‘Accounting talk’ through metaphorical representations: change agents and organisational change in home-based elderly care

Martin Carlsson-Wall, Kalle Kraus, Malin Lund, Ebba Sjögren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This paper has analysed a change process within an organisation providing home-based elderly care. Using a theoretical framework from metaphor theory and insights from the literature on ‘accounting talk’, we followed how metaphorical representations of accounting were introduced and developed by the change agent. New core values and practices emerged within the home help unit that were in line with the ideas and inferences made by these accounting metaphors. The metaphorical representations of accounting concepts linked the unfamiliar domain of accounting to a more familiar domain, and provided rationales for organisational change. Our findings highlight the importance of change agents and ‘accounting talk’ for determining the trajectory of organisational change processes. The findings also suggest that metaphors are a potentially powerful tool for both changing organisational members’ general understanding of financial issues, and forging specific links between accounting concepts and work practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-243
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Accounting Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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