Accounting, love and justice

John Francis McKernan (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)
Katarzyna Kosmala MacLullich (School of Management and Languages, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Publication date: 1 July 2004


This paper analyses what is seen as a crisis of authority in financial reporting. It considers the view that an element of authority may be restored to accounting through communicative reason. The paper argues that the justice‐oriented rationality of traditional, Habermasian, communicative ethics is incapable of providing a solid foundation for the re‐authorisation of financial reporting. The paper argues that a more adequate foundation might be found in an enlarged communicative ethics that allows space to the other of justice‐oriented reason. The inspiration for the enlargement is found in Ricoeur's analysis of narrative, his exploration of its role in the figuration of identity, and in his biblical hermeneutics which reveals the necessity of an active dialectic of love and justice.



McKernan, J.F. and Kosmala MacLullich, K. (2004), "Accounting, love and justice", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 327-360.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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