Creative accounting (but not in the sense that you mean): visualizations design, data and the need for wise judgments
Paolo Quattrone, Business School, University of Edinburgh
The word ‘accounting’ is often associated with ‘creative’. This talk though is not about accounting tricks for tax evasion but on how accounting has more often than not been a quite powerful of data generation and recording aimed at provoking innovation and wise judgment. By combining studies in rhetoric, history, art and recent works on visualization this talk aims to show how data visualization can purposefully generate wisdom in decision making. Beyond a positivist belief in the representational role of data visualizations, we will explore how historical and contemporary data displays act as platforms for establishing connections, mediating tensions, interrogate the unknown and cope with ambiguity and uncertainty. Beyond an apparent paradox, accounting and data visualizations may play various roles in organizations, economies and societies, however believing that they can eventually provide accurate representation of facts reduces, rather than augment, our knowledge of the world that surrounds us.
Paolo Quattrone is Professor and Chair of Accounting, Governance and Social innovation at the University of Edinburgh Business School and Dean of Special Projects for the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. Before joining Edinburgh, he was Professor of Accounting and Management Control at IE Business School, Madrid and Reader in Accounting at the Saïd Business School, and Official Student (i.e. Fellow) of Christ Church. A truly international scholar, he has conducted research and taught at the Universities of Catania, Kyoto, Madrid Carlos III, Manchester, Oxford, Palermo, Siena, Stanford and Luigi Bocconi of Milan. His work addresses questions related to the emergence and diffusion of accounting and managerial practices in historical and contemporary settings. He is particularly interested in researching the relationships between material accounting visualizations and decision making, strategizing, and governance.
Talk is free to attend and all welcome.