Professional responsibility in the borderlands : Facing irreconcilable accountability regimes in veterinary work

Pas, Berber and Introna, Lucas D. D and Wolters, Rinske and Vosselman, Ed (2023) Professional responsibility in the borderlands : Facing irreconcilable accountability regimes in veterinary work. Human Relations, 76 (12). 1904 - 1939. ISSN 0018-7267

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(Dutch) veterinarians have increasingly been confronted with conflicting accountability regimes, related to data-driven, networked accountability systems, to decrease the use of antibiotics in veterinary practices. Based on our longitudinal ethnography (2012–2020), we propose a conceptual model that illustrates how professionals intra-actively become positioned in different accountability regimes, yet which is continually diffracted by the recalling of their responsibilities to proximal and distant others. By taking an agential realist approach, we contribute to recent critical perspectives on accountability by showing how veterinary professionals become positioned as specific accountable subjects and yet how such positioning simultaneously produces the ‘borderlands’ – a space of indeterminacy in which the accounting practices of the professional are continuously weighed in light of incommensurable responsibilities. Based on our results, we show how conflicting accountability regimes are—as often argued—not to be ‘fixed’ through commensuration, nor are they dysfunctional. Rather, they create the very condition of indeterminacy, opening up the possibility for professional responsibility. We offer suggestions for how to further investigate this appreciation of the borderlands, for example, by focusing on how the account holder can draw from other responsibilities to counter a dominant accountability regime, and how governing authorities can become positioned as responsible for keeping professionals in the borderlands.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Human Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? relational ontologyveterinariansstrategy and managementsocial sciences(all)management of technology and innovation ??
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Deposited On:
18 May 2023 14:15
Last Modified:
27 Jun 2024 00:45