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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2019

Massimo Contrafatto, John Ferguson, David Power, Lorna Stevenson and David Collison

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Angus Duff and John Ferguson

This paper aims to explore the intersection of disability and accounting employment.

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2913

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the intersection of disability and accounting employment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses oral history accounts of 12 disabled accountants. The authors investigate narrators' experiences of being disabled people and professional accountants, identify the barriers they encounter in professional employment, and how they (re)negotiate professional work.

Findings

The narrators' accounts are complex and diverse. The narratives record a discourse of success, offset by the consistent identification of social and environmental barriers relating to limited opportunities, resources, and support.

Originality/value

The paper develops the limited research on the relationship between disability and the accounting profession, expands the limited literature on disabled professionals' experience of work, provides voice for disabled accountants, adds to the limited oral histories available within accounting, and augments the accumulated literature considering the accounting profession and minorities.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Jo Carby‐Hall

Discusses the long existing and confusing problems of establishing the relationship of who is, and who if not, a dependent worker. Reflects developments which have…

Abstract

Discusses the long existing and confusing problems of establishing the relationship of who is, and who if not, a dependent worker. Reflects developments which have occurred in British law as it affects the employment field, plus an evaluation and analysis of some of the different types of employment relationships which have evolved by examining, where possible, the status of each of these relationships. Concludes that the typical worker nowadays finds himself in a vulnerable position both economically and psychologically owing to the insecurity which exists.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

James Kirk and Lynne Kirk

Fear of technology is a common problem, even today when computers are found in most business environments. Illustrates how a department can be affected when one employee…

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559

Abstract

Fear of technology is a common problem, even today when computers are found in most business environments. Illustrates how a department can be affected when one employee seems incapable of coping with computerized systems. Indeed, in this case, severe interpersonal and personal stress‐related problems severely curtail the implementation of an important new system. Students are asked to evaluate the situation and to recommend an appropriate intervention.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

Peter Hoare

The Librarians of Glasgow University since 1641 are identified, andtheir periods of office summarised and assessed as far as informationallows. The terms of appointment in…

Abstract

The Librarians of Glasgow University since 1641 are identified, and their periods of office summarised and assessed as far as information allows. The terms of appointment in early years and pattern of town and university alternating nominations are outlined, and the gradual development of the post into that of a professional librarian in the twentieth century is illustrated.

Details

Library Review, vol. 40 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2016

John Ferguson, Thereza Raquel Sales de Aguiar and Anne Fearfull

The purpose of this paper is to explore corporate communications related to climate change in both a voluntary and mandatory setting. Adopting a critical perspective, the…

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4376

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore corporate communications related to climate change in both a voluntary and mandatory setting. Adopting a critical perspective, the paper examines how companies who participated in the voluntary UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) and the UK Government’s mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme positioned themselves within the climate change debate. In particular, the analysis draws attention to how companies, through their communicative practice, helped to constitute and reproduce the structure of the field in which they operate.

Design/methodology/approach

A context-sensitive discursive analysis of 99 stand-alone reports produced by companies participating in the UK ETS and CRC over a nine-year period. The analysis is informed by Thompson’s (1990) depth-hermeneutic framework, which mediates the connection between linguistic strategies and the institutional field.

Findings

The analysis suggests that companies tended to adopt particular linguistic strategies in their communications related to climate change. For example, the strategy of “rationalisation” was employed in order to emphasise the organisational “opportunities” resulting from climate change; in this sense, companies sought to exploit climate crises in order to advance a doctrine that endorsed market-based solutions. A noteworthy finding was that in the mandatory CRC period, there was a notable shift towards the employment of the strategies that Thompson (1990) refers to as “differentiation” – whereby companies attempted to displace responsibility by presenting either government or suppliers as barriers to progress.

Originality/value

This paper explores how disclosure on climate change evolved while organisations participate in voluntary and compulsory climate change initiatives. In this respect, the analysis is informed by the social and political context in which the disclosure was produced.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1983

J.R. Carby‐Hall

A distinction has to be drawn between a contract of service or a contract of employment on the one hand and a contract for services on the other. In the former situation…

Abstract

A distinction has to be drawn between a contract of service or a contract of employment on the one hand and a contract for services on the other. In the former situation the person employed is an employee, (or a ‘servant’ as he is often referred to in case law), in the latter he is an indpendent contractor. The particular requirement of a contract of service is the right of the employer, (or ‘the master’) to have, inter alia, residual control, (which may in some instances be reduced to being a mere formality), over the employee, although as will be examined later, other factors are equally applicable.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Yuanhui Li and John Ferguson

The purpose of the papers included in this issue is to cover a broad range of contemporary issues in Chinese corporate financial management and therefore provide the…

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247

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the papers included in this issue is to cover a broad range of contemporary issues in Chinese corporate financial management and therefore provide the readers with important insights into Chinese financial markets as well as the social and economic consequences of firm behavior in the Chinese context.

Design/methodology/approach

The first part of this issue is a special section on “Corporate Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility”, which includes three papers that explore various aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from a finance perspective – including the relationship between CSR and the cost of equity, the “insurance-like effect” of CSR and competition in corporate philanthropy. The remainder of the issue includes seven further papers that cover a wide range of finance-related topics, including currency and equity, monetary policy, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, earnings management, overseas investment, information disclosure, social capital and cosmopolitanism. All of the papers included in this issue are based on empirical research that draws on primary and secondary data from Chinese financial markets and from the information disclosures of Chinese enterprises.

Findings

The authors are confident that such in-depth discussions and analysis will help researchers and practitioners to develop a better understanding of the issues faced by Chinese managers in the context of China’s economic transformation. The findings reported in this issue will help inform and develop Chinese management theories based on a wide range of Chinese management practices.

Originality/value

Each paper in this issue reports on different aspects of finance, reporting and management in the Chinese context, discussing findings that have both relevance and significance beyond China.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2010

Ronald J. Ferguson, Michèle Paulin and Jasmin Bergeron

The service‐dominant logic describes customer‐actualized value as being idiosyncratic, experiential, contextual, and meaning laden. Since positive word‐of‐mouth (WOM) is…

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6560

Abstract

Purpose

The service‐dominant logic describes customer‐actualized value as being idiosyncratic, experiential, contextual, and meaning laden. Since positive word‐of‐mouth (WOM) is an expression of customer‐actualized value, the paper postulate that WOM is not only related to a holistic set of assessments of the service experience but also to the idiosyncratic nature of the individual customer. In particular, do socially oriented individuals have a greater propensity to engage in positive WOM? The purpose of this paper is to test hypotheses that socially oriented personality traits, and personal values as well as a set of dimensions of the total service experience, are antecedents of positive WOM. The context studied is a surgical operation involving considerable personal meaning and implication in the whole service process.

Design/methodology/approach

A cohort of 500 surgical patients are studied prior to, three‐days after and one‐month post‐surgery. Independent variables include the socially oriented personality traits of agreeableness and extraversion, social‐ vs self‐oriented personal values, as well as dimensions of the total service experience assessed by information adequacy, pain and discomfort, patient‐to‐patient interaction, patient‐to‐personnel interaction, and recovery outcomes. The dependent variable is the strength of positive WOM intentions.

Findings

The sociability of surgery patients as measured by both their personality traits and socially oriented values is significantly related to the strength of positive WOM intentions. Self‐oriented values are not associated with positive WOM intentions. Also, to varying degrees, all dimensions of the total service experience are associated with positive WOM intentions.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to illustrate that, in a given service context, the antecedents of customer loyalty may be complex, not only dependent on customer assessments of their interactions and experiences throughout the service process, but also relative to their dispositional characteristics such as sociability. The consistency of the results for positive WOM assessed at three‐days and one‐month post‐surgery adds to the robustness of the findings. This paper makes a significant contribution to the service‐dominant logic and the concept of value co‐creation.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Ken McPhail and John Ferguson

The purpose of this paper is to discuss a number of important recent developments in the area of business and human rights and considers the impact of these developments…

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3331

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss a number of important recent developments in the area of business and human rights and considers the impact of these developments for accounting, assurance and reporting. Following the UN endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Guiding Principles) in June 2011, initiatives related to their implementation have advanced at a rapid pace. Despite the centrality of accounting, assurance and reporting to some of the key initiates – accounting research has, hitherto, lagged behind this growing momentum. In order to address this lacunae, this paper develops an agenda for future research in the area of accounting and human rights. In doing so, the paper provides an overview of the important contributions advanced by the other papers in this special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws together and identifies key issues and themes related to the rapidly evolving research and policy domain of business and human rights and considers the relevance of these issues to accounting research.

Findings

The paper highlights the wide-ranging impact the Guiding Principles and other developments in business and human rights have for accounting practice and draws attention to potential areas of research for accounting scholars. In particular, the paper highlights the emergence of business and human rights due diligence requirements, including their management and reporting. Further, the paper draws attention to the development of business and human rights reporting and assurance practice – which, while still in its infancy, has gathered considerable momentum and support.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides important insights into emerging issues and developments in business and human rights that have clear relevance to accounting research and practice.

Originality/value

This paper, and the other contributions to this special issue of AAAJ, provide a basis and a research agenda for accounting scholars seeking to undertake research in this significant and emerging field.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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