A case study of financialization and EVA

Gleadle, Pauline and Cornelius, Nelarine (2008). A case study of financialization and EVA. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 19(8) pp. 1219–1238.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpa.2007.03.006


This study contributes to the literature on shareholder value and financialization, which to date has produced few case studies at the individual firm level. We provide a grounded account of management control under financialization, focusing on the apparently dramatic turnaround in performance of one factory, located in the northeast of England (Midco). However, in contrast to some of the more prescriptive accounts of shareholder value implementation, we resist overly simplistic explanations that the turnaround was ‘due to’ EVA. Instead, we suggest that both the factory's prior experience of change, particularly TQM, plus the presence of economic insecurity facilitated the turnaround. We compare our findings with other relevant studies and suggest that EVA and financialized solutions do not constitute a panacea for struggling organizations. Specifically, a strategy prioritizing new product development may be incompatible with the type of practices introduced by Midco.

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