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In Canada, companies are focusing on corporate governance as an ethical response to accounting scandals and the resulting crisis of confidence. Although, many aspects of…
In Canada, companies are focusing on corporate governance as an ethical response to accounting scandals and the resulting crisis of confidence. Although, many aspects of corporate governance remain free from strict regulation, we examine the voluntary changes in the disclosures of the largest Canadian companies. We attempt to understand, through disclosure theory, discourse analysis, and structuration theory, the quality of these corporate governance disclosures. We recognize that much of the disclosure is opportunistic as companies state that they have not only complied with the non-compulsory Canadian guidelines, but have also met and exceeded the requirements of U.S. regulators. This is an important finding that supports the notion that Canadian companies do not need rules and regulations. Instead, a culture of governance is developing at the boards of large companies that encourages voluntary change. Whether this is enough to prevent future accounting scandals is a question for future research.
This article critiques “middle‐of‐the‐road” approachesto corporate social reporting and their cautions against radicalisingthe subject. The historicity of the concept of…
This article critiques “middle‐of‐the‐road” approaches to corporate social reporting and their cautions against radicalising the subject. The historicity of the concept of middle ground is challenged philosophically, politically and socially, by suggesting that its foundations reside in relativism, quietism and pluralism. A counter‐theory is proposed: that the middle ground is a contested terrain that shifts over time with social struggles and conflicts. This proposition is supported by a periodisation analysis of five theoretical themes or trends in the last 30 years of US social responsibility accounting: the Brilovian Critique, the Caring Society Critique, the Caring Market Critique, the Market Re‐regulation Critique, and the Radical Critique. Even if adherence to the middle ground is deemed desirable, it requires a social analysis of the concrete circumstances of each period – today′s middle ground cannot be extrapolated into the future.
This article examines the construction of systems of meaning at two levels: the writing of the history of the corporation; and the role of annual reports in constructing a…
This article examines the construction of systems of meaning at two levels: the writing of the history of the corporation; and the role of annual reports in constructing a system of meaning about the experiences of individual corporations.We argue that the transaction cost explanation of corporate history, which stresses the formative roles of technological and market forces, and management's quest for efficiency, serves to legitimate the modern corporate form and oligopolistic market structures. We provide an alternative, critical framework, which emphasises the importance of conflict over the distribution of income and wealth to our understanding of the emergence of modern corporate structures, strategies and accounting information systems.This alternative approach is illustrated through the history of General Motors' (GM) relations with the US State. The annual reports of the company are used as the primary, although not exclusive, source of data. We show that these documents represent history and current events in a partisan manner that makes them weapons in distributional conflicts.