Emeritus Professor Peter Armstrong
Professor of Accounting and Society
Biography and Research Interests
Peter Armstrong's first degree was in aeronautical engineering. After working for two years on the development of gas turbines, he spent five years with the Central Electricity Generating Board at Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories. During this period he was co-developer of the mathematical model of the plastic behaviour of materials which is now standard in stress analysis computer programmes.
In 1967, he left engineering to take a master's degree in sociology of science at Bath University. There he met Theo Nichols, with whom he worked on the 'Chemco' studies of the organization and consciousness of workers on flow process technologies. For a while thereafter, his career paralleled that of Tom Sharpe's Wilt. He re-emerged into academic life in 1978 with a study of shop-floor industrial relations in the footwear and electrical component industries. In the course of this work he became interested in tensions within white-collar trade unionism concerning the control functions of many of their members. This developed into the studies of the managerial professions for which he is now best-known.
One of these professions is accountancy, and his more specialized researches in this field eventually led to a professorship of accounting at the University of Sheffield. A close encounter with academic entrepreneurship precipitated a move to Keele where he launched into a series of critical studies of entrepreneurialism. In addition to the aforementioned fields of study, his current research interests include design, aesthetics, applied science and pretty well anything except modern French philosophy.
Armstrong, P. Calling out for More: Comment on The future of interpretive accounting research. Forthcoming in Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Available online at CPA Website.
Armstrong, P. The Dance of Debt. Learning About Income Securitization in a Small United Kingdom University. Ch. 4 in Innovations in Securitization Yearbook 2007. Eds. Jan Job de Vries Robbé and Paul Ali. The Hague, Kluwer Law International. pp. 59-83.
Armstrong, P. Ideology and the Grammar of Idealism: the Caterpillar Controversy Revisited. Critical Perspectives on Accounting Volume 17, No. 5 , July 2006, pp. 529-548
Armstrong P. (2005) Critique of Entrepreneurship: People and Policy, London, Palgrave-MacMillan.
Armstrong, P. (2005) The Flight of the Accountant: a Romance of Air and Credit, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 165-183.
Hopper, T. and Armstrong, P. (2005) Cost Accounting, Controlling labour and the Rise of Conglomerates. Ch. 13 in N. Macintosh and T. Hopper (eds) Accounting, the Social and the Political: Classics, Contemporary and Beyond, Oxford, Elsevier, pp. 127-138. (Edited version of 1991 article in Accounting, Organizations and Society).
Armstrong P. (2005) The Influence of Michel Foucault on Accounting Research. Ch. 35 in Richard Fleischman (ed) Accounting History Vol. 3. London. Sage (Reprint of 1994 article in Critical Perspectives on Accounting).
Hopper, T. and Armstrong, P. (2005) Cost Accounting, Controlling Labour and the Rise of Conglomerates . Ch. 42 in Richard Fleischman (ed) Accounting History Vol. 3. London. Sage (Reprint of 1991 article in Accounting, Organizations and Society).
Armstrong, P. (2004) Idealism and Ideology: The Caterpillar Controversy in Critical Accounting Research, Ch. 3 in Critical Realist Applications in Organisation and Management Studies , eds Fleetwood, S. and Ackroyd, S., London, Routledge, pp. 71-89.
Armstrong P. and Fletcher P. (2004) Securitization in Public Sector Finance. Public Money and Management, Vol. 24 No. 3 pp. 175-182.
Tomes, A. and Armstrong, P. (2003) Design, Words and History. The Design Journal. Vol. 6, Issue 1. pp. 14-22.
Armstrong, P. (2002) The Costs of Activity-Based Management. Accounting, Organizations and Society. Vol. 27, No. 1-2, pp. 99-120.
Armstrong, P. (2002) Management, Image and Management Accounting. Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Vol. 13, No. 3 pp. 281-295.
Armstrong, P. (2002) The Politics of Management Science: an inaugural lecture. International Journal of Management and Decision-Making. Vol. 3, No. 1. pp. 2-18.
Tomes, A. and Armstrong, P. (2002) Growth by Design: A Model for Design-Led Businesses? Business Strategy Review. Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 74-79
Armstrong, P. (2001) Science, Enterprise and Profit: Ideology in the Knowledge-Driven Economy. Economy and Society. Vol 30, No. 4. pp. 524-552.
Armstrong, P. (2001) Styles of Illusion. Sociological Review. Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 155-173.
Tomes, A., Armstrong, P. and Erol, R. (2001) Technological Entrepreneurship: Integrating Technical and Product Innovation. Technovation. Vol. 20, No. 3 pp. 115-127.
Armstrong, P. (2000) Designing Accountability: the Managerial Semiotics Project. Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-22.
Armstrong, P. and Tomes, A. (2000) Entrepreneurship in Science: Case Studies from Liquid Crystal Application. Prometheus. Vol. 18, No. 2. pp. 133-147.
Armstrong, P., (2000) Accounting for Insecurity. Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 383-406.
Tomes, A., Erol, R. and Armstrong, P. (2000) Surfing Applied Science: the Scientist-Designer in Action. International Journal of New Product Development and Innovation Management. Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 249-264.
Hopper, T. and Armstrong P. (2000) Cost Accounting, Controlling Labour and the Rise of Conglomerates, Ch. 46 in History of Accounting: Critical Perspectives in Business and Management . Vol. 3, ed. Edwards, J. R., London, Routledge (Reprint of 1991 paper).
Armstrong, P. (2000) Changing Management Control Strategies - the role of competition between accountancy and other organisational professions. Ch. 66 in History of Accounting: Critical Perspectives in Business and Management , Vol. 4, ed. Edwards, J. R., London, Routledge (Reprint of 1985 paper).