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Embracing ambiguity in management controls and decision-making processes: On how to design data visualisations to prompt wise judgement

Embracing ambiguity in management controls and decision-making processes: On how to design data... Making decisions when managing organisations always involves the constant management of ambiguity and a great deal of complexity due to uncertainties and the intrinsic political nature of every decision-making processes. This paper argues that in order for management accounting to deal effectively with this ambiguity and uncertainty, both must be embraced, not suppressed, by the design of data visualisations produced by management controls as aids to the decision-making processes. Drawing on studies in rhetoric, alongside others on the rhetorical and communicative power of images and visualisations, this paper identifies a series of principles that can contribute to the development of a visual rhetorical framework to inform the design of data visualisation (e.g. dashboards, business reports). The need to conceive of data visualisations beyond their representational function, and the principles that are identified, are then illustrated through the visual rhetorical analysis of a complex dashboard utilised in the programme management of the construction of a large airport terminal. The paper ends with an outline of a research agenda for the future design of data visualisation in accounting, and beyond. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting and Business Research Taylor & Francis

Embracing ambiguity in management controls and decision-making processes: On how to design data visualisations to prompt wise judgement

Accounting and Business Research , Volume 47 (5): 25 – Jul 29, 2017

Embracing ambiguity in management controls and decision-making processes: On how to design data visualisations to prompt wise judgement

Accounting and Business Research , Volume 47 (5): 25 – Jul 29, 2017

Abstract

Making decisions when managing organisations always involves the constant management of ambiguity and a great deal of complexity due to uncertainties and the intrinsic political nature of every decision-making processes. This paper argues that in order for management accounting to deal effectively with this ambiguity and uncertainty, both must be embraced, not suppressed, by the design of data visualisations produced by management controls as aids to the decision-making processes. Drawing on studies in rhetoric, alongside others on the rhetorical and communicative power of images and visualisations, this paper identifies a series of principles that can contribute to the development of a visual rhetorical framework to inform the design of data visualisation (e.g. dashboards, business reports). The need to conceive of data visualisations beyond their representational function, and the principles that are identified, are then illustrated through the visual rhetorical analysis of a complex dashboard utilised in the programme management of the construction of a large airport terminal. The paper ends with an outline of a research agenda for the future design of data visualisation in accounting, and beyond.

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References (139)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2159-4260
eISSN
0001-4788
DOI
10.1080/00014788.2017.1320842
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Making decisions when managing organisations always involves the constant management of ambiguity and a great deal of complexity due to uncertainties and the intrinsic political nature of every decision-making processes. This paper argues that in order for management accounting to deal effectively with this ambiguity and uncertainty, both must be embraced, not suppressed, by the design of data visualisations produced by management controls as aids to the decision-making processes. Drawing on studies in rhetoric, alongside others on the rhetorical and communicative power of images and visualisations, this paper identifies a series of principles that can contribute to the development of a visual rhetorical framework to inform the design of data visualisation (e.g. dashboards, business reports). The need to conceive of data visualisations beyond their representational function, and the principles that are identified, are then illustrated through the visual rhetorical analysis of a complex dashboard utilised in the programme management of the construction of a large airport terminal. The paper ends with an outline of a research agenda for the future design of data visualisation in accounting, and beyond.

Journal

Accounting and Business ResearchTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 29, 2017

Keywords: business knowledge; data visualisations; rhetoric; risk; ambiguity; uncertainty; unknown unknowns; wisdom; major programme management

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