Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

The persuasion of performative technologies: constructing calculating selves in universities




List of AuthorsFunck Elin K, Kallio Kirsi-Mari, Kallio Tomi J.

PublisherEmerald

Publication year2024

JournalJournal of Accounting and Organizational Change

Journal acronymJOAC

eISSN1839-5473

DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-05-2023-0082

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-05-2023-0082

Self-archived copy’s web addresshttps://research.utu.fi/converis/portal/detail/Publication/386991307


Abstract
Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the process by which performative technologies (PTs), in this case accreditation work in a business school, take form and how humans engage in making up such practices. It studies how academics come to accept and even identify with the quantitative representations of themselves in a translation process.

Design/methodology/approach

The research involved a longitudinal, self-ethnographic case study that followed the accreditation process of one Nordic business school from 2015 to 2021.

Findings

The findings show how the PT pushed for different engagements in various phases of the translation process. Early in the translation process, the PT promoted engagement because of self-realization and the ability for academics to proactively influence the prospective competitive milieu. However, as academic qualities became fabricated into numbers, the PT was able to request compliance, but also to induce self-reflection and self-discipline by forcing academics to compare themselves to set qualities and measures.

Originality/value

The paper advances the field by linking five phases of the translation process, problematization, fabrication, materialization, commensuration and stabilization, to a discussion of why academics come to accept and identify with the quantitative representations of themselves. The results highlight that the materialization phase appears to be the critical point at which calculative practices become persuasive and start influencing academics’ thoughts and actions.


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Last updated on 2024-26-02 at 08:12