Newcastle University Business School

Event Item

Transcending the socialization of long working hours: reflexivity and resistance in the accounting field

Date/Time: Thursday 1 December 2016, 16:00 - 18:00

Venue: Newcastle University Business School, Room 1.14

Speaker: Dr Ioana Lupu, Cass Business School

The purpose of this seminar is to explore how and why professionals become motivated and enabled to resist working long hours. Excessive working hours are widespread in accounting firms, thereby making this occupation a particularly rich setting for studying these phenomena.

Based on 60 semi-structured interviews conducted in Big 4 firms in France and UK, Dr Ioana Lupu aims to answer the question:

How can knowledge professionals resist overwork when it has penetrated their very mode of being?

By exploring this issue, this research focuses on understanding the circumstances that motivate some professionals to resist organizational pressures to overwork. This study inquires into the circumstances that precipitate them to do so. These fall into three broad categories: competing devotions, events that break the routine such as maternity and divorce, and disillusionment with the stakes of the accounting field are likely to increase awareness and reflection thus helping people to transcend the illusio that prompted them to overwork.

Moreover, the findings suggest that marginalized actors (less-embedded into organizational culture and de-socialized) as well as those disadvantaged by the prevailing culture are more likely to resist injunctions to overwork.

Speaker Biography 

Dr Ioana Lupu is a Lecturer in Management Control at Queen Mary School of Business and Management. Prior to joining Queen Mary, Ioana was a Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow at Cass Business School, working on a European Commission funded project "Professional Identity Construction and Parenthood in Professional Service Firms (PSFs)”. 

Ioana is particularly interested in how professionals cope with long working hours as well as how personal history shapes professionals’ decisions and choices with regards to their work-life balance. Her work received commendations such as: Faculty Transnational Research Best Conference Paper Award (Academy of Management, 2013), Best Conference Paper Based on a Dissertation Award, and Best Paper by a Transnational Student Award (Academy of Management, 2012). Ioana’s papers were published in Critical Perspectives on Accounting and Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal.

Research group: Accounting, Governance and Accountability and Professions, Work and Organisation