Publication Details

This article was originally published as Mickhail, G and Ostrovsky, A, The Metacapitalism Quest, The Journal of the American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 6(1), 2005, 290-298.. Copyright The Journal of the American Academy of Business, Cambridge 2005. Original journal information available here


The purpose of accounting information is to provide decision makers with the means to evaluate the efficient allocation of resources. The accounting models of measurement are driven by a worldview that privileges the efficient allocation of resources, which is justified by the scientific claims of objectivity inherent in the theory of evolution. This had provided the defenders of ‘laissez-faire’ Capitalism with the intellectual foundations to oppose state interference with market forces, in their pursuit to justify the efficiency imperative. The recent global economic upheaval of corporate collapses, like Enron’s, could not have been averted regardless of the dismal failure of its Accountants, Arthur Andersen - if MetaCapitalism had not been implemented to such an extent. MetaCapitalism promised untold wealth and unprecedented growth, and under that guise a predatory Darwinistic corporate strategy was implemented, whose underlying principles predated the tribulations of those collapses. At its core, it advocates a radical or extreme outsourcing and downsizing of human capital, de-capitalisation of all non-core capital assets and the diminished role of the State in the global free market economy. It has the propensity to convey negative signals to the market as reflected in share price, contribute to an adverse profit performance, risk creating a state of ‘corporate anorexia,’ undermine the role of the individual in the workplace and completely err in its analysis of value added communities and B2B technology. Yet the most disturbing aspect is its complete and total disregard for even the slightest social or public policy implications. Essentially then, its most salient danger is an unmistakable endorsement of a fundamentalist brand of value free, reckless capitalism that is ultimately detrimental not only to the long-term business interest, but human as well. This paper offers a critique of MetaCapitalism, as an efficiency imperative for organizations, given that economic values have been given overriding priority in public discourse, at the expense of social and cultural values.