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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Craig Michael Deegan

The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the contributions made to the social and environmental accounting literature by papers that comprised a 2002 Special Issue of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect upon the contributions made to the social and environmental accounting literature by papers that comprised a 2002 Special Issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ) entitled social and environmental reporting and its role in maintaining or creating organisational legitimacy. This paper will also provide insights into the origins of legitimacy theory as used in the social and environmental accounting literature as well as providing reflections about the strengths, and shortcomings, of the theory. Suggestions are made with respect to the ongoing application, and development, of legitimacy theory.

Design/methodology/approach

As a commentary, this paper utilises a review of the social and environmental accounting and institutional literature across a number of decades to reveal insights about the development and use of legitimacy theory as a basis to explain social and environmental reporting practices. Citation data are also used to indicate the potential impact that the papers in the 2002 Special Issue had upon subsequent research.

Findings

This commentary shows that the 2002 Special Issue is the most highly cited issue in the history of AAAJ. It also shows that individually, some of the papers in the Special Issue represent some of the most highly cited papers in the social and environmental accounting literature. The commentary provides arguments to suggest that the development of legitimacy theory is in need of further refinement, and suggests a way in which this refinement might take place.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is largely based on the opinions of one researcher, and the evidence presented in the paper is selected on the basis that it is deemed sufficient to support the opinions being projected. The paper also relies on citation data as an indicator of “impact”. The implication of the research is that it identifies a “way forward” for the development of theory applicable to the understanding of organisational social and environmental reporting practices.

Originality/value

The study provides evidence to show that the 2002 Special Issue was significant within the context of AAAJ, and also within the context of the evolution of the social and environmental accounting literature. The description of the history of the development of legitimacy theory, and of the theory’s subsequent application, provides a solid impetus for future refinements to the theory.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2015

Sharron O'Neill, Geoff McDonald and Craig Michael Deegan

The purpose of this paper is to seek to extend the work of Robson (1991, 1992) by exploring the accounting implications of the way in which subsets of non-financial…

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1323

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to seek to extend the work of Robson (1991, 1992) by exploring the accounting implications of the way in which subsets of non-financial accounting numbers are constructed. In particular, the study investigates whether the different procedures for organising subsets of a set of accounting data may lead to different conclusions about (the same) reality.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis focuses on the procedures by which organisations translate work-related injury outcomes to accounting numbers. First, existing procedures are problematised within their institutional context. This highlights complementary elements of translation and neo-institutional theory that together explain how institutional factors might operate to constrain the problematising process. An empirical analysis of workers’ compensation data covering a ten year period is then conducted to calculate and contrast performance using two competing logics of accounting for injury.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that different representations of reality may result not only from accounting choices as to “what” is measured, but also from accounting choices as to “how subsets of measured data are organised”. Specifically, different ways of organising injury data into subsets led to different representations of the reality of overall injury performance. The evidence further suggests taken-for-granted assumptions and institutionalised practices may prevent adequate problematisation of the underpinning logic that guides the procedures for organising translations of work-related injury and illness to accounting numbers.

Practical implications

The results suggest the existing logic of accounting for injury fails to recognise the financial or non-financial complexity of non-fatal injury outcomes. “Lost time injury” measures are revealed as neither valid nor reliable measures of injury (or safety) and therefore inappropriate for informing the occupational health and safety (OHS) decisions of managers, boards and external stakeholders. These findings reveal an urgent need for change in injury accounting practice and, in turn, raise serious concerns about the increasingly institutionalised global template for external disclosure of OHS performance information.

Originality/value

This paper takes a novel look at the construction of social performance measures and suggests further attention to the construction of accounting subsets is warranted. In demonstrating serious problems in accounting logic that underpin existing, and deeply institutionalised, measurement and reporting practices, the findings reinforce the need to routinely re-problematise accounting practices. Failure to critically review those accounting translations that underpin decision-making may prove a fatal mistake.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Raja Zuraidah Raja Mohd Rasi, Amir Abdekhodaee and Romesh Nagarajah

The purpose of this paper is to investigate key causal linkages of proactive environmental practices of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, this paper…

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1435

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate key causal linkages of proactive environmental practices of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Specifically, this paper studies the ways that the interactions between different stakeholders such as suppliers and customers could intensify the widespread diffusion and implementation of green technologies. Understanding these linkages provide an opportunity to develop a framework that integrates stakeholders’ involvement, environmental practices and environmental/operational performances.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts the quantitative methodology. It uses the survey data collected from 232 Malaysian SMEs. The structural equation modelling (SEM) via AMOS 19 was employed to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The empirical results suggest that decisions on environmental practices are influenced significantly by interactions between stakeholders but notably in different ways. While customers and employees involvements are targeted at process based changes, senior managers are interested in internal management improvements. Suppliers’ interactions, on the other hand, influence SMEs to improve on operations for product and process based changes at the same time. Interestingly, we did not observe any significant achievement on government partnership programmes aimed at improving SMEs’ environmental practices.

Originality/value

The finding in this paper adds to the literature on corporate environmental practices (CEPs), by applying two stages SEM analysis to a survey data for a single industry (electronic and electric industry). The gap of the mainstream CEP literature is bridged by focusing on different types of CEP, namely, internal management systems, process-based changes and product-based changes.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Craig Deegan

The purpose of this paper is to explore the propensity of some researchers within the accounting research community (and elsewhere) to ignore potentially rich insights…

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1138

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the propensity of some researchers within the accounting research community (and elsewhere) to ignore potentially rich insights available from other paradigms, and the implications this has for the advancement of knowledge both from an educational and a social perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a review of a paper published in the Australian Journal of Management by Benson et al. (2015) together with a synthesis of other work which cautions against dismissing conflicting “world views”.

Findings

The analysis suggests that the propensity of some accounting researchers to dismiss, or ignore, research undertaken by researchers outside of their paradigm is still apparently “alive and well” within today’s accounting research community. The implications associated with ignoring or dismissing rich interdisciplinary insights are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of the research are that many rich insights are apparently being ignored by a segment of the accounting research community and this has implications for the advancement of knowledge, education and society. The limitations of this commentary are that the views are based on personal opinion which by its very nature is biased and based on the political views of the author.

Practical implications

The practical implications are that in highlighting a propensity to ignore potentially valuable research from alternative paradigms the commentary encourages researchers to consider other world views, as well as the political foundations inherent in their own work. This can have positive implications for the advancement of knowledge, and of society.

Social implications

By highlighting the propensity of some researchers to potentially dismiss entire areas of research as not being “notable” it is hoped that there will be a revision of this tendency and this will have possible implications for the advancement of knowledge.

Originality/value

The commentary highlights how certain elements of the accounting research community continue to appear to have a propensity to forget/ignore that potentially useful insights are available from people who undertake research beyond the confines of their research paradigm.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Jenny Seeker

Abstract

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Garry D. Carnegie and Christopher J. Napier

The purpose of this paper is to examine the origins and development of the “Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ) Community”, a flourishing international…

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4027

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the origins and development of the “Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ) Community”, a flourishing international interdisciplinary accounting research community. This scholarly community has emerged over some 30 years from the publication in 1988 of the inaugural issue of AAAJ under the joint editorship of James Guthrie and Lee Parker. This historical account discusses the motivation for establishing the journal and the important publishing initiatives, developments and trends across this period. The study positions the journal as a key thought leader, the catalyst for other Community activities such as the Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting conference.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation involved a selective review of the contents of AAAJ, particularly the annual editorials published since inception, and other relevant literature, analysis of the main research themes and the most cited papers, and oral history interviews with the joint editors. The future prospects for the AAAJ Community are addressed.

Findings

The AAAJ Community has shaped and led developments in interdisciplinary accounting research. Recognised for innovation and with a reputation for nurturing scholars, AAAJ continues to grow in stature as one of the world’s leading accounting journals, challenging the status quo and fostering inclusive scholarship.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not examine the journal’s publication patterns nor assess in detail the research studies that have been published in the journal.

Originality/value

The study recognises AAAJ as central to the development of an interdisciplinary accounting research community, firmly located in the sociological, critical and interpretative tradition also associated with some other leading accounting journals.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Shengli Yu and Anna Lee Rowe

The purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations underpinning recent evolving corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) among enterprises in China through…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations underpinning recent evolving corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) among enterprises in China through the lenses of senior managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the interpretive tenets of engagement research, semi-structured in-depth interviews were adopted to explore the perceptions of senior managers from 21 large companies in various industries. The aim is to make sense of the emerging CSER phenomenon occurring in the field through engagement, observation and penetrating interviews.

Findings

The findings identify the main enablers driving CSER in China as: regulations and government influence; management awareness; benefits to company image; peer pressure/reporting by peers and public pressure on controversial companies. Guided by a system-based theoretical framework in terms of motivations for CSER, this study offers insights into the effectiveness of using widely adopted Western-based theoretical approaches in a Chinese context where companies operate against a different socio-economic, political, regulatory and cultural backdrop.

Research limitations/implications

The deep-rooted face (Mianzi) culture has the potential to influence managers to portray a positive image about their companies and themselves.

Originality/value

This engagement-based study is one of the few initiatives exploring managerial perceptions of CSER in China that adds to the scant literature pertaining to rich “emic” data in accounting, encompassing cultural influence by applying systems-oriented theoretical framework. The stimulus for CSER identified are useful for regulators and organizations to better comprehend how to set effective policies that promote CSER and fit the distinctive institutional characteristics of China.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2019

Garry D. Carnegie

Expanding upon the special issue entitled “The special issue: AAAJ and research innovation”, published in 2012, this introduction to the second special issue of the genre…

Abstract

Purpose

Expanding upon the special issue entitled “The special issue: AAAJ and research innovation”, published in 2012, this introduction to the second special issue of the genre is concerned with selected thematic special issues of AAAJ appearing during the second decade of publication from 1998 to 2007. The paper explores research innovation by means of the thematic issues addressed from this decade.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides a background to this special issue and an outline of the articles included. The issue features seven retrospective/prospective articles written by the guest editors of special thematic issues published during 1998 to 2007, supplemented where appropriate by other co-authors or, in one instance, by a new author team.

Findings

The guest editors and other contributing authors sought to identify and discuss the progression of each field since the AAAJ special issue was published, and to assess the impacts of the special issues to this progression, and to propose future research developments in the designated fields.

Research limitations/implications

This commentary on articles published is no substitute for carefully reading these contributions. The papers provide a comprehensive review of key developments in the literature until most recently and explore the opportunities for further innovative interdisciplinary accounting research.

Originality/value

This AAAJ special issue, and the earlier 2012 prototype, constitute a different approach to producing special issues, where the original special issues are revisited with a view to assessing research trends and impacts and to identifying research developments which are ripe for pursuing in each of these interdisciplinary accounting fields.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Habib Muhammad Shahib, Eko Ganis Sukoharsono, M. Achsin and Yeney Widya Prihatiningtias

This chapter develops a new reference for local government accountability in socioenvironmental issues based on the views of leading socioenvironmental nongovernmental…

Abstract

This chapter develops a new reference for local government accountability in socioenvironmental issues based on the views of leading socioenvironmental nongovernmental Organisations (NGOs) in Indonesia. This study introduces an alternative view related to the government accountability model by focussing more on the socioenvironmental issues, which tend to be marginalised due to the dominance of [neo]liberal economic development and New Public Management paradigm in the praxis of government. A Fairclough's critical discourse analysis method has been applied to annual reports from three main socioenvironmental NGOs in Indonesia ranging from 2015 to 2018. This study found that there are three important notes for the local government's regulation, practice and accountability's activities to be in a line with the sustainable paradigm and the views of these NGOs. First and the foremost, the government's policy should give attention to public needs and ecological standards. Secondly, the rights and obligations related to the environmental issues should be transparent and accountable. Lastly, the government should release the accountability reports in full disclosure document and make the reports publicly available for various stakeholders. In particular, the accountability reports play a role as a tool for people to monitor the government's activities in socioenvironmental issues. This research implies an alternative view in the context of socioenvironmental accounting literature enrichment. It also provides valuable input to other governments, especially in developing countries and countries with economic growth that are highly reliant on the natural resources sector, in order to manage and account for their natural wealth in a more responsible and sustainable manner. Likewise, this research offers an alternative discourse of socioenvironmental accountability from the view of socioenvironmental NGOs in Indonesia.

Details

Environmentalism and NGO Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-002-8

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2018

John Dumay, Charl de Villiers, James Guthrie and Pei-Chi Hsiao

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the highly cited articles published in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ), since its inception, to answer three…

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1971

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the highly cited articles published in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ), since its inception, to answer three research questions: first, how have scholarly articles published in AAAJ developed? second, what are the focus areas and characteristics of articles in AAAJ, and who are the influential authors? third, who are the emerging next generation scholars and what are the emerging research themes in AAAJ?

Design/methodology/approach

A structured literature review (SLR) was used to analyse 126 most cited classic AAAJ articles and 21 additional emerging articles published between 1988 and 2016. Traditional literature reviews can have varied results because of a lack of rigour. The SLR method allows for an examination in detail of the articles, authors, focus areas and pattern of AAAJ publishing over three decades.

Findings

The findings show increased diversity in more recent years in theories, methods, origins, focus areas, and where AAAJ articles are cited, which highlights that the interdisciplinary accounting research project is maturing and remaining true to the ideal of being inclusive.

Research limitations/implications

Within this diversity, the analyses show that AAAJ remains focussed on and presents opportunities for impactful accounting research related to social issues, including non-financial corporate reporting/disclosure, public sector accounting, corporate governance and alternative forms of accounting, audit and accountability. Additionally, there is a need for more practice-based research to address the “wicked” problems at the intersection between accounting and society.

Originality/value

This paper presents accounting researchers with an opportunity to develop insightful and publishable studies. Also, it serves as a basis for developing future research agendas in the interdisciplinary accounting field.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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