Fostering and Forcing Uses of Accounting: Labour-Management Negotiations in the Automotive Crisis in Canada 2008-2009

54 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2014  

Staci Kenno

Brock University - Goodman School of Business

Clinton Free

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting

Date Written: December 12, 2014

Abstract

This article investigates uses of accounting in labour-management negotiations during the automotive industry restructuring of 2008 and 2009 in Canada. Following a series of negotiations that occurred between a large North American automobile manufacturer, a major Canadian automotive union and the Canadian government, we document how different stakeholder groups framed the emerging crisis and drew upon accounting in order to further their interests. Drawing on research in industrial relations, we outline two key modes of accounting in labour-management negotiations: (1) fostering, where accounting is used in an integrative manner to secure mutual gains; and (2) forcing, where accounting is used primarily to secure concessions from third parties. The case study highlights the way that forcing modes of accounting displaced more fostering modes as the crisis intensified, ultimately resulting in worker acceptance of pay restraint, more flexible work practices and division into a core and peripheral labour force. The paper contributes to understanding the role of accounting in labour-management negotiations and how this role can be implicated in shaping the construction and contestation of organizational crises.

Keywords: Fostering, Forcing, Crisis Management, Framing, Labour-management negotiations

Suggested Citation

Kenno, Staci and Free, Clinton, Fostering and Forcing Uses of Accounting: Labour-Management Negotiations in the Automotive Crisis in Canada 2008-2009 (December 12, 2014). 2015 Canadian Academic Accounting Association (CAAA) Annual Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2537643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2537643

Staci Kenno (Contact Author)

Brock University - Goodman School of Business ( email )

1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catherines, Ontario L2S 3A1
Canada

Clinton Free

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 5829 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 5925 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Downloads
35
Abstract Views
239