Accounting, actorhood and actors : A comment on: Casting call:
The expanding nature of actorhood in U.S. Firms, 1960e2010 by Patricia Bromley and Amanda Sharkey
Accounting, Organizations and Society
a b s t r a c t
The paper by Bromley & Sharkey (2017) brings to the fore the notion of actorhood as developed in the work of John Meyer and his colleagues,
which has been only tangentially mobilised within accounting scholarship.
This commentary proposes some reasons for this limited mobilisation and discusses the intellectual value of the concept of
actorhood for accounting research and new institutionalism in organisation studies more broadly.
In particular, it offers some reflections on how actorhood in new institutionalism,
action in actor-network theory and subjectification in the Foucauldian tradition may be placed in a productive dialogue.
Homo juridicus ,
actorhood and actors ,
A comment on ,
Casting call ,
accounting scholarship ,
ctor-network theory (ANT) ,
isomorphism, institutional logics, institutional work,
institutional entrepreneurship, and other influential notions within the conceptual repertoire of new institutionalism
in organisation studies, actorhood so far has had little resonance within accounting scholarship.
A search in this journal, for example, reveals only a handful of articles more or less directly referring to this concept as developed in the work of John Meyer and his colleagues
(Meyer, 1986a, 2009, 2010; Drori, Meyer, & Hwang, 2009; Frank & Meyer, 2002; Jepperson & Meyer, 2011; Meyer & Bromley, 2013; Meyer & Jepperson, 2000; Meyer, Boli, & Thomas, 1987),
in contrast to the many more articles mobilising the notion of actor from actor-network theory (ANT),
or the smaller but growing number of papers examining processes of subjectification in the wake of the work of Foucault and others such as
Hacking (e.g. 1986).
As a result, the analytical reach of the notion of actorhood within accounting scholarship remains relatively uncharted.