Michele Bigoni is a Reader in Accounting at Kent Business School. Previously, he was Lecturer in Accounting at Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast. He holds a PhD in Accounting and Finance from the University of Ferrara, Italy.
His main areas of research are Critical accounting and accounting history and Public sector accounting is another field of interest, where he carries out research on public value measurement and management.
Michele has been recognised as one of the "thought leaders" in the field of accounting history and religion. Some of his work has been included in the collection of articles and books considered significant to our memory of the Holocaust by Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem
He has received numerous prizes for his teaching and research, including the Academy of Accounting Historians’ Margit F. and Hanns Martin Schoenfeld Award, the Head of School Prize for Research at Queen’s Management School and Kent Union’s Above and Beyond Award for teaching.
Michele serves as a referee for many international journals and is a member of the Editorial Board of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Critical Perspectives on Accounting and Accounting History.
His teaching interests cover both financial and management accounting. He has also taught accounting in the public sector.
Michele studies accounting in association with the social and organisational context in which it operates. He analyses the roles accounting can play in organisations and society beyond the traditional focus of promoting efficiency and rational decision making. His work is interdisciplinary in nature and insights from different disciplines including philosophy, sociology, religion and political economy which are used in his analysis of accounting technologies. Particularly relevant for Michele’s research is the work of French sociologist and philosopher, Michel Foucault. Michele has paid particular attention to the role accounting has in the establishment and reproduction of power relations.
In Michele’s work, accounting and its efficiency-rhetoric are seen as effective tools to make decisions look neutral and disinterested even when they are enacted to promote the interest of those who hold the supreme authority in a society. He has also investigated how accounting enables a penetrating control on distant people and sites and has the potential to highlight any deviations from a standard set by those in power. These themes have been analysed both in contemporary society and from a historical perspective, where, for instance, Michele has analysed the role of accounting in the reproduction of a Bishop’s pastoral power in the 15th century, Diocese of Ferrara and how accounting was used by the Italian Fascist regime to subjugate key institutions such as the University of Ferrara and the Alla Scala Opera House in Milan. Michele has well-established, enduring relationships with British, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Australian Universities.
Michele is also interested in studying public sector, most especially issues related to planning and control systems, performance management and public value measurement and management. Michele’s publications are in both Italian and English language journals, some of the most recent ones appearing in the 3* journals Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, British Accounting Review and Critical Perspectives on Accounting. The international standing of his research is also confirmed by the book he has recently edited, which acknowledges the contributions of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese scholars in the field of accounting and power (Bigoni, M., Funnell, W. (2018), The Italian and Iberian influence in accounting history: the imperative of power. New York: Routledge).
Michele’s current research projects include the investigation of the role of accounting and other written techniques to the development of the Roman Inquisition in the 16th century and use of accounting in Fascist Italy, most especially as a means for the attempted annihilation of Jews. He is also developing a study on the impact of journal rankings and other measures of academic performance on the development of accounting interdisciplinary research.
Michele has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in Italy and the UK. His portfolio of taught courses includes:
Michele has been a consultant to a medium-sized Italian Municipality for the design and implementation of a performance measurement and management system. He has also worked with charities in the preparation of their annual reports.``
Michele is a member of the Higher Education Academy and of the Academy of Accounting Historians.