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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 November 2018

Nihel Chabrak

Considering the growing importance of finance in shaping corporate and human activities, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the United Nations Environment Programme…

2362

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the growing importance of finance in shaping corporate and human activities, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System that aims to align the financial system with sustainable development, with a focus on environmental aspects. Following the inquiry call for better disclosure approaches of material information on the “sustainability impacts” of the financial system as one of the areas of improvement to move toward a sustainable financial system, the author argues for a reform of the accounting model to better reflect the compliance of businesses with “quality of growth” imperatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper rests on the entity theory of Littleton (1934).

Findings

The new accounting model requires creating a new equity capital account for the entity that is separate from the shareholders equity account. Valuation as well as other related issues on the functioning of this account is briefly explored in the paper. The reform also requires entrusting the responsibility of answering questions related to valuation, capital maintenance and income distribution to the board of directors that should be composed of representatives of the different capitals which have accrued, temporarily or indefinitely, to the business firm.

Research limitations/implications

This paper calls researchers to explore the theoretical avenues proposed in the paper to develop the model in practice.

Practical implications

The implementation of this reform requires a regulatory reform and the redesign of the economic coordination mechanisms which could be challenging in practice.

Social implications

The accounting model proposed in the paper contributes to a new quality of growth, which is a growth based on well-being and inclusiveness.

Originality/value

The paper draws on the UNEP framework, which has not been investigated in other research studies.

Details

Journal of Capital Markets Studies, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-4774

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2020

Alan Lowe, Yesh Nama, Alice Bryer, Nihel Chabrak, Claire Dambrin, Ingrid Jeacle, Johnny Lind, Philippe Lorino, Keith Robson, Chiara Bottausci, Crawford Spence, Chris Carter and Ekaterina Svetlova

The purpose of this paper is to report the outcome of an interdisciplinary discussion on the concepts of profit and profitability and various ways in which we could…

1238

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the outcome of an interdisciplinary discussion on the concepts of profit and profitability and various ways in which we could potentially problematize these concepts. It is our hope that a much greater attention or reconsideration of the problematization of profit and related accounting numbers will be fostered in part by the exchanges we include here.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts an interdisciplinary discussion approach and brings into conversation ideas and views of several scholars on problematizing profit and profitability in various contexts and explores potential implications of such problematization.

Findings

Profit and profitability measures make invisible the collective endeavour of people who work hard (backstage) to achieve a desired profit level for a division and/or an organization. Profit tends to preclude the social process of debate around contradictions among the ends and means of collective activity. An inherent message that we can discern from our contributors is the typical failure of managers to appreciate the value of critical theory and interpretive research for them. Practitioners and positivist researchers seem to be so influenced by neo-liberal economic ideas that organizations are distrusted and at times reviled in their attachment to profit.

Research limitations/implications

Problematizing opens-up the potential for interesting and significant theoretical insights. A much greater pragmatic and theoretical reconsideration of profit and profitability will be fostered by the exchanges we include here.

Originality/value

In setting out a future research agenda, this paper fosters theoretical and methodological pluralism in the research community focussing on problematizing profit and profitability in various settings. The discussion perspectives offered in this paper provides not only a basis for further research in this critical area of discourse and regulation on the role and status of profit and profitability but also emancipatory potential for practitioners (to be reflective of their practices and their undesired consequences of such practices) whose overarching focus is on these accounting numbers.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 1233 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 August 2019

Nihel Chabrak, Jim Haslam and Helen Oakes

The purpose of this paper is to reflect a critical perspective drawing from phenomenology, especially informed by a reading of Heidegger, to enhance and extend…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect a critical perspective drawing from phenomenology, especially informed by a reading of Heidegger, to enhance and extend appreciation of the need to question accounting’s meaning or delineation and how research might be undertaken into the accounting phenomenon and related areas.

Design/methodology/approach

To illustrate and clarify argumentation in terms of accounting mobilization and the domain of accounting research, the mainstream and strongly positivistic accounting perspective adopted in the USA is critically assessed. At the same time, the authors elaborate how much of interpretive research (including much of that labeled critical) is also lacking in terms of the perspective articulated here.

Findings

The paper stresses the case for questioning the taken-for-granted and conventional. It promotes reflexivity, cautious pragmatism, attentiveness to the value of the existing, responsibility to difference and otherness and openness to new possibilities as part of a deeper critical orientation.

Originality/value

The paper draws from phenomenology, especially in Heideggerian terms to open-up new conversational domain to debate accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Nihel Chabrak

The purpose of the paper is to propose a model of integrity to help assess corporate responsiveness to this new wave of pressure in the backdrop of the prevailing…

1623

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to propose a model of integrity to help assess corporate responsiveness to this new wave of pressure in the backdrop of the prevailing Shareholder Value Maximization doctrine. In a context of ecological crisis, sustainability is considered in an intergenerational perspective on well-being. Nations are required to maintain the productive base, composed of manufactured, natural and human capitals, to continue producing future generations’ well-being. Such macroeconomic challenges require businesses to contribute to human and natural capitals’ conservation.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applies the integrity model to the historical case of the New Lanark mills from Owen’s (1991/1813-1816) new view of society. Owen’s deeds are compared to his promises in light of community expectations in that time to assess Owen’s commitment to social responsibility through “his honoring his word”.

Findings

The findings show the importance of the concept of “workability” for a business to create an opportunity set for “performance”. Such workability is determined by the business being a person of integrity.

Research limitations/implications

Future researches are invited to use this model to build empirical evidence of corporate irresponsibility in dealing with the new challenges.

Practical implications

This paper’s contribution resides in the capacity to uncover any attempt by businesses to subsume their corporate social responsibility and sustainability commitment to the doxic shareholder value maximization (SVM) ideology.

Social implications

The findings recall the importance for corporate activities to be re-embedded in their social and ecological contexts. This requires an overhaul of the business logic.

Originality/value

The originality of the model of integrity resides in its simplicity and practicality.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

Nihel Chabrak

Since the late 1970s, research in accounting has been colonized by positive accounting theory (PAT) despite strong claims that it is fundamentally flawed in terms of…

2629

Abstract

Purpose

Since the late 1970s, research in accounting has been colonized by positive accounting theory (PAT) despite strong claims that it is fundamentally flawed in terms of epistemology and methodology. This paper aims to offer new insights to PAT by critically examining its basic tenets.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper subjects the language of the Rochester School to a deconstruction that is a transformational reading. This uncovers rhetorical operations and unveils hidden associations with other texts and ideas.

Findings

A new interpretation of the Rochester School discourse is provided. To afford scientific credibility to deregulation within the accounting field, Watts and Zimmerman used supplements and missing links to enhance the authority of PAT. They placed supplements inside their texts to provide a misleading image of PAT. These supplements rest on von Hayek's long‐term shaping blueprint to defeat apostles of the welfare state. Yet, to set PAT apart from normative theories that Watts and Zimmerman claimed were contaminated by value judgments, they made no reference in their text to the tight links between the Rochester School and the libertarian project initiated by von Hayek.

Research limitations/implications

Any reading of PAT cannot present the infinite play of meaning that is possible within a text. Deconstruction involves a commitment to on‐going, eternal questioning.

Originality/value

The paper provides evidence of the relation between PAT and the neoliberal (libertarian) project of von Hayek. PAT is viewed as part of the institutional infrastructure and ideological apparatus that legitimates the hegemony of markets.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Abstract

Details

Managing Reality: Accountability and the Miasma of Private and Public Domains
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-618-8

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

177

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Book part
Publication date: 4 September 2015

Abstract

Details

Sustainability and Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-654-6

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Güler Aras

387

Abstract

Details

Journal of Capital Markets Studies, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-4774

Book part
Publication date: 18 July 2017

Abstract

Details

Parables, Myths and Risks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-534-4

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