Special issue on NGO accounting, auditing and accountability

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



(2004), "Special issue on NGO accounting, auditing and accountability", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 17 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/aaaj.2004.05917daa.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Special issue on NGO accounting, auditing and accountability

Special issue on NGO accounting, auditing and accountability

In comparison with the extensive body of academic literature exploring issues of accountability in both private and public sector organisations, there is relatively little literature examining accountability related matters in organisations operating in the third sector. Many of these third sector organisations, often referred to as non governmental organisations (or NGOs), fulfil a number of functions in areas which tend to be neglected by the private and public sectors. Declining public sector/governmental provision of services in many countries has resulted in NGOs playing an increasingly influential role in a variety of activities which impact upon the lives of many people.

Some NGO activity extends to lobbying private and public sector organisations (including governments and other regulators), with several NGOs focusing exclusively on these lobbying and policy development activities. In this area, highly organized NGO lobbying can have a long-term impact on shaping the regulations faced by large numbers of people/organisations, and involves inter alia individual NGOs utilising a number of practices in an attempt to render their interests hegemonic. Successful lobbying has resulted in a number of NGOs becoming powerful in relation to many other groups within society.

An argument often advanced (within the accountability literature and more broadly) for increased corporate accountability is the level of power and influence over people's lives held by the corporate sector. Given the above arguments related to the increasing power and influence of some NGOs, these accountability arguments might also be applied to powerful NGOs.

This special issue seeks to extend our understanding of NGO accountability, and invites research that examines a range of topics related to NGO accounting, auditing and accountability. Issues of importance, which can be addressed at a global, national and/or individual NGO level, include but are not limited to the following:

  • Theorisation of the nature of NGO accountability.

  • Empirical studies examining accounting and accountability statements produced by NGOs.

  • Empirical studies into stakeholder engagement by NGOs.

  • Longitudinal case studies examining the emergence of accounting, auditing and/or accountability mechanisms in NGOs generally, or in one or more specific NGOs.

  • Problematising NGO accountability “measurement”/“ assessment”.

  • Whether powerful NGOs should be subject to the same accountability requirements as powerful corporations (given the potentially different nature of their activities and impacts).

  • Governance systems for NGOs.

  • NGO-corporate alliances – their impact on NGO accountability to members and other stakeholders.

  • NGO accountability as a driver of future funding/investment.

Papers for this special issue should be sent electronically by e-mail (in a word format file) to both of the two guest editors by the submission deadline of Monday 31 January 2005. Authors are asked to follow Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal's standard formatting requirements. All papers will be reviewed in accordance with AAAJ's normal process. Authors who are wishing to discuss their paper prior to submission may contact either of the two guest editors by e-mail.

The two guest editors of this AAAJ special issue are:

Dr Brendan O'Dwyer, University College Dublin. E-mail: brendan.odwyer@ucd.ieDr Jeffrey Unerman, King's College London. E-mail: jeffrey.unerman@kcl.ac.uk

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