Mickhail, George M. and Ostrovsky, Arsen, 2007, MetaCapitalism: the dialectics of impoverishment, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 18(6), 671-705.
Accounting measurement and management consulting privilege the efficient allocation of resources, as the principal imperative to a firm’s survival in a free market economy. MetaCapitalism is a generic form of contemporary change strategies adopted across corporate consulting, which promotes 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. Its most salient danger, with its total disregard for even the slightest social or public policy implications, 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 critically examines how MetaCapitalism has shaped Fortune 100 companies, during the period 1998, when its recommendations were said to have begun taking effect, until 2003 to: (a) determine whether a correlation exists between the level of MetaCapitalisation and firm performance; (b) determine, explore and analyse the deficiencies inherent in the MetaCapitalist model and reasons for its failure; (c) highlight the social and public policy implications. The findings highlight the imperative to recognise and address the inherent deficiencies of MetaCapitalism, which advocates a fundamentalist brand of capitalism driven by Social Darwinism, for that is the only way upon which a more efficient, sustainable and socially responsible market, and consequently, society of which we are all participants and custodians of can be created and maintained.