File(s) not publicly available
In the mirror of the market: The disciplinary effects of company/fund manager meetings
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:41 authored by John Roberts, Paul Sanderson, Richard Barker, John Hendry
This paper draws upon empirical qualitative research with Finance Directors and Investor Relations managers to examine the disciplinary consequences of their meetings with institutional investors. These ‘private’ meetings have increased both in frequency and importance in the last decade, but, when compared to public disclosure, they are relatively under researched. Existing studies have focussed on the role that the meetings play either in the market for information, or as a mechanism for corporate governance. By contrast, in this paper we draw upon Foucault’s analysis of power/knowledge to explore how the meetings shape executive subjectivity. The meetings take place in the context of a proliferation of techniques through which corporate performance is disclosed, modelled, compared and ranked. Such visibility makes possible processes of executive subjection which the paper traces firstly in the anticipatory self-discipline of executive’s extensive rehearsals for the meetings, and secondly in the rituals of face-to-face scrutiny of the meetings themselves where the body of the executive is understood to represent the company. The paper then explores the ways in which subjection to investors enables executives to speak on behalf of the investor within the business and effect its restructuring in the name of shareholder value. We suggest that these neglected disciplinary effects of company/fund manager meetings have been all too potent in recent years.
Publication titleAccounting, Organizations and Society