Prof Paolo Quattrone

Professor of Accounting, Governance & Society

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Research interests

My research relates to two big issues. The first of these concerns how decisions are made under radical uncertainty and ambiguity and looks at the role that data visualizations and governance mechanisms play in decision-making processes. I am particularly interested in major programme management, where I apply most of my historical research on how the Jesuits dealt with unknown unknowns through an intelligent and innovative use of accounting figures. In this context I also use some of more contemporary research on the roles that information technologies (such as ERPs, data viz, etc.) and data viz (e.g. dashboards) play well beyond the metaphor of viewing them as ‘oracles’ that provide answers in all kinds of decision-making scenarios. For me, instead, when facing ambiguity and uncertainty, data visualizations, reporting and governance systems have to prompt interactions and explorations of unknown unknowns to make sure that the right questions are asked.

The second area of research concerns the notion of ‘value’ and its fluidity and volatility, and the need to rethink reporting to adjust to the contemporary social contexts, markets and technologies. This for me means to explore what it means to move from an idea of corporate communication as a ‘push’ effort (with corporations preparing reports ‘pushed’ to the market) to one where various stakeholders can instead ‘pull’ information on the corporation sin various forms and formats. This also means to shift the focus from reporting as the measurement of shareholders’ value to reporting as a tool to explore the ‘common good’. I pursue this line of inquiry through research on alternatives forms of accounting in historical and contemporary times.

I have has published widely on the interface between management control and information technologies (especially ERPs), the history of accounting and management practices and thinking, and the managerialisation of higher education institutions and his works have appeared in journals such as Accounting, Organizations and Society, Contemporary Accounting Research, Organization Studies, and Administrative Science Quarterly.

As Fulbright New Century Scholar at the University of Stanford, I have conducted research on changes in business models and education, something in which I am getting interested again, due to the uncertainty that we all face in the context of a post Covid-19 scenario.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display