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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Richard Slack

This tribute is in memory of Professor David Campbell, who sadly died in June 2017. David was an influential and inspirational global researcher in accounting. This…

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471

Abstract

Purpose

This tribute is in memory of Professor David Campbell, who sadly died in June 2017. David was an influential and inspirational global researcher in accounting. This tribute summarises his significant contribution to the discipline as well as providing insights into his career at Northumbria and Newcastle Universities.

Design/methodology/approach

The tribute provides a review of David’s research and his key publications in accounting. Specifically, his invaluable contribution to social and environmental accounting disclosure and related corporate accountability is highlighted.

Findings

David was a hugely popular personality in the accounting research discipline and he will be missed by colleagues and friends across the world. His insightful research, thinking and engaging personality led to enduring friendships and significant collaborative research publications. David was a great supporter of international conferences at which he actively encouraged and nurtured research by others around him.

Research limitations/implications

David leaves a legacy of influential publications in accounting that have shaped the discipline and have helped develop solid foundations for rigorous future research in the area.

Practical implications

David’s research had significant practical implications with regard to the usefulness of voluntary accounting disclosure narrative to stakeholders. As well as highlighting the policy implications in relation to corporate disclosure, his work contributed to the debate concerning the accountability and ethics of organisations. Beyond research, David was also influential in professional accounting education as ACCA chief examiner for “Governance, Risk and Ethics”, embedding these issues into the curriculum.

Social implications

The tribute highlights David’s global collaborative research friendships and their fruitful publications. He will be a huge loss to those people and others who knew him closely, as well as to the accounting community in general.

Originality/value

David enhanced the discipline as we know it and through his work will continue to shape the discipline in years to come. David had a love for research and for others whom he knew through it.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Laurence Ferry and Richard Slack

Hybrid organising faces a fundamental challenge in managing multiple and conflicting logics. Prior studies have evidenced the performative role of accounting within such a…

Abstract

Purpose

Hybrid organising faces a fundamental challenge in managing multiple and conflicting logics. Prior studies have evidenced the performative role of accounting within such a context largely in support of neoliberal hegemony and economic logic. Mindful of such conflict and the support towards economic logic, drawing on universal accountings, this study provides insights from counter accounting and its potential to serve pluralism and the emancipation of marginalised constituencies.

Design/methodology/approach

The research examined The Great Exhibition of the North (GEOTN), England's largest event in 2018, which utilised themes of art, design and innovation to support a regeneration and economic growth agenda. This was led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) a hybrid organisation combining logics for economic and social legacies, whose accounts are contrasted to counter accounts from a social movement; The Other Great Exhibition of the North, “OtherGEN”. The study involved 30 in-depth semi-structured interviews, detailed observation and documentation review providing account and counter account of the event.

Findings

The findings reveal that GEOTN promoted an agenda offering a duality of economic and social logics through the arts and culture delivering a lasting economic and social legacy. This employed traditional accountings and associated performance targets and measurement through a formal evaluation framework. Emergent tensions were apparent evidencing a more dominant economic logic. The purported use of culture was portrayed as artwashing by a counter account narrative enmeshed in a backdrop of austerity. This wider accounting highlights the need for reflection on logic plurality and enables challenge to the performative role of traditional accounting in hybrid organising.

Originality/value

Universal accountings, such as counter accounting, can be advanced to unpack “faked” logics duality in hybrid organising. This reveals the emancipatory potential of accountings and the need for dialogic reflection. Hybrid organising requires careful consideration of accounting as a universal praxis to support social and economic pluralism and democratic ideals.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Richard Slack and Philip Shrives

This editorial aims to provide an overview of the four papers included in this special issue. It discusses the development of voluntary disclosure research and its…

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1453

Abstract

Purpose

This editorial aims to provide an overview of the four papers included in this special issue. It discusses the development of voluntary disclosure research and its potential future directions.

Design/methodology/approach

The editorial adopts a review approach, identifying key issues and provides a context for future research.

Findings

The editorial highlights some of the difficulties with research into voluntary disclosure, calls for further reflection and suggests factors to consider in future research in this area.

Originality/value

The editorial provides a review of current issues in disclosure research and reviews these papers which demonstrate a particular approach to research that is relevant to both practitioners and academics.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

N. Rowbottom and A. Lymer

The purpose of this paper is to explore who uses narrative reporting information contained within online corporate annual reports and assess the relative use of different…

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4761

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore who uses narrative reporting information contained within online corporate annual reports and assess the relative use of different types of narrative information.

Design/methodology/approach

Web server logs were used to analyse over one million instances where information is successfully delivered to users of the corporate web sites of 15 FTSE 350 companies.

Findings

The most frequent users of the online annual report are, respectively, private individuals, those registered under internet service providers, employees and professional investors/creditors. The results suggest that those with greater experience and expertise in preparing and using financial accounts adopt different information preferences with respect to the online annual report. Although experienced users such as professional investors, creditors and accounting firms use the annual report to download predominantly detailed financial accounting data, the widespread availability and accessibility of the online annual report allows narratives to provide a source of general company information for employees and a wider stakeholder audience.

Originality/value

The paper presents the first large‐scale survey into the use and users of online annual reports.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 November 2008

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576

Abstract

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 9 June 2008

Richard Slack and Philip Shrives

This longitudinal study aims to examine the extent to which football clubs in the Premier League communicate community activities in their annual reports through social…

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2525

Abstract

Purpose

This longitudinal study aims to examine the extent to which football clubs in the Premier League communicate community activities in their annual reports through social disclosure. The research also seeks to examine the relevance and use of the annual report as a disclosure medium by football clubs. The need for social disclosure is examined in conjunction with media coverage of issues affecting Premier League clubs.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is deductive using three main hypotheses to test relevant underpinning theory used within the research. The study uses content analysis of annual report social disclosures of ten Premier League football clubs from 1993 to 2002, covering the first ten years of the Premier League. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the use of annual reports by those clubs. In addition, media reporting data from The Sunday Times is examined.

Findings

This study finds that there has been an increase in adverse media reporting concerning football, football clubs and their activities. One way in which clubs have responded to this increased attention and criticism is by expanding their community activities and associated social reporting, although reporting varies between clubs. The study finds that football clubs do value the annual report as an effective means of communication.

Research limitations/implications

The authors acknowledge that some limitations inevitably affect the generalisabilty of this research. The use of content analysis, the precise methods adopted and the reliance on The Sunday Times constitute limitations. Nevertheless, the research has shown that clubs do engage with their local communities and have increased their reporting of such activities. The research has implications for those football clubs who fail to report their social activities. Further research could explore, why some clubs disclose more than others.

Originality/value

Football is a visible and important part of the UK economy. The study of social reporting by football clubs is in its infancy and this paper tests and applies relevant accounting theory to that sector. It shows that football clubs have begun to take social disclosure seriously within their annual reports.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Richard Slack and Matthias Munz

A change in leadership can signal a shift in corporate strategy to drive future value creation. To help achieve this, a different emphasis may be placed upon the…

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1519

Abstract

Purpose

A change in leadership can signal a shift in corporate strategy to drive future value creation. To help achieve this, a different emphasis may be placed upon the intellectual capital (IC) resources within the organisation. The purpose of this paper is to examine the changes in volume, composition and emphasis of IC disclosure in annual reports mapped against the re-orientation of corporate strategy and associated leadership change.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal period of over three decades (1979-2010) is examined. Adopting a case-based approach, Daimler AG is purposively selected for this research having a number of distinct changes in strategy over the period, reflective of leadership change. Using content analysis, annual report IC-related disclosures (structural, relational and human capital) by Daimler AG are examined, by category and more detailed sub-categories, against corporate strategy.

Findings

The composition and emphasis of IC disclosures found in the annual reports changes over the longitudinal period and is reflective of the prevailing corporate strategy at that time. There were four identified periods of strategy, each associated with leadership change. The prevalence and qualitative focus of IC disclosures relevant to each period reflects the importance of respective IC components in corporate value creation.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on annual report IC disclosures within one case company and hence reflect the messages conveyed by that company over the longitudinal period. Additionally, the authors recognise that the annual report is only one source of corporate information, but as a historic record it serves to consistently capture management disclosure over a long-time period. Future research, adopting an econometric approach, could further test the linkages between leadership change, strategic shift and IC-related disclosure.

Practical implications

The research reveals how IC-related disclosure shifts to reflect leadership and strategic change within a case company. Through such disclosure, the authors are able to gain greater insight into how a specific business seeks to create value drawing on the components of IC underpinning corporate strategy.

Originality/value

The research provides new insights into IC disclosure by mapping its content and emphasis against changes in corporate strategy. This has contemporary significance due to the wider disclosure debate concerning strategy and value creation in the annual report, for instance through integrated reporting. Further, the research shows the value of annual reports for longitudinal disclosure research.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Matthew Bamber and Kevin McMeeking

The purpose of this paper is to address “the existing literature gap on the information content of derivatives reporting”. Prior work finds failings in compliance with…

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1345

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address “the existing literature gap on the information content of derivatives reporting”. Prior work finds failings in compliance with mandatory reporting requirements in respect of financial instruments and derivative financial instruments. Instead of identifying weaknesses in compliance the paper identifies where firms over‐comply or in other words, where firms voluntarily disclose more than they are required and whether this is incremental information or serves another purpose.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the financial instruments disclosures of the FTSE 100 non‐financial IFRS 7 compliant firms. Based on these results, on a case‐by‐case basis the authors address potential causes and rationale for this extra disclosure.

Findings

Prior research suggests that it is counter intuitive to argue that firms will provide voluntary disclosure in a mandatory reporting environment because information of this sort tends to be proprietary and competition sensitive, not to mention costly to prepare. However, it is found that firms have voluntarily published information in excess of the requirements and the authors suggest that this extra detail is most commonly associated with a legitimation strategy.

Originality/value

In spite of the importance of derivatives usage and management in addition to the increased and often complex reporting requirements, the authors are not aware of any previous study of this type.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Nick Collett and Elisabeth Dedman

The paper aims to examine the link between firm‐level large share price movements, firm‐specific company announcements and corporate governance. Stock market regulation in…

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1410

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the link between firm‐level large share price movements, firm‐specific company announcements and corporate governance. Stock market regulation in the UK requires firms to disclose new price‐sensitive information immediately via official news providers. The paper investigates whether large share price movements are accompanied by firm disclosure. It also investigates whether corporate governance attributes influence the degree of disclosure by firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The disclosure measure is constructed by identifying the largest abnormal daily stock returns for sample firms, and then firm‐specific announcements in the three‐day window centred on the abnormal return day are searched. Corporate governance variables known to influence disclosure practice are then collected and tested to ascertain whether they influence disclosure for positive and negative (good and bad announcements) abnormal returns.

Findings

Large share price movements are accompanied by an official share price movement in 45.2 per cent of cases. This rises to 62.9 per cent when new analyst or newspaper articles are included as potential drivers of the abnormal share price return. The higher the proportion of non‐executive directors and CEO/chair duality lead to a higher incidence of bad news disclosure, suggesting increased scrutiny works. The higher the level of CEO and board ownership the lower the level of disclosure. Finally, institutional ownership concentration appears to negatively influence the level of disclosure.

Originality/value

Higher levels of corporate governance are shown to lead to better firm disclosure. At the same time, the authors find that in almost 40 per cent of large abnormal share price returns no information has come to the market to drive the share price. Thus, the paper has important messages for regulators, who need to investigate why prices often move a long way without accompanying news. Shareholders, particularly institutions, should ensure high levels of disclosure by company directors.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 31 July 2009

David Campbell, Ken McPhail and Richard Slack

Annual reporting has moved from the conveyance of “simple” accounting numbers and more towards narrative, graphical, pictorial and broader aesthetic content conveyance. At…

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2794

Abstract

Purpose

Annual reporting has moved from the conveyance of “simple” accounting numbers and more towards narrative, graphical, pictorial and broader aesthetic content conveyance. At the same time, there has been a small but growing discussion of the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Zygmunt Bauman and in particular the ethic of the Other. The aim of this paper is to explore the presence of faces in annual reports.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on initial observations from the analysis of human representations in the annual reports of 14 companies for all years 1989 to 2003 (210 annual reports), the paper interprets the increase from a Levinasian perspective, drawing substantially from Bauman's articulation of Levinas' ethic of the Other. Particularly within the work of Levinas, this ethic is articulated through the nakedness of the face. Analysis is partly performed through illustration of the site of audiencing, a key visual methodology, in annual report images.

Findings

A significant rise in total human representation over time is interpreted in Levinasian terms and the range of sites of audiencing is demonstrated. Arguments are discussed that suggest a counter‐hegemonic understanding of the corporations' responsibility to the Other.

Originality/value

The paper provides a critical analysis of what this kind of face work means within the context of Levinas' ethics of the Other. The paper explores what this kind of face work means for the possibility of Levinasian‐inspired moral development and the potential for a counter‐hegemonic face work that may promote accountability.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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