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The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of a struggle for power over the regulation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social…
The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of a struggle for power over the regulation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social and environmental accounting and reporting (SEAR) within the European Union.
The paper combines insights from institutional theory (Lawrence and Buchanan, 2017) with Vaara et al.’s (2006) and Vaara and Tienar’s (2008) discursive strategies approach in order to interrogate the dynamics of the institutional “arena” that emerged in 2001, following the European Commission’s publication of a Green Paper (GP) on CSR policy and reporting. Drawing on multiple sources of data (including newspaper coverage, semi-structured interviews and written submissions by companies and NGOs), the authors analyse the institutional political strategies employed by companies and NGOs – two of the key stakeholder groupings who sought to influence the dynamics and outcome of the European initiative.
The results show that the 2001 GP was a “triggering event” (Hoffman, 1999) that led to the formation of the institutional arena that centred on whether CSR policy and reporting should be voluntary or mandatory. The findings highlight how two separate, but related forms of power (systemic and episodic power) were exercised much more effectively by companies compared to NGOs. The analysis of the power initiatives and discursive strategies deployed in the arena provides a theoretically informed understanding of the ways in which companies acted in concert to reach their objective of maintaining CSR and SEAR as a voluntary activity.
The theoretical framework outlined in the paper highlights how the analysis of CSR and SEAR regulation can be enriched by examining the deployment of episodic and systemic power by relevant actors.
This paper examines the nature of propaganda and its use by corporations, particularly in the USA, over a period of nearly 100 years. It emphasises the invisibility of…
This paper examines the nature of propaganda and its use by corporations, particularly in the USA, over a period of nearly 100 years. It emphasises the invisibility of much of this activity and propaganda’s importance for shaping acquiescence in corporate hegemony. The role played by corporate propaganda in the development of different forms of capitalism is addressed. The inculcation of accounting and finance students with values that serve corporate interests is considered: in this context propaganda is inferred in both the longstanding misrepresentation of Adam Smith, and the sustained illusion of competitive “free markets”. The role and language of the business media as a form of propaganda is considered, particularly regarding colonisation of social market economies by Anglo‐Saxon capitalism, which takes as incontestable the maximisation of shareholder value as the proper and necessary aim of corporate activity. It is argued that corporate propaganda has contributed to the accounting measure of business success being justified as an end in itself at the explicit expense of wider societal considerations.
This paper seeks to consider the impact and potential impact of social accounting at the macro level. It aims to explore the potential for “silent” or “shadow” social…
This paper seeks to consider the impact and potential impact of social accounting at the macro level. It aims to explore the potential for “silent” or “shadow” social accounting to hold Anglo‐American capitalism to account for its social outcomes relative to other “varieties of capitalism”.
The role of accounting in spreading Anglo‐American capitalist values is outlined. This is followed by a discussion of macro social indicators and their potential to problematise social outcomes. In particular the paper reports on, and updates, an investigation of comparative child mortality figures in wealthy countries that appeared in the medical literature. This evidence is used both as an exemplar and as a substantive issue in its own right.
The specific empirical evidence reported, based on a cross‐sectional and longitudinal analysis of child mortality and its relationship to income inequality, exemplifies the consistently poor and relatively worsening performance of the Anglo‐American capitalist model. A rationale, and evidence, is also presented for the potential of such social reporting to act as an accountability mechanism.
The paper introduces to the accounting literature specific evidence of poor social outcomes associated with Anglo‐American capitalism. It considers the wider potential role of social indicators, as a component of silent and shadow reporting at a macro‐level, in problematising dominant forms of economic and social organisation.
Communications regarding this column should be addressed to Mrs. Cheney, Peabody Library School, Nashville, Term. 37203. Mrs. Cheney does not sell the books listed here. They are available through normal trade sources. Mrs. Cheney, being a member of the editorial board of Pierian Press, will not review Pierian Press reference books in this column. Descriptions of Pierian Press reference books will be included elsewhere in this publication.
This chapter provides a genealogy of the Gladue–Ipeelee principle of special consideration of Indigenous circumstances at sentencing. The principle is codified in the 1996…
This chapter provides a genealogy of the Gladue–Ipeelee principle of special consideration of Indigenous circumstances at sentencing. The principle is codified in the 1996 statutory requirement that “all available sanctions other than imprisonment … should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders” (s. 718.2e of the Criminal Code of Canada). Using the Foucaultian genealogy method to produce a “history of the present,” this chapter eschews normative questions of how s. 718.2e has “failed” to reduce Indigenous over-incarceration to instead focus on how practices of “special consideration” reproduce settler-state paternalism. This chapter addresses three key components of the Gladue–Ipeelee principle: the collection of circumstances information, the characterization of those circumstances, and finally their consideration at sentencing. Part one focuses on questions of legitimacy and authority and explicates how authority and responsibility to produce Indigenous circumstances knowledge was transferred from the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) to Indigenous Courtworker organizations in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Part two identifies how authority shapes problematization by examining the characterization of Indigenous circumstances in the two eras, finding that present-day Gladue reports articulate an Indigenous history and critique of colonialism as the root cause of Indigenous criminalization, whereas DIA reports prior to 1970 generally characterized this criminalization as a “failure to assimilate.” Part three focuses on the structural reproduction of power relations by exploring historical continuities in judicial and executive-branch consideration of Indigenous circumstances, suggesting that the Gladue–Ipeelee principle reinscribes a colonial “mercy” framework of diminished responsibility. The author discusses how the principle operates in the shadow of Indigenous over-incarceration as a form of state “recognition” and a technique of governance to encourage Indigenous participation in the settler justice system and suggests that the Gladue–Ipeelee principle produces a governing effect that reinforces settler-state authority by recirculating colonial practices and discourses of settler superiority.
This paper was motivated by the current debate over the voluntary approach to environmental disclosures in corporate annual reports and assesses the effectiveness of the…
This paper was motivated by the current debate over the voluntary approach to environmental disclosures in corporate annual reports and assesses the effectiveness of the current policy of voluntarism in the UK. A brief review of the relevant theories, which explain why managers might choose to voluntarily provide environmental responsibility information to parties outside the organisation, is presented. With this background, the paper then questions whether the UK government’s faith in voluntarism and the pursuit of best practice will be enough to generate any real change in current environmental reporting practices. We argue that voluntarism is not effective and that there is an urgent need to introduce strict governmental regulations on the information that must be disclosed and the form in which it should be presented in corporate annual reports as have been established in several other countries. In addition, further consideration is needed to achieve reforms in academic accounting education in order to improve corporate accountability and transparency in corporate annual reports. Organisations need to respond to the growing demands for corporate social and environmental responsibility and this will be possible with the support of an accounting profession that takes a more proactive approach to engaging with stakeholders. For this to happen, we need to rethink the focus of accounting and business education. We must move away from the dominant model, which treats accountancy as a set of techniques, towards a more holistic approach which recognises the social and environmental impacts of organisational activity.
It has often been said that a great part of the strength of Aslib lies in the fact that it brings together those whose experience has been gained in many widely differing fields but who have a common interest in the means by which information may be collected and disseminated to the greatest advantage. Lists of its members have, therefore, a more than ordinary value since they present, in miniature, a cross‐section of institutions and individuals who share this special interest.
Environmental audit, although a widely used term, can cover amultitude of different activities. In any of its guises, though, it isstill a prerequisite to taking a serious…
Environmental audit, although a widely used term, can cover a multitude of different activities. In any of its guises, though, it is still a prerequisite to taking a serious position on environmental issues. The different definitions of, and approaches to, environmental audit are outlined and the pressures which encourage their use are discussed. However, UK companies are not yet adopting a substantial response to the environmental crisis when perhaps as many as 80 per cent of the UK′s largest companies have yet to undertake an initial environmental audit.
This study examines the effectiveness of instruction in accounting ethics as measured by the impact of that instruction on the incidence of student plagiarism in a college…
This study examines the effectiveness of instruction in accounting ethics as measured by the impact of that instruction on the incidence of student plagiarism in a college writing assignment.
This study avoids the potential problems inherent in measuring Machiavellianism via a psychological questionnaire by using a “reverse methodology,” whereby Machiavellianism is assessed directly from behavior.
The results support past research suggesting that traditional collegiate ethical education may not affect students’ ethical choices. The findings also suggest that increasing penalties for ethical failures may be an effective means of deterring students and business professionals from engaging in inappropriate activities.
This study supports the use of a behavioral measure of Machivellianism as a means of evaluating the effectiveness of alternative instructional methods in ethics. This behavioral approach is superior to the traditional questionnaire methodology because Machivellianism is judged based on actual behavior rather than having students respond to hypothetical and often stereotyped ethical cases, whereby the student can provide an artificial response that will be viewed favorably by the evaluator.
The findings suggest that higher education needs to recognize the relevance of factors beyond mere ethical education when preparing students for the ethical challenges they will face in the business world.
This paper employs a unique “reverse methodology” to measure Machiavellianism. This reverse methodology has greater external validity in quasi-experimental ethical studies because the results can be extrapolated to real-world scenarios where there is a cost to behaving ethically.
AT the very outset of this paper it is necessary to make clear that it is not an attempt to compile an exhaustive bibliography of literature relating to special librarianship. Neither space nor time permit this. In fact, the references given can only claim to be a sample of the wealth of material on the subject and this paper is submitted in the hope that it will stimulate others to more scholarly efforts. Reference numbers throughout this paper refer to items in the ‘Select list of references to the literature of special librarianship’, section 2 onwards.