Special issue on accounting, accountants, and accountability regimes in pluralistic societies: taking multiple perspectives seriously

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 2 August 2011



(2011), "Special issue on accounting, accountants, and accountability regimes in pluralistic societies: taking multiple perspectives seriously", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 24 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ.05924faa.003



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Special issue on accounting, accountants, and accountability regimes in pluralistic societies: taking multiple perspectives seriously

Article Type: Call for papers From: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Volume 24, Issue 6

Guest Editors:
Professor Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, e-mail: mailto:Judy.Brown@vuw.ac.nz
Professor Jesse Dillard, Queen's University, United Kingdom & Portland State University, United States of America, e-mail: mailto:jdillard@pdx.edu
Professor Trevor Hopper, Sussex University, United Kingdom; Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; and
Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden, e-mail: mailto:Trevor.Hopper@vuw.ac.nz

How can accountings accountants, and accountability regimes better facilitate democracy by serving the needs of pluralistic communities given power inequalities among the various constituencies?

Acknowledging diversity, fostering democratic debate, and formulating feasible but progressive policy and practices are central to critical accounting's research agenda. Pursuing this agenda leads to promoting the interests of groups marginalized by conventional accounting and accountability regimes (e.g. environmentalists, ethical investors, unionists, feminists, humanitarian agencies, new social movements within civil society, and indigenous communities) and questioning what is accounted for, how it is accounted for, and on whose terms.

A typical panacea for addressing diverse interests is to negotiate a consensus within the context of open and honest dialogue among the affected parties. However, given the reality of ongoing power asymmetries, negotiated consensuses within pluralistic democracies can be problematic, reinforcing the status quo, furthering the interests of dominant groups, and denying legitimate aims of marginalized groups. Often, meaningfully incorporating perspectives of diverse groups (e.g. their values, assumptions, approaches to social change) calls forth different processes of policy formulation and accountability, requiring new types of information transmitted through alternative media. However, the accounting, accountability, and policy implications are generally poorly articulated or understood.

This special issue seeks papers that conceptualize and/or apply approaches addressing a wide range of phenomena and stakeholder groups and are sensitive to power inequalities and the politics of recognition. We welcome contributions that envisage new designs and means of implementing pluralistic accounting and accountability systems that facilitate debate on social justice, sustainability, and other contemporary issues directed toward exposing inequities, reducing them, and articulating and evaluating feasible social reforms. The challenge, in brief, is to "take multiple perspectives seriously'' and develop democratic means of incorporating these multiple perspectives to produce meaningful reforms in organizational and state policy arenas. Possible avenues of investigation might include approaches that:

.Imagine and/or (co)develop accounting and/or accountability regimes beyond business and managerialist models of stakeholder engagement that promote democratic dialogue between constituencies with different economic, social, and political interests/perspectives, as well as consider the implications of policies and practices emerging from negotiated outcomes that recognize and respect diversity and disagreement.

.Analyze the design and operation of systems that reinforce alternative notions of accountability and that facilitate neglected constituencies' involvement in decisions, say, by utilizing non-financial information, visual and verbal methods, new social media tools, environmental accounting/corporate social responsibility dimensions, silent/shadow reports, and counter-accounts.

.Examine actual and potential opportunities, problems, and applications of accounting and accountability regimes based on deliberative models of democracy, poly-logic perspectives, dialogical learning, and heteroglossic and agonistic approaches.

.Reformulate the role(s) of accounting, accountants, and accountability regimes in facilitating pluralistic organizational and/or social change and address related ethical issues.

We seek empirical and theoretical contributions from various research perspectives and approaches that stimulate development of further imaginings and engagements in this vital area. Papers must be relevant to theory development, practice, and/or policy.

The closing date for submissions for this special issue is 31 December 2012. Manuscripts should be sent electronically by e-mail (in a Word file format) to the Guest Editor: Professor Trevor Hopper at mailto:Trevor.Hopper@vuw.ac.nz The editors welcome enquiries and declarations of interest in submitting. Earlier submissions are welcome. All papers will be reviewed in accordance with AAAJ's normal processes. It is anticipated that this special issue will be published in 2014.

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