Jane Davison

Jane Davison


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

Jane Davison BA French First Class, University Prize (Liverpool), MA French Distinction (London), PhD French (London), FHEA

Leverhulme Research Fellow 2018

Project entitled 'Emile Zola:  property bubbles, banking crises and the role of money in society'.

Best paper award (with M. Usmani & C. Napier), Accounting Forum, 2020

Outstanding special issue award across all Emerald publications (with C. McLean and S. Warren), 2012

University French prize, Liverpool, 1976

President, Zola Society, London UK 2020-22 http://www.emilezolasocietylondon.org.uk

PhD - Pinget ou la presence lointaine:  counterpoint between music and literature in the work of R. Pinget. Examiners The late Malcolm Bowie [former Master, Christ's College, Cambridge], The late Michael Sheringham [former Marshal Foch Professor of French, All Souls, Oxford].

My principal work is on accounting and the visual.  My own interest stems from an interdisciplinary background in chartered accounting (Ernst & Young, London) and the fine arts (BA, MA, PhD in French literature).  My work aims at developing interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks together with close empirical analysis of the visual in financial reporting, accountability and governance, using approaches from philosophy, literature and the fine arts.  Visual perspectives on accounting and accountability are important but have been relatively neglected.  Visual media are frequently more powerful and revealing than the numbers and narratives composing the technical accounting content to which the bulk of accounting research has been directed. 

There is in recent years a growing interest in the visual in accounting communication and in organization studies more generally, evidenced by ESRC seminar series, EIASM workshops, special journal issues (see below) and books (such as Imagining Organizations and the forthcoming Routledge Companion to the Visual Organization), to all of which I have contributed.   I am a founding member of the  ESRC-funded international research network inVisio [International Network for Visual Studies in Organisations] http://in-visio.org/.  The inVisio ESRC-funded researcher development web pages 'inspire', for use in research and teaching, are newly available at http://moodle.in-visio.org/.  I have co guest-edited special issues on the visual for Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (2009, with S. Warren) and for Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management (2012, with C. McLean and S. Warren).  The latter won the Emerald award for the best special issue across all Emerald journals in 2012.  I am a member of the Management Visualisation Society based at Ohio State University, US, and of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Visual Cultures based at Royal Holloway.

I have interests in accounting communication more broadly.  I am an Associate Director of the Centre for Impression management in Accounting Communication at Bangor University, http://cimac.bangor.ac.uk, co-editor (with L. Jack and R. Craig) of the Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication (2013) and co-editor of a special issue of Accounting and Business Research on Accounting Narratives:  Quantification, Storytelling and Sensemaking (2015, with V. Beattie).

I also have interests in French Literature, notably the 19th century and the work of Emile Zola, and the 20th century and the nouveau roman.


Research interests

My research interests, research grants, journal editorial roles and other activities are shown below.

  • Accounting and the visual
  • Accounting narratives
  • Literary, fine art and philosophical approaches to communication issues in accounting
  • Reporting of intangibles/intellectual capital
  • Myth and accounting
  • French Literature of the 19th and 20th centuries

The Oxford Handbook Public Accountability

Research grants

2018 The Leverhulme Trust.  Research Fellow.  Project entitled 'Emile Zola:  property bubbles, banking crises and the role of money in society', £33,172.

2010-2012 ESRC Researcher Development Initiative funding for advancing visual methodologies in business and management in conjunction with inVISIO: International Network of Visual Studies in Organisations http://in-visio.org/ (group project with colleagues from Essex, Bath, Exeter, Sheffield, Surrey and Rochester (US)), £81,000.

2008-2009 ESRC Research Seminar Series funding for inVISIO: International Network of Visual Studies in Organisations (group project with colleagues from Surrey, Bath, Exeter and Manchester), £15,000.

2003-2006 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland grant for work on visual and narrative material in annual reports and links with intangibles (with L. Skerratt, Brunel University), £6,200

2001 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland seedcorn grant for work on communication techniques in financial reporting, £250

1992-1994 British Academy major scholarship for research in the fine arts, £12,000

Editorial roles

Associate Editor, Accounting and Business Research (2014-20).

Member, Editorial Board, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, (2011- ).

Member, Editorial Board, Visual Methodologies.  A Postdisciplinary Journal.

Guest editor (with V. Beattie) of a special issue of Accounting and Business Research on 'Accounting narratives:  quantification, storytelling and sensemaking' (2015). Link to the special issue.

Editor (with L. Jack and R. Craig) of The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication (2013).

Guest editor (with C. McLean [University of Manchester] and S. Warren [University of Essex]) of a special issue of Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management entitled 'Exploring the Visual in Organizations and Management' (2012). Link to the special issue  Winner of Outstanding Special Issue Award across all 180 Emerald publications in 2012.  


Guest editor (with S. Warren [University of Essex]) of a special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (2009) on Visual Perspectives on Accounting and Accountability. [Top downloaded issue of that journal for 2009] Link to the special issue.

Joint editor (with M. Renouard [Birkbeck College, University of London]) of a special issue of La Chouette (1995) on Lorand Gaspar.

Other activities

Member, Advisory Board of Centre for Visual Cultures, based at Royal Holloway, University of London 2018-

Member, Management Visualisation Society, based at Ohio State University 2016-

Expert Reviewer, Irish Research Council 2016, 2017.

Expert Reviewer, Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) General Directorate for the coordination and development of Research Office, 2013-14.

Peer reviewer, Italian Evaluation of Research Quality Exercise, 2012.

Member, ESRC Peer Review College, 2010-.

Associate director, CIMAC:  Centre for Impression Management in Accounting, Bangor University 2012- http://cimac.bangor.ac.uk

Founding member, inVisio: International Network of Visual Studies in Organisations 2008- http://in-visio.org/



External Examiner

Surrey University 2009-11;  Bristol University 2012-15

QAA Convenor

Brunel University 1999-2001

Professional Examination Duties

ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW 1985-2004

Programme Director

I championed the development of our innovative Masters in International Accounting programme that places accounting in the broader context of society.  It has run successfully since 2006 and I was the Programme Director from 2006 to 2012.

Masters course MN 5904 Communication Issues and Impression Management in Accounting

Communication issues in accounting are an important but neglected area, and this course aims to raise students' critical awareness of theory and practice regarding a variety of questions of contemporary communication.  It includes a consideration of aspects of readership and of impression management and rhetoric in narratives, graphs and pictures.

Third year undergraduate course MN3045 International Financial Accounting

This course develops awareness of various aspects of the international accounting environment in both theory and practice.  After a consideration of the institutional, external and cultural influences on accounting, national differences are explored together with ways of classifying accounting systems.  International harmonisation and standardisation are discussed.  Current issues in international accounting are examined, including communication issues and corporate governance.

Third year undergraduate course AF3405 Communication and Impression Management

This course aims to develop students' knowledge and critical understanding of communication, creative accounting and impression management in financial reporting.  It extends understanding of accounting to consider the organizational and social contexts in which the financial reporting environment is embedded.  The course typically includes consideration of different types of stakeholder, together with examination of narratives, graphs and visual material.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or