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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: 13 March 2007

Alpa Dhanani, Suzanne Fifield, Christine Helliar and Lorna Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to examine the interest rate risk management (IRRM) practices of UK companies. In particular, the study examines five theories that have been…

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2633

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the interest rate risk management (IRRM) practices of UK companies. In particular, the study examines five theories that have been advanced in the literature to explain why companies hedge: tax and regulatory arbitrage; under‐investment, volatility of earnings and future planning; financial distress; managerial self‐interest; and economies of scale.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a questionnaire survey to examine the importance of hedging theories and to look at the detailed risk management practices of companies.

Findings

The research findings confirm that all five theories of financial risk management have some support in practice. However, while the responses to some questions supported the theories, other information elicited from the questionnaires did not. This finding demonstrates that studies which employ large disaggregated datasets that result in generalised conclusions often miss the dynamic nature of corporate affairs and that, as such, more qualitative research is needed in this area.

Originality/value

The use of a questionnaire survey facilitates an investigation of the IRRM practices of companies on an individual basis rather than the aggregated analysis afforded by most quantitative studies in finance. In addition, the qualitative approach adopted here permits an examination of many factors that relate to risk management practices, rather than just a limited number of financial ratios or factors that are typically used in studies of large datasets.

Details

Studies in Economics and Finance, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1086-7376

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Article
Publication date: 9 June 2008

Alpa Dhanani, Suzanne Fifield, Christine Helliar and Lorna Stevenson

This paper aims to examine the interest rate risk management (IRRM) practices of UK‐listed companies. In particular, it examines the significance of interest rate risk…

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2798

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the interest rate risk management (IRRM) practices of UK‐listed companies. In particular, it examines the significance of interest rate risk (IRR) to these companies as well as the risk management practices adopted, including: the methods used to assess the level of IRR and the types of interest rate forecasts used in the process; derivatives activity; and corporate governance, reporting and control.

Design/methodology/approach

A series of semi‐structured interviews was conducted with the treasurers of ten UK companies in order to provide an in‐depth analysis of IRRM.

Findings

The results of this research suggest that IRR is important to UK companies and that their IRR hedging strategies are geared towards managing shareholder considerations and protecting banking covenants and corporate credit ratings. Moreover, companies rely extensively on financial derivatives to manage their IRR although their corporate governance practices relating to derivatives usage, in some instances, are lacking. Finally, there was a mixed response in relation to the implications of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 39; while some companies fear that the new standard may curb managerial practices, others are in favour of the more stringent reporting requirements.

Research limitations/implications

The research indicates that IRRM is important to UK companies, and especially so for firms that have loan covenants in place. Thus, the interest rate decisions of the Bank of England will have a major effect on UK industry. The study also suggests that the implementation of IAS 39 may have unanticipated consequences on the risk management behaviour of UK firms as the possible reduction in the use of options and exchange‐traded products may result in less efficient IRRM within companies. Finally, the research suggests that corporate governance practices relating to financial risk management need to be improved.

Originality/value

The use of an interview‐based approach facilitates an investigation of the IRRM practices of companies on an individual basis rather than the aggregated analysis offered by most studies in the area. In addition, the paper addresses the more qualitative aspects of IRRM, such as the form and significance of IRR, IRR policy and strategy, and the use of derivative instruments.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

David Collison, Colin Dey, Gwen Hannah and Lorna Stevenson

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…

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5177

Abstract

Purpose

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”.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2009

David Collison, George Cobb, David Power and Lorna Stevenson

The purpose of the paper is to critically evaluate membership of the FTSE4Good “socially responsible investment” indices (membership of which is based on ethical…

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3196

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to critically evaluate membership of the FTSE4Good “socially responsible investment” indices (membership of which is based on ethical criteria), which were launched in the UK in July 2001 as a means of increased accountability and change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an interpretive and critical approach when examining the perceptions of company representatives. The empirical findings are based on a small number of interviews and a postal questionnaire. Some descriptive and inferential statistics are used to summarise and help interpret the questionnaire results.

Findings

Respondents indicated that inclusion in the indices had a significant effect on their firms' reputation, and on relationships with specific stakeholder groups. All interviewees emphasised that peer group pressure encouraged top management to maintain their membership of the indices. Questionnaire respondents indicated an even balance of views regarding tightening the admission criteria for the indices. The influence of FTSE4Good on corporate conduct was found to be limited and mainly confined to reporting activity, though policy and management systems were amongst other areas where some impacts were noted. A small proportion of respondents felt that membership of the indices had had some significant influences on their companies.

Originality/value

The investigation of the influence of a “mass market” ethical investment index on constituent companies is where the main originality of this paper lies. In particular the interviews with constituent firm representatives and the questionnaire results are novel for ascertaining perceptions about the impact of inclusion in the indices on constituent companies.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Sumit Lodhia

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976

Abstract

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

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807

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2020

Lorna Ferguson and Laura Huey

International literature on missing persons suggests that a significant volume of missing person cases originate from hospitals and mental health units, resulting in…

Abstract

Purpose

International literature on missing persons suggests that a significant volume of missing person cases originate from hospitals and mental health units, resulting in considerable costs and resource demands on both police and health sectors (e.g., Bartholomew et al., 2009; Sowerby and Thomas, 2017). In the Canadian context, however, very little is known about patients reported missing from these locations – a knowledge deficit with profound implications in terms of identifying and addressing risk factors that contribute to this phenomenon. The present study is one such preliminary attempt to try to fill a significant research and policy gap.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on data from a sample of 8,261 closed missing person reports from a Canadian municipal police service over a five-year period (2013–2018). Using multiple logistic regression, the authors identify, among other factors, who is most likely to be reported missing from these locations.

Findings

Results reveal that several factors, such as mental disabilities, senility, mental illness and addiction, are significantly related to this phenomenon. In light of these findings, the authors suggest that there is a need to develop comprehensive strategies and policies involving several stakeholders, such as health care and social service organizations, as well as the police.

Originality/value

Each year, thousands of people go missing in Canada with a large number being reported from hospitals and mental health units, which can be burdensome for the police and health sectors in terms of human and financial resource allocation. Yet, very little is known about patients reported missing from health services – a knowledge deficit with profound implications in terms of identifying and addressing risk factors that contribute to this phenomenon. This manuscript seeks to remedy this gap in Canadian missing persons literature by exploring who goes missing from hospitals and mental health units.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2021

Lorna Ferguson and Jacek Koziarski

Missing person cases are a global issue impacting policing. Among these, those who abscond from hospitals are especially concerning because these reports require…

Abstract

Purpose

Missing person cases are a global issue impacting policing. Among these, those who abscond from hospitals are especially concerning because these reports require collaboration across services, often strain already limited police and hospital resources and present an elevated level of possible harm due to high prevalence of mental illness, disability and/or addiction. Despite this, to-date, there has been a lack of scholarly attention on this phenomenon from a policing perspective. The present study aims to fill this gap by exploring how far missing hospital patients travel and where they are commonly found.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 731 closed case files (2014–2018) from one police service, we identify spatial behaviour patterns specific to this group of missing persons.

Findings

Results suggest that most do not leave the hospital grounds or stay within a 5-km radius. Others were found close to the hospital, within city limits and/or returned of their own volition. By identifying these spatial behaviour patterns associated with missing hospital patients, police can refine probable search areas, allocate resources more efficiently, find the missing faster and develop better-informed responses and collaborative policies.

Originality/value

Our research represents the first empirical investigation into missing persons from hospital settings through a spatial perspective. Through descriptive statistical and spatial analyses, we determine the distance between the hospital a given individual was reported missing from and the location of where they were ultimately found.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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