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Crisis accountability and aged “care” during COVID-19

Crisis accountability and aged “care” during COVID-19 This study aims to fill the gaps in mandated reports with social accounts to provide more inclusive accountability during a crisis using the illustrative example of Anglicare’s Newmarch House during a deadly COVID-19 outbreak.Design/methodology/approachThis study uses a close-reading method to analyse Anglicare’s annual review, reports, board meeting minutes and Royal Commission into Aged Care submissions. Informed by Foucault’s concept of biopolitics, the study collocates alternate “social accounts” in the form of investigative journalism, newspaper articles and media commentary on the events that transpired at Newmarch House to unveil a more nuanced and human-centric rendering of the ramifications of a public health/aged care crisis.FindingsCOVID-19 exacerbated pre-existing issues within the aged care sector, exemplified by Newmarch House. The privileging of financial concerns and lack of care, leadership and accountability contributed to residents’ physical, emotional and psychological distress. The biopolitical policy pursued by powerful actors let die vulnerable individuals while simultaneously making live more productive citizens and “the economy”.Research limitations/implicationsOrganisations express their accountability by using financial information provided by accounting, even during circumstances with more prevailing humanistic concerns. A transformational shift in how we define, view and teach accounting is required to recognise accounting as a social and moral practice that should instead prioritise human dignity and care for the betterment of our world.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the limited literature on aged care, extending particularly into the impact of COVID-19 while contributing to the literature concerned with crisis accountability. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this paper is also the first to examine a form of biopolitics centred on making live something other than persons – the economy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Meditari Accountancy Research Emerald Publishing

Crisis accountability and aged “care” during COVID-19

Meditari Accountancy Research , Volume 31 (1): 25 – Feb 7, 2023

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References (104)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2049-372X
eISSN
2049-372X
DOI
10.1108/medar-05-2021-1296
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to fill the gaps in mandated reports with social accounts to provide more inclusive accountability during a crisis using the illustrative example of Anglicare’s Newmarch House during a deadly COVID-19 outbreak.Design/methodology/approachThis study uses a close-reading method to analyse Anglicare’s annual review, reports, board meeting minutes and Royal Commission into Aged Care submissions. Informed by Foucault’s concept of biopolitics, the study collocates alternate “social accounts” in the form of investigative journalism, newspaper articles and media commentary on the events that transpired at Newmarch House to unveil a more nuanced and human-centric rendering of the ramifications of a public health/aged care crisis.FindingsCOVID-19 exacerbated pre-existing issues within the aged care sector, exemplified by Newmarch House. The privileging of financial concerns and lack of care, leadership and accountability contributed to residents’ physical, emotional and psychological distress. The biopolitical policy pursued by powerful actors let die vulnerable individuals while simultaneously making live more productive citizens and “the economy”.Research limitations/implicationsOrganisations express their accountability by using financial information provided by accounting, even during circumstances with more prevailing humanistic concerns. A transformational shift in how we define, view and teach accounting is required to recognise accounting as a social and moral practice that should instead prioritise human dignity and care for the betterment of our world.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the limited literature on aged care, extending particularly into the impact of COVID-19 while contributing to the literature concerned with crisis accountability. To the best of the author’s knowledge, this paper is also the first to examine a form of biopolitics centred on making live something other than persons – the economy.

Journal

Meditari Accountancy ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 7, 2023

Keywords: Aged care; Death; Social accounts; Biopolitics; COVID-19; Crisis accountability

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