The lure of the visual: Multimodality, simplification, and performance measurement visualizations in a megaprojectCitation formats

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The lure of the visual: Multimodality, simplification, and performance measurement visualizations in a megaproject. / Ronzani, Matteo; Gatzweiler, Marian Konstantin.

In: Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 97, 101296, 03.03.2022, p. 1-19.

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Ronzani, Matteo ; Gatzweiler, Marian Konstantin. / The lure of the visual: Multimodality, simplification, and performance measurement visualizations in a megaproject. In: Accounting, Organizations and Society. 2022 ; Vol. 97. pp. 1-19.

Bibtex

@article{15b31616599b400f8e1bec21c303a32d,
title = "The lure of the visual: Multimodality, simplification, and performance measurement visualizations in a megaproject",
abstract = "This study explores the risks and consequences of the reliance on visualizations in performance measurement for the sake of the simplicity and actionability of performance information. Despite the mounting interest in the visual aspects of accounting, little is known about what can happen when visuals are so embedded in organizations that they become a key semiotic resource for communicating performance measurement information. Theoretically, we draw from multimodality research to unpack how different semiotic modes (i.e., visuals, text, and numbers) interact in organizational meaning-making. To explore these issues, we conducted a study of the visual practices of one of the largest infrastructure megaprojects in the UK. The paper makes two contributions. Our first contribution consists of qualifying what we call the lure of the visual: A seemingly paradoxical process whereby the increasing ubiquity and reliance on visuals in an organization induces the trivialization of performance measurement visualizations and limits the communicative opportunities they offer to users. In so doing, we offer a substantive qualification of the risks and consequences of visual approaches to performance measurement. Our second contribution to the accounting literature is the theorization of how multiple semiotic modes can interact in performance measurement. We theorize three multimodal relationships between visuals, numbers, and text that shed new light on how performance measurement artifacts generate meaning in organizations.",
keywords = "Megaproject, Multimodality, Performance measurement, Simplification, Visualization",
author = "Matteo Ronzani and Gatzweiler, {Marian Konstantin}",
note = "Funding Information: We wish to express our gratitude to three anonymous Referees and the Editor, Wai Fong Chua, for invaluable suggestions and guidance. Special thanks go to David Cooper, Sven Modell, and Paolo Quattrone for their feedback and constant support throughout multiple iterations of this manuscript. We also wish to acknowledge comments and suggestions by Justyna Bandola-Gill, Christos Begkos, Chris Carter, Luciana D{\textquoteright}Adderio, Sotiria Grek, Shaul Hayoun, Markus H{\"o}llerer, Christopher Humphrey, Jakov Jandri{\'c}, Ingrid Jeacle, Dennis Jancsary, Martin Kornberger, Gordon Masterton, Jan Mouritsen, Andrea Mennicken, Yuval Millo, Brendan O{\textquoteright}Dwyer, Neil Pollock, Francois-Regis Puyou, John Roberts, Robert Scapens, Ben Sila, Jonathan Tweedie, and ChunLei Yang. We are also grateful to the participants of the departmental seminars where this study has been presented: Cambridge Judge Business School; The University of Edinburgh Business School; Alliance Manchester Business School; Adam Smith Business School; St Andrews School of Management; NHH Norwegian School of Economics. We also wish to thank our participants, who made this study possible. The first author would like to acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council who funded the data collection for this research ( ES/M500380/1 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account 2014 – University of Edinburgh ). Funding Information: We wish to express our gratitude to three anonymous Referees and the Editor, Wai Fong Chua, for invaluable suggestions and guidance. Special thanks go to David Cooper, Sven Modell, and Paolo Quattrone for their feedback and constant support throughout multiple iterations of this manuscript. We also wish to acknowledge comments and suggestions by Justyna Bandola-Gill, Christos Begkos, Chris Carter, Luciana D'Adderio, Sotiria Grek, Shaul Hayoun, Markus H?llerer, Christopher Humphrey, Jakov Jandri?, Ingrid Jeacle, Dennis Jancsary, Martin Kornberger, Gordon Masterton, Jan Mouritsen, Andrea Mennicken, Yuval Millo, Brendan O'Dwyer, Neil Pollock, Francois-Regis Puyou, John Roberts, Robert Scapens, Ben Sila, Jonathan Tweedie, and ChunLei Yang. We are also grateful to the participants of the departmental seminars where this study has been presented: Cambridge Judge Business School; The University of Edinburgh Business School; Alliance Manchester Business School; Adam Smith Business School; St Andrews School of Management; NHH Norwegian School of Economics. We also wish to thank our participants, who made this study possible. The first author would like to acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council who funded the data collection for this research (ES/M500380/1 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account 2014 ? University of Edinburgh). Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2021 Elsevier Ltd",
year = "2022",
month = mar,
day = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.aos.2021.101296",
language = "English",
volume = "97",
pages = "1--19",
journal = "Accounting, Organizations and Society",
issn = "0361-3682",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The lure of the visual: Multimodality, simplification, and performance measurement visualizations in a megaproject

AU - Ronzani, Matteo

AU - Gatzweiler, Marian Konstantin

N1 - Funding Information: We wish to express our gratitude to three anonymous Referees and the Editor, Wai Fong Chua, for invaluable suggestions and guidance. Special thanks go to David Cooper, Sven Modell, and Paolo Quattrone for their feedback and constant support throughout multiple iterations of this manuscript. We also wish to acknowledge comments and suggestions by Justyna Bandola-Gill, Christos Begkos, Chris Carter, Luciana D’Adderio, Sotiria Grek, Shaul Hayoun, Markus Höllerer, Christopher Humphrey, Jakov Jandrić, Ingrid Jeacle, Dennis Jancsary, Martin Kornberger, Gordon Masterton, Jan Mouritsen, Andrea Mennicken, Yuval Millo, Brendan O’Dwyer, Neil Pollock, Francois-Regis Puyou, John Roberts, Robert Scapens, Ben Sila, Jonathan Tweedie, and ChunLei Yang. We are also grateful to the participants of the departmental seminars where this study has been presented: Cambridge Judge Business School; The University of Edinburgh Business School; Alliance Manchester Business School; Adam Smith Business School; St Andrews School of Management; NHH Norwegian School of Economics. We also wish to thank our participants, who made this study possible. The first author would like to acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council who funded the data collection for this research ( ES/M500380/1 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account 2014 – University of Edinburgh ). Funding Information: We wish to express our gratitude to three anonymous Referees and the Editor, Wai Fong Chua, for invaluable suggestions and guidance. Special thanks go to David Cooper, Sven Modell, and Paolo Quattrone for their feedback and constant support throughout multiple iterations of this manuscript. We also wish to acknowledge comments and suggestions by Justyna Bandola-Gill, Christos Begkos, Chris Carter, Luciana D'Adderio, Sotiria Grek, Shaul Hayoun, Markus H?llerer, Christopher Humphrey, Jakov Jandri?, Ingrid Jeacle, Dennis Jancsary, Martin Kornberger, Gordon Masterton, Jan Mouritsen, Andrea Mennicken, Yuval Millo, Brendan O'Dwyer, Neil Pollock, Francois-Regis Puyou, John Roberts, Robert Scapens, Ben Sila, Jonathan Tweedie, and ChunLei Yang. We are also grateful to the participants of the departmental seminars where this study has been presented: Cambridge Judge Business School; The University of Edinburgh Business School; Alliance Manchester Business School; Adam Smith Business School; St Andrews School of Management; NHH Norwegian School of Economics. We also wish to thank our participants, who made this study possible. The first author would like to acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council who funded the data collection for this research (ES/M500380/1 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account 2014 ? University of Edinburgh). Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd

PY - 2022/3/3

Y1 - 2022/3/3

N2 - This study explores the risks and consequences of the reliance on visualizations in performance measurement for the sake of the simplicity and actionability of performance information. Despite the mounting interest in the visual aspects of accounting, little is known about what can happen when visuals are so embedded in organizations that they become a key semiotic resource for communicating performance measurement information. Theoretically, we draw from multimodality research to unpack how different semiotic modes (i.e., visuals, text, and numbers) interact in organizational meaning-making. To explore these issues, we conducted a study of the visual practices of one of the largest infrastructure megaprojects in the UK. The paper makes two contributions. Our first contribution consists of qualifying what we call the lure of the visual: A seemingly paradoxical process whereby the increasing ubiquity and reliance on visuals in an organization induces the trivialization of performance measurement visualizations and limits the communicative opportunities they offer to users. In so doing, we offer a substantive qualification of the risks and consequences of visual approaches to performance measurement. Our second contribution to the accounting literature is the theorization of how multiple semiotic modes can interact in performance measurement. We theorize three multimodal relationships between visuals, numbers, and text that shed new light on how performance measurement artifacts generate meaning in organizations.

AB - This study explores the risks and consequences of the reliance on visualizations in performance measurement for the sake of the simplicity and actionability of performance information. Despite the mounting interest in the visual aspects of accounting, little is known about what can happen when visuals are so embedded in organizations that they become a key semiotic resource for communicating performance measurement information. Theoretically, we draw from multimodality research to unpack how different semiotic modes (i.e., visuals, text, and numbers) interact in organizational meaning-making. To explore these issues, we conducted a study of the visual practices of one of the largest infrastructure megaprojects in the UK. The paper makes two contributions. Our first contribution consists of qualifying what we call the lure of the visual: A seemingly paradoxical process whereby the increasing ubiquity and reliance on visuals in an organization induces the trivialization of performance measurement visualizations and limits the communicative opportunities they offer to users. In so doing, we offer a substantive qualification of the risks and consequences of visual approaches to performance measurement. Our second contribution to the accounting literature is the theorization of how multiple semiotic modes can interact in performance measurement. We theorize three multimodal relationships between visuals, numbers, and text that shed new light on how performance measurement artifacts generate meaning in organizations.

KW - Megaproject

KW - Multimodality

KW - Performance measurement

KW - Simplification

KW - Visualization

U2 - 10.1016/j.aos.2021.101296

DO - 10.1016/j.aos.2021.101296

M3 - Article

VL - 97

SP - 1

EP - 19

JO - Accounting, Organizations and Society

JF - Accounting, Organizations and Society

SN - 0361-3682

M1 - 101296

ER -