inside and outside a company. This idea is demonstrated through the following case study which is based on the one hand on an analysis of the literature of socialist and utopian thinkers influenced by the ideas of the leading French thinker Saint-Simon, and, on the other hand, on an analysis of the literature of the French entrepreneur Godin. The interest of such research relies on the fact that these thinkers and entrepreneurs were against the tide. So, they had to argue their ideas and practices to defend their point of view and spread it in a hostile environment. This topic offers an excellent research field to show how it is possible to debate the issue of the three previous main aspects of management. First, I will expose the theoretical framework of my research and I will explain how such a case study can be useful to under stand the relationship that can be elaborated between ideals and management techniques. Second, I will give an overview of the influence socialist and utopian thinkers had during the 19th century. Third, I will present the fields where Godin’s management applied. Finally, I will specifically display accurately what such an approach of management implies in terms of accountability.
Subjects / KeywordsOutils comptables; Godin; Fourier; Saint-Simon; Utopie; Management
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