Fostering and Forcing Uses of Accounting: Labour-Management Negotiations in the Automotive Crisis in Canada 2008-2009
54 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 12, 2014
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: Suggested Citation