Accounting and smart cities: New evidence for governmentality and politics

Loai Alsaid, Jean Claude Mutiganda

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The concept of a smart city has attracted the attention of many scholars and policymakers in many countries worldwide. The role of accounting as a tool of governance in smart city politics, however, has so far been largely overlooked, especially in less developed countries (LDCs). This paper sets off to fill this research gap and hitherto unexplored linkages between accounting and smart cities. Drawing on the concept of governmentality, the authors conducted a case study based on document analysis, meetings observation, and 42 semi-structured interviews at a branch of a hybrid electricity company owned by New Cairo City in Egypt, during 2018. Findings show that the case company has implemented smart distribution networks of electricity in which new management accounting technology (enterprise resource planning (ERP) system) is used to trace costs, revenues, client complaints and feedback in a timely manner. The new network (of infrastructure and technologies) has represented timely accounting information as a major political power to influence accurate governance decision-making, such as smart electricity pricing and control, and to challenge governance decisions that are not sound. This paper is one of the first studies to explore the socio-political dynamics of accounting in smart city governance in the context of LDCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-170
Number of pages13
JournalCorporate Ownership and Control
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). 4.0/


  • Accounting
  • Smart Cities
  • Governmentality
  • Pricing Politics
  • ERP
  • New Cairo


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