Professor Adam Leaver
Chair in Accounting and Society
+44 114 222 3360
Full contact details
Sheffield University Management School
Adam Leaver is Professor in Accounting & Society and Director of the Centre for Research on Accounting and Finance in Context (CRAFIC). Prior to that he was Professor in Financialization and Management at the University of Manchester.
Adam’s primary research interest is in the financialization of the firm. His recent work examines the dimensions of time and space in accounting and finance across a number of projects:
A first examines the role of the accounting regime in facilitating higher shareholder distributions by allowing managers to pull income forward in time.
A second explores the tension between an accounting regime which discounts the future, and an impending ecological disaster whose costs are exponential; and whether it is possible to reimagine the temporality of financial reporting to bring forward green investments.
A third analyses and visualises the changing social networks within financial services across space and time.
A fourth tries to understand the different calculative frames and speeds of accumulation in city-region development.
Adam is interested in novel methodological combinations which allow social-constructivist such as forensic follow-the-money accounting and social network analysis to explore His work appears in leading international peer-reviewed journals including Work, Employment & Society, British Journal of Management, Organization, Economy & Society, Critical Perspectives in Accounting, Review of International Political Economy, New Political Economy and The Journal of Cultural Economy.
Adam currently holds an ESRC open call grant to investigate Manchester as a ‘centripetal city’ and a Luminate grant to examine audit failure and audit reform. He was also ISRF Political Economy Research Fellow 2017-18.
- Research interests
Adam's current research interests include:
- using social network analysis methods to map the social relationships that underlie certain complex securities markets
- developing a relational theory of the firm to understand the impact of financialization in the corporate sphere
- exploring the inter-temporal transfers and tensions that arise as a consequence of financialization
- theorising the relations between accounting and the built environment.
- What A Waste: Outsourcing and how it goes wrong. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- The end of the experiment?: From competition to the foundational economy. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- After the Great ComplacenceFinancial Crisis and the Politics of Reform. Oxford University Press.
- Financialization at Work Key Texts and Commentary.
- Financialization and strategy: Narrative and numbers.
- How financial products organize spatial networks: Analyzing collateralized debt obligations and collateralized loan obligations as “networked products”. Environment and Planning A. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Corporate Governance for Sustainability.
- Finance as ‘bizarre bazaar’: Using documents as a source of ethnographic knowledge. Organization, 26(4), 553-577. View this article in WRRO
- Through a Glass Darkly: Tracing the Mundane Organisation of a Bubble Network. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1). View this article in WRRO
- Pragmatic engagement in a low trust supply chain : beef farmers’ perceptions of power, trust and agency. Competition & Change, 21(2), 114-131. View this article in WRRO
- Creating and dissolving social groups from New Guinea to New York: on the overheating of bounded corporate entities in contemporary global capitalism. History and Anthropology, 27(5), 585-601. View this article in WRRO
- Fuzzy knowledge: an historical exploration of moral hazard and its variability. Economy and Society, 44(1), 91-109.
- After the 30-year experiment: The future of the ‘foundational economy’. Juncture, 21(3), 215-221.
- Financialization across the Pacific: Manufacturing cost ratios, supply chains and power. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 25(1), 46-57.
- Opportunist dealing in the UK pig meat supply chain: Trader mentalities and alternatives. Accounting Forum, 37(4), 300-314.
- (HOW) DO DEVICES MATTER IN FINANCE?. Journal of Cultural Economy, 6(3), 336-352.
- Unsustainable employment portfolios. Work, Employment and Society, 27(3), 396-413.
- REMAKING RETIREMENT INVESTORS. Journal of Cultural Economy, 5(4), 473-488.
- Misrule of experts? The financial crisis as elite debacle. Economy and Society, 41(3), 360-382.
- Accounting for national success and failure: Rethinking the UK case. Accounting Forum, 36(1), 5-17.
- HALDANE'S GAMBIT. Journal of Cultural Economy, 4(4), 387-404.
- Reforming the global financial architecture. Socio-Economic Review, 9(3), 567-596.
- Ownership matters: private equity and the political division of ownership. Organization, 17(5), 543-561.
- A different take: Hollywood's unresolved business model. Review of International Political Economy, 17(3), 454-480.
- Sanofi-Aventis and the Complexity of Capitalist Organization. Competition & Change, 14(1), 1-22.
- Hedge Funds as ‘War Machine’: Making the Positions Work. New Political Economy, 15(1), 9-28.
- Reconceptualizing financial innovation: frame, conjuncture and bricolage. Economy and Society, 39(1), 33-63.
- Narratives and the financialised firm. Kolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie(SPEC. 49).
- Stressed by Choice: a Business Model Analysis of the BBC. British Journal of Management, 20(2), 252-264.
- Private equity and the credit crunch. Soundings, 41(41), 8-18.
- CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND IMPOSSIBILISM. Journal of Cultural Economy, 1(2), 109-127.
- Everything for Sale: How Non-Executive Directors Make a Difference. The Sociological Review, 56(1_suppl), 162-186.
- Art for Art's Sake or Selling Up?. European Journal of Communication, 23(3), 295-317.
- New Actors in a Financialised Economy and the Remaking of Capitalism. New Political Economy, 12(3), 339-347.
- Is the Stock Market a Disciplinary Institution? French Giant Firms and the Regime of Accumulation. New Political Economy, 12(3), 349-368.
- The democratization of finance? Promises, outcomes and conditions. Review of International Political Economy, 14(4), 553-575.
- Against agency: a positional critique. Economy and Society, 36(1), 51-77.
- Different Worlds of Motoring: Choice, Constraint and Risk in Household Consumption. The Sociological Review, 53(1), 96-128.
- Corporate governance and disappointment. Review of International Political Economy, 11(4), 677-713.
- 57 channels and nothing on. Information & Communications Technology Law, 12(3), 247-262.
- Not Enough Money: The Resources and Choices of the Motoring Poor. Competition & Change, 6(1), 95-111.
- The Third Way and the Jammed Economy. Capital & Class, 23(1), 155-166.
- View this article in WRRO ‘Dams And Flows’: Boundary Formation And Dislocation In The Financialized Firm. Review of Evolutionary Political Economy.
- View this article in WRRO Crowding out investment, disgorging the social settlement: financialisation and the search for sinecures in a failed free market experiment In Berry C (Ed.), What We Really Mean When We Talk About Industrial Strategy
- Reconceptualizing financial innovation: frame, conjuncture, bricolage In Erturk I & Gabor D (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Banking Regulation and Reform (pp. 111-134). Oxford: Routledge.
- Financialized Business Models and the Corporation, The Corporation (pp. 291-302).
- The Metropolitanisation Of Gains, The Nationalisation Of Losses In Christensen J (Ed.), The Greatest Invention – Tax and the Campaign for a Just Society (pp. 220-223). Common Wealth Publishing / Tax Justice Network
- Reframing Industrial Policy In Bailey D, Cowling K & Tomlinson P (Ed.), New Perspectives On Industrial Policy For A Modern Britain (pp. 60-78). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- View this article in WRRO Global Wealth Chains & Public Utilities In Seabrooke L & Wigan D (Ed.), Global Wealth Chains Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- View this article in WRRO Against Hollow Firms: Repurposing The Corporation For A More Resilient Economy
- View this article in WRRO Financial Engineering And The Productivity Crisis
- View this article in WRRO Auditing With Accountability: Shrinking The Opportunity Spaces For Audit Failure
- View this article in WRRO What Comes after the Pandemic? A Ten-Point Platform for Foundational Renewal
- View this article in WRRO Written evidence from Professor Adam Leaver1 (LCC 43)
Date Funding Body Title Grant Value Principal Investigator Co-Investigators 2020 Independent Research Fund Denmark TIME MIRROR: Accounting for the Green Transition Approx. £1.4 Mil. Thomas Riise Johansen, Copenhagen Business School Adam Leaver; Len Seabrooke (CBS); Caroline Pontoppidian (CBS); Richard Murphy (CAN) 2020 ESRC Inside And Outside The Centripetal City: The Implications Of Manchester’s Property-Led Regeneration For The Northern Powerhouse Agenda £572,516, all allocated to Sheffield. Adam Leaver Jon Silver 2020 Luminate 'Building An International Centre for Audit and Accounting Reform' £150,000 approximately, of which £45,000 for Sheffield Adam Leaver Richard Murphy (CAN); Duncan Wigan (CBS) 2020 ESRC/Productivity Insights Network Rethinking Capital Allocation In A Context of Financialization: Producing An Index Of High Productivity/Low Financial Engineering Firms For Investors £49k, all allocated to Sheffield Adam Leaver 2019 ESRC/Productivity Insights Network Financialization & Productivity £10k, all attributable to Sheffield Adam Leaver 2019 Luminate ‘Conflicts of Interest in the Auditing Sector’ £65k; of which roughly 2/5ths were allocated to Sheffield Adam Leaver Leonard Seabrooke &
Duncan Wigan (Copenhagen Business School)
2019 ISRF ‘A Network For Lemons, Phase I’ £14k, all attributable to Sheffield Adam Leaver 2018 ISRF ‘A Theory Of The Financialized Firm’ £60k, split 50/50 between Sheffield and University of Oslo Adam Leaver/Keir Martin
- Teaching interests
Adam's teaching is research-led and uses 'follow-the-money' methods to explore contemporary economic issues.
His teaching uses case studies drawn from his research to illustrate broader economic themes and issues, with a strong social responsibility theme.
In the past this has included accounting analysis of outsourcers, pharmaceutical firms, banks, supermarkets, water companies, car manufacturers, new economy retailers and football clubs.
This approach allows students to enhance their practical accounting skills with topical and relevant cases, whilst as well as developing the transferable skills of critical reflection and independent thought.
- PhD supervision
Adam is available to supervise PhD students in the following areas:
- Critical accounting using 'follow-the-money' methods
- Heterodox economic/accounting approaches to financial crisis
- Economic sociology of finance