This paper uncovers how the pressures of financialization were passed from top management to employees and achieved performative hegemony in a subsidiary of a knowledge intensive, high technology, multinational corporation. Qualitative insights from subsidiary directors, management and knowledge workers are presented. The paper demonstrates that financialization is a performative phenomenon which elevates the role of accounting in organizations. It highlights how budgets can serve as a performative mechanism through which top management can narrate a desired reality and pass down a myriad of performative interventions to achieve this reality. The paper uncovers how financialization can cause insecurity, work intensification, suppression of voice and the enactment of falsely optimistic behaviours; all of which prompt distress and anger amongst knowledge workers. The paper also uncovers sources of counter performativity and resistance but demonstrates that employees ultimately participate in their subordination. Employees pursue financialized performative interventions as they interpret them as the primary method of securing their role in a pervasively insecure work environment. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.