Financialization as a strategy of workplace control in professional service firms

Johan Alvehus, André Spicer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, there has been an increased focus on finance as a form of control in corporations. In this paper, we explore financialization as an employee control strategy in a Big Four accountancy firm, and more specifically how it affects the everyday lives of the professionals within the firm. We found financialization involved attempts to transform employees working lives into an investment activity where work was experienced as ‘billable hours’ that are ‘invested’ in the hope of a high future pay-off. Employees sought to increase the value of their investment by skilful manipulation. If wisely managed, this investment could yield significant benefits in the future. We argue that financialization involves active employee participation and is a way of binding other forms of control together.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-510
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Business Administration (50202)


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