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A re‐evaluation of social, environmental and sustainability accounting: An exploration of an emerging trans‐disciplinary field?

Rob Gray (School of Management, The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 3 July 2010

Abstract

Purpose

In responding to prior critiques, the paper seeks to re‐examine social accounting as a problem focused, multi‐disciplinary field and explores some of the possible directions the emerging field might take.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is a discursive, polemical essay.

Findings

The very nature of social accounting as a problem‐based field seems to encourage – even require – that scholars approach the subject with a diversity of disciplinary methodological framings. In this regard, it may be apposite to view the field as an emerging, new trans‐disciplinary field.

Research limitations/implications

As an essay, the paper seeks to stimulate thought and debate but it is ultimately speculative and personal.

Originality/value

The paper continues the reflections upon the nature of social accounting (in the widest sense of the term) and offers some of the ways in which the new journal Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, may articulate its purpose. The paper would not presume to usurp the duty of either the community or posterity to determine whether or not this piece has either originality or value.

Keywords

Citation

Gray, R. (2010), "A re‐evaluation of social, environmental and sustainability accounting: An exploration of an emerging trans‐disciplinary field?", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 11-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/20408021011059205

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited