The productive and symbolic functions of internal control in the Chinese hotel industry

Wang, J
Hooper, K
Sinclair, RMS
Item type
Conference Contribution
Degree name
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The Department of Accounting and Finance, Unitec Institute of Technology

The paper considers how mechanisms of internal control drawn from accounting concepts serve the “productive” and “symbolic” functions identified by Foucault (Foucault, 1980, p. 161) that are employed to control staff by hotel management. The approach is ethnographic, drawing on the experiences of the author who worked for several years in various Chinese hotels. The findings of the paper show the controls used to measure the productive and symbolic functions of staff performance. However, the symbolic function is of the increasing importance in the hotel industry and requires that staff become, in Foucauldian terms, efficient disciplined bodies.

Auckland Regional Accounting Conference held at Unitec, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013-11-29 to 2013-11-29
Rights statement
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in (see Citation). The original publication is available at (see Publisher's Version).