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Accountants' construction of CSR competencies and commitment

Marie-Andrée Caron (Department of Accounting, École des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
Anne Fortin (Department of Accounting, École des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 6 May 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The article's main purpose is to investigate the relationship between organizational and professional commitment and accountants' construction of corporate social responsibility (CSR) competencies.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of accounting professionals in Canada (chief financial officers/finance directors) was conducted to ask them about their organization's CSR position, their openness to CSR, involvement in related activities, the codified knowledge they use and their organizational and professional commitment.

Findings

The results show the dominance of normative commitment to the profession or organization and its relationship with professional CSR training. Professional CSR training and organizational and other CSR training activities are also related to the professional's openness to CSR.

Research limitations/implications

The study's main limitation is the small number of participants. Future research is needed to investigate the conditions under which normative commitment is developed.

Practical implications

The results make a practical contribution by suggesting that organizations seeking to involve accounting professionals in CSR activities might want to consider encouraging them to get CSR training using professional resources because of its link to both forms of normative commitment. Further, the findings indicate that the profession could integrate CSR issues more extensively in its accreditation process to enhance its role as a resource provider in the construction of accountants' CSR competencies.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge, the study is the first one to investigate the relationship between organizational and professional commitment and accountants' construction of CSR competencies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Corporate Reporting Chair (ESG-UQAM) for its financial support. The financial sponsor had no involvement in the research process.

Citation

Caron, M.-A. and Fortin, A. (2014), "Accountants' construction of CSR competencies and commitment", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 172-196. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-03-2013-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited