Peter Miller

Peter Miller
The London School of Economics and Political Science | LSE · Department of Accounting

About

99
Publications
32,053
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21,304
Citations
Citations since 2017
9 Research Items
7379 Citations
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Introduction
Professor Peter Miller was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at Copenhagen Business School on Friday March 21st 2014. The award was for his work on analysing the interrelations among accounting, organizing and economizing, both in the private and the public sector. Two other Honorary Doctors were announced in the same ceremony: Professor Darrell Duffie (Stanford University) and Professor Henry Hansmann (Yale Law School).

Publications

Publications (99)
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide an evaluation of public sector research in the 1998–2018 period. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses the extant literature of this era to study the theorisation of, and the findings of, public sector research. Findings This is a vibrant field of a study in a wide range of study settings and w...
Book
Full-text available
This volume introduces the notion of Thinking Infrastructures to explore a broad range of phenomena that structure attention, shape decision-making, and guide cognition: Thinking Infrastructures configure entities (via tracing, tagging), organise knowledge (via search engines), sort things out (via rankings and ratings), govern markets (via calcula...
Book
Much has been made of economizing. Yet, social scientists have paid little attention to the moment of economic failure, the moments that precede it, and the calculative infrastructures and related processes through which both failing and failure are made operable. This chapter examines the shift from the economizing of the market economy, which too...
Article
La notion d’économicisation a fait couler beaucoup d’encre. Pourtant, les sociologues ont prêté peu d’attention au moment de la faillite économique, aux moments qui la précèdent, et à l’infrastructure de calcul ainsi qu’aux processus afférents à travers lesquels tant le déroulement de la faillite que son résultat deviennent des objets manipulables....
Article
Since the establishment of Organization Studies in 1980, Michel Foucault’s oeuvre has had a remarkable and continuing influence on its field. This article traces the different ways in which organizational scholars have engaged with Foucault’s writings over the past thirty years or so. We identify four overlapping waves of influence. Drawing on Fouc...
Article
In recent decades, there has been an avalanche of numbers in public life, one that matches that which occurred in the first half of the nineteenth century. The difference today is that many of the numbers that are now so central to political rule pertain to performance, and depend on a felicitous interlocking of quantifying, economising, and market...
Article
Following Bradshaw (‘Analyst information processing, financial regulation, and academic research’ [2009], and Analysts' forecasts: What do we know after decades of work? [2011]), this paper examines how analysts process information, particularly in an information environment characterised by multiple and potentially complementary information source...
Book
This chapter suggests that Michel Foucault is a nuisance for scholars of organizations, albeit a productive one. Foucault disavowed the study of organizations, yet his work was fundamentally concerned with the administering of lives, a central concern of scholars of organizations. The chapter explores this tension by examining four displacements th...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines how the category of failure was economised and made calculable. It explores the preconditions for this shift in three stages. First, it explores how failure came to be ‘forgiven’ in both the US and the UK across the nineteenth century, how it came to be defined as something that is economic or financial, rather than personal or...
Article
This paper encourages scholars of management to pay attention to the mutually constitutive nature of accounting, organizing, and economizing. This means viewing accounting as much more than an instrumental and purely technical activity. We identify four key roles of accounting: first, territorializing, the recursive construction of the calculable s...
Article
Full-text available
This essay aims to introduce readers to the social studies of accounting, atten-ding in particular to the roles and relevance of Foucault’s works for this field. We provide a brief overview of social studies of accounting, discuss recent developments in Foucault orien-ted accounting scholarship, and position the articles that appear in this special...
Article
Purpose The starting point for the paper is an assessment of the impact of a 1993 special issue of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, which provided an interdisciplinary analysis of the pursuit of accountable management reforms in the UK public sector. From this assessment, the paper offers a set of reflections on the development over t...
Book
Full-text available
Managing inter-firm interdependencies in R&D investment Insights from the semiconductor industry Volume 8 | Issue 3
Chapter
Calculating, standardizing, and governing go hand in hand.1 Yet the ways in which calculating interacts with other forms of expertise to facilitate particular modes of governing have been given little attention. If we are to understand how calculating operates as a mode of standardizing and governing in local, yet connected, contexts, we suggest th...
Article
This paper examines the ‘modernising government’ initiative in the UK, and the ‘flexibilities’ – lead commissioning, integrated provision, and pooled budgets – introduced in the Health Act 1999. This policy reform, and the associated tools to operationalise it, placed ideas of cooperation and partnership at the heart of inter-organizational relatio...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – This paper aims to identify the study of cities as an important and neglected focus for accounting researchers. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a case study approach to visualizing and calculating the city. Findings – There is a major preoccupation with the study of cities from numerous disciplinary perspectives. The...
Article
This paper sets out an approach to the analysis of political power in terms of problematics of government. It argues against an overvaluation of the 'problem of the State' in political debate and social theory. A number of conceptual tools are suggested for the analysis of the many and varied alliances between political and other authorities that s...
Article
Full-text available
A simple proposition underpins the title of this volume and the papers collected here: that there is much to be gained by looking at the relations among accounting, organizations, and institutions. This of course begs many questions, not least what is meant by each of the three nouns that make up the title. For the moment, we shall adopt some rudim...
Article
This essay addresses the implications of accounting and hybrids for the management of risk. We argue firstly and most generally for a definition of hybrids that extends beyond organisational forms. The existing literature, we suggest, has been too focused on organisational forms, and has largely neglected the hybrid practices, processes and experti...
Article
The rediscovery of the economy as a legitimate object of sociological and cultural enquiry is in full swing. This is long overdue, and follows a remarkable neglect of such issues for many decades. Organization theorists, sociologists and others have long studied organizations, institutions and networks. But a focus on the constitutive or performati...
Article
Payment by Results (PbR) is one of the most fundamental changes in NHS policy since the introduction of the ‘internal market’ in 1991. It is also one of the most visible and influential attempts across the same period to modernize the NHS through accounting and, more specifically, costing. As a funding system, PbR promises to pay providers fairly a...
Book
The literature on governmentality has had a major impact across the social sciences over the past decade, and much of this has drawn upon the pioneering work by Peter Miller and Nikolas Rose. This volume will bring together key papers from their work for the first time, including those that set out the basic frameworks, concepts and ethos of this a...
Chapter
This paper proposes some new ways of analyzing the exercise of political power in advanced liberal democratic societies. These are developed from Michel Foucault's conception of 'governmentality' and addresses political power in terms of 'political rationalities' and 'technologies of government'. It draws attention to the diversity of regulatory me...
Chapter
Die meisten Experten stehen ihrer Vergangenheit entweder gleichgültig gegenüber, oder sie bereitet ihnen Unbehagen. Ob dies mit schlechtem Gewissen zu erklären ist, was dazu führt, dass Kommentare von außen häufig als Kritik aufgenommen werden, oder aber durch Fortschrittsglauben, welcher frühere Wissensstadien irrelevant erscheinen lässt, ist an d...
Article
Most of the research work concerning the French tableau de bord tends to locate its birth in industrial companies with engineers as lead roles and the State as supporting role (Lebas, 1996). Yet, a study in the Cr�dit Lyonnais archives shows that banks are not unequipped with this kind of managerial device. We have studied the period of birth and f...
Article
After a long period of neglect, the roles of accounting in shaping the economy are currently being rediscovered by sociologists (Callon, 1998; Fligstein, 1990; Granovetter, 1985). This neglect is curious, in so far as accounting was accorded a pivotal role at the outset of the sociological enterprise. The writings of Weber in particular placed acco...
Chapter
This chapter begins by describing the modernizing government agenda and flexibilities of the Health Act 1999. It analyzes the aspirations of the reformers, and how they sought to link service delivery with broader political objectives. Based on fieldwork conducted in five sites, it explores how the modernizing government agenda and the injunctions...
Article
Significant attention has been paid to how real options analysis can help in valuing operating flexibility when making major capital investment decisions. But there has been far less study of how to manage such flexibility, particularly in cases where a decision to defer, contract, or expand any one investment program affects a range of other progr...
Article
Analyses of government have had little to say about the management of people within the modern corporation. This paper seeks to remedy this neglect by examining the transformation of the principles and practices for governing the factory which occurred in the USA across the last two decades of the twentieth century. This transformation included cha...
Article
This paper calls for attention to the margins of accounting. It argues that such a focus helps us to understand the formation and transformation of accounting, its permeability to other bodies of expertise, and how accounting has been made up out of ideas and practices drawn from elsewhere. Accounting, it is argued, is an assemblage of calculative...
Article
This paper provides a descriptive and qualitative study of how capital budgeting practices at Caterpillar Inc. were redesigned to accommodate a shift from mass production technologies to modern manufacturing systems. We describe how the firm's capital budgeting practices shifted from considering incremental asset purchase proposals to considering p...
Article
Review Essay of B. Latour, Aramis or the Love of Technology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996); trans. C. Porter; originally published as Aramis, ou l'amour des techniques (Paris. Éditions La Découverte, 1993).
Article
Les AA. examinent de quelle maniere les consommateurs sont mobilises. Ils analysent ce qu'induit le plaisir de la consommation ainsi que la signification psychologique de ce type de comportement economique. Ils s'efforcent de dresser un portrait du consommateur rationnel et plus particulierement du buveur rationnel d'alcool. Dans ce but, ils porten...
Article
This book provides a socio-historical analysis of accounting. It is the first major collection to address the multiple arenas in which accounting emerges and operates. As accounting continues to gain in importance in so many spheres of social life, an understanding of the conditions and consequences of such a calculative technology is vital. This b...
Article
Les AA. s'efforcent de repondre a Bruce Curtis qui avaient mis en doute la qualite de leurs analyses des phenomenes de pouvoir. Ils accusent ce dernier de ne pas offrir une analyse conceptuelle suffisante de la notion d'Etat. Selon eux cette notion est par elle-meme problematique. Ils critiquent la definition de Curtis concernant l'Etat concu comme...
Article
Current debates in sociology about subjective identity in late- or postmodernity accord events in the sphere of production an ambiguous status. For some, economic transformations have been central to the claim that something fundamental has happened in our present: a shrift from "fordism" to "post-fordism," from mass production to flexible speciali...
Article
The Argument This paper argues that science and technology studies need to adopt a much wider view of what counts as a laboratory. The factory, it is suggested, is as much a site of invention and intervention as the laboratory. As a site for the government of economic life, the factory is a laboratory par excellence . One particular factory is stud...
Article
Most of the research work concerning the French tableau de bord tends to locate its birth in industrial companies with engineers as lead roles and the State as supporting role (Lebas, 1996). Yet, a study in the Cr�dit Lyonnais archives shows that banks are not unequipped with this kind of managerial device. We have studied the period of birth and f...
Article
This paper calls firstly for genealogies of calculation, in contrast to traditional accounting history. The term genealogy conveys a focus on the outcomes of the past, rather than a quest for the origins of the present. It is intended to avoid an a priori limiting of the field of study to accounting as it currently exists, or to a particular accoun...
Article
Seeks to promote discussion of the pursuit of accountable management in public sector organizations by providing a commentary on post-1979 experiences with such reforms in the UK public sector. Particular attention is given to the nature and impact on the UK public sector of the neoliberal agenda which took particular charge during the Thatcher yea...
Article
The “rediscovery of the factory” has been one of the key events in American political and economic debates of the past decade. This paper addresses the complex of arguments, claims and strategies that have centered on the factory and manufacturing processes in American industry. These it terms the “politics of the product”. Accounting expertise, de...
Article
Reviews the history and perspective of the Tavistock school of social theory. The Tavistock approach incorporated a model of intensive experiential learning that drew on the work of K. Lewin, W. Bion, and M. Klein. A link was formed between sociopsychological expertise and citizenship. The Tavistock offered a new mode of attention to conduct, a new...
Article
Full-text available
A quoi sert un indicateur de satisfaction des usagers dans la gouvernance d’une collectivité territoriale ? Telle est la question à laquelle cet article tente d’apporter des éléments de réponse. S’appuyant sur les travaux analysant le contrôle de gestion comme un outil de gouvernance disciplinaire, l’étude proposée de huit indicateurs montre que le...
Article
It has recently been stated that innovations in management accounting have been the preserve of practitioners, and that these innovations which began in the nineteenth century had more or less halted by 1925 (Johnson, H. T. & Kaplan, R. S., Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1987))...
Book
Based on Michel Foucault's 1978 and 1979 lectures at the College de France on governmental rationalities and his 1977 interview regarding his work on imprisonment, this volume is the long-awaited sequel to Power/Knowledge. In these lectures, Foucault examines the art or activity of government both in its present form and within a historical perspec...
Article
Based on Michel Foucault's 1978 and 1979 lectures at the Collège de France on governmental rationalities and his 1977 interview regarding his work on imprisonment, this volume is the long-awaited sequel to Power/Knowledge. In these lectures, Foucault examines the art or activity of government both in its present form and within a historical perspe...
Article
Accountancy is generally assumed to have a practical function. This function is that of guiding decisions within firms towards the end of economic efficiency. Even when this function is considered to have been lost, it is by reference to such a notion that calls for reform are made (Johnson, H. T. & Kaplan, R. S., Relevance Lost (Boston: Harvard Bu...
Article
A concern with the interrelations between accounting and the state is integral recent studies of accounting change. Yet there has been little explicit attention to ways of thinking about the nature of the linkages themselves, and the concepts that might be used to analyse them. Approaches that rely on an implied exteriority between accounting and t...
Article
This paper proposes some new ways of analysing the exercise of political power in advanced liberal democratic societies. These are developed from Michel Foucault's conception of ‘governmentality’ and addresses political power in terms of ‘political rationalities’ and ‘technologies of government’. It draws attention to the diversity of regulatory me...
Article
This paper addresses the processes of reconciling hierarchies and American ideals and suggests ways in which the socially functional and radical traditions of corporate history could be extended to include such concerns. It focuses on the concepts through which hierarchies and managerial authority were rendered thinkable as positive components with...
Article
This paper addresses the processes of reconciling hierarchies and American ideals and suggests ways in which the socially functional and radical traditions of corporate history could be extended to include such concerns. It focuses on the concepts through which hierarchies and managerial authority were rendered thinkable as positive components with...
Article
A quoi sert un indicateur de satisfaction des usagers dans la gouvernance d’une collectivité territoriale ? Telle est la question à laquelle cet article tente d’apporter des éléments de réponse. S’appuyant sur les travaux analysant le contrôle de gestion comme un outil de gouvernance disciplinaire, l’étude proposée de huit indicateurs montre que le...
Article
Reluctant as he may be to pose as a social philosopher and pass judgment upon the net result of the economic activities of millions of individuals, that is in fact what a national income investigator does, even when he tries to base his judgment upon a recognizable consensus of the society whose economy he is studying (Kuznets, 1945).
Article
This paper examines the failure of a ‘failure regime’ for NHS Foundation Trusts. More particularly, it considers the proposals to create a failure regime for NHS Foundation Trusts that were set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2003, and that drew explicitly on the Insolvency Act 1986. These proposals were subsequently abandoned in favour of a...

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Project
Through quantification, public services have experienced a fundamental transformation from “government by rules” to “governance by numbers”, with fundamental implications not just for our understanding of the nature of public service itself, but also for wider debates about the nature of citizenship and democracy. This project scrutinizes the relationships between quantification, administrative capacity and democracy across three policy sectors (health/hospitals, higher education/universities, criminal justice/prisons) and four countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, UK). It offers a cross-national and cross-sectoral study of how managerialist ideas and instruments of quantification have been adopted and how they mattered. More specifically, it examines (i) how quantification has travelled across sectors and states; (ii) relations between quantification and administrative capacity; and (iii) how quantification has redefined relations between public service and liberal democratic understandings of public welfare, notions of citizenship, equity, accountability and legitimacy. The research is being conducted by a multidisciplinary team of social scientists based in the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation at Mines ParisTech (France), the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University (Germany), the Department of Management Accounting and Control at Helmut-Schmidt University Hamburg (Germany) and the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University (Netherlands). The three year research project is supported by more than €1.9million in research grant funding awarded through the “Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences” programme by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR, France), Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Germany), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, UK) and the Nederlands Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO, Netherlands).