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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Shona Russell, Markus J. Milne and Colin Dey

The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesise academic research in environmental accounting and demonstrate its shortcomings. It provokes scholars to rethink their…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesise academic research in environmental accounting and demonstrate its shortcomings. It provokes scholars to rethink their conceptions of “accounts” and “nature”, and alongside others in this AAAJ special issue, provides the basis for an agenda for theoretical and empirical research that begins to “ecologise” accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising a wide range of thought from accounting, geography, sociology, political ecology, nature writing and social activism, the paper provides an analysis and critique of key themes associated with 40 years research in environmental accounting. It then considers how that broad base of work in social science, particularly pragmatic sociology (e.g. Latour, Boltanksi and Thévenot), could contribute to reimagining an ecologically informed accounting.

Findings

Environmental accounting research overwhelmingly focuses on economic entities and their inputs and outputs. Conceptually, an “information throughput” model dominates. There is little or no environment in environmental accounting, and certainly no ecology. The papers in this AAAJ special issue contribute to these themes, and alongside social science literature, indicate significant opportunities for research to begin to overcome them.

Research limitations/implications

This paper outlines and encourages the advancement of ecological accounts and accountabilities drawing on conceptual resources across social sciences, arts and humanities. It identifies areas for research to develop its interdisciplinary potential to contribute to ecological sustainability and social justice.

Originality/value

How to “ecologise” accounting and conceptualise human and non-human entities has received little attention in accounting research. This paper and AAAJ special issue provides empirical, practical and theoretical material to advance further work.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 November 2019

Jan Bebbington, Henrik Österblom, Beatrice Crona, Jean-Baptiste Jouffray, Carlos Larrinaga, Shona Russell and Bert Scholtens

The purpose of this paper is to interrogate the nature and relevance of debates around the existence of, and ramifications arising from, the Anthropocene for accounting…

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3976

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to interrogate the nature and relevance of debates around the existence of, and ramifications arising from, the Anthropocene for accounting scholarship.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper’s aim is achieved through an in-depth analysis of the Anthropocene, paying attention to cross-disciplinary contributions, interpretations and contestations. Possible points of connection between the Anthropocene and accounting scholarship are then proposed and illuminated through a case study drawn from the seafood sector.

Findings

This paper develops findings in two areas. First, possible pathways for further development of how accounting scholarship might evolve by the provocation that thinking about the Anthropocene is outlined. Second, and through engagement with the case study, the authors highlight that the concept of stewardship may re-emerge in discussions about accountability in the Anthropocene.

Research limitations/implications

The paper argues that accounting scholarship focused on social, environmental and sustainability concerns may be further developed by engagement with Anthropocene debates.

Practical implications

While accounting practice might have to change to deal with Anthropocene induced effects, this paper focuses on implications for accounting scholarship.

Social implications

Human well-being is likely to be impacted if environmental impacts accelerate. In addition, an Anthropocene framing alters the understanding of nature–human interactions and how this affects accounting thought.

Originality/value

This is the first paper in accounting to seek to establish connections between accounting, accountability and the Anthropocene.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Ian Thomson, Colin Dey and Shona Russell

The purpose of this paper is to provide theoretical and empirical insights into the effective use of external accounts by social activists in conflict arenas in order to…

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5021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide theoretical and empirical insights into the effective use of external accounts by social activists in conflict arenas in order to bring about change.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a longitudinal case study of Action on Smoking and Health UK (ASH) and their use of external accounts and other activist practices during the period 1999-2010. The authors explore these practices from the perspective of one organisation engaged in conflict arenas concerning the (un)acceptability of tobacco production, consumption and governance. The authors conduct the exploration based upon a dynamic conflict arena framework that attends to the range of external accounting and activist practices, tactical intentions and states of conflict used by ASH to confront the tobacco industry and bring about change in tobacco governance.

Findings

The study identifies the use of a diverse range of external accounts and other activist practices. This assemblage of practices was used to confront, counter-act and to co-operate with actors engaged in tobacco-related conflicts. The evidence suggests that the deployment of different types of external accounts by ASH was aligned to the context of the particular conflict arena involved, and was influenced by the strategy and engagement tactics of the activists and other actors, as well as power dynamics and acceptability of the tobacco governance in the conflict arena. Whilst ASH used different external accounts in specific episodes of activism, these individual accounts also contributed to an emerging holistic account of the unacceptable consequences of tobacco production, consumption and governance.

Originality/value

This study provides new theoretical and empirical insights into how external accounts can contribute to the problematisation of governance and development of social and environmental change agendas. The dynamic conflict arena framework developed in this paper creates new visibilities and possibilities for developing external accounting practices and for researching this fast-developing area of social and environmental accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Sumit Lodhia

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956

Abstract

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 15 December 2017

Shona Robinson-Edwards and Craig Pinkney

The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of Ibrahim, an ex-offender who has embraced Islam. Ibrahim professes Islam to be the influential element to his…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of Ibrahim, an ex-offender who has embraced Islam. Ibrahim professes Islam to be the influential element to his desistance process. This study explores Ibrahim’s journey, emphasising and reflecting upon youth; criminality and religiosity. Much of the current research relating to Black men and offending is limited to masculinity, father absence, gangs and criminality. The role of religiosity in the lives of offenders and/or ex-offenders is often overlooked. The authors suggest that identity, religiosity and desistance can raise a host of complexities while highlighting the unique challenges and benefits experienced by Ibrahim, following the practice of religion.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper took a qualitative, ethnographic approach, in the form of analysing and exploring Ibrahim’s personal lived experience. The analysis of semi-structured interviews, and reflective diaries, utilising grounded theory allowed the formation of the following three core themes: desistance, religion and identity.

Findings

The findings within this paper identify an interlink between desistance, religion and identity. The role of religiosity is becoming increasingly more important in academic social science research. This paper highlights the complexities of all three above intersections.

Research limitations/implications

This paper explores the complexities of religiosity in the desistance process of Ibrahim. Research in relation to former gang members in the UK and the role of religiosity in their lives is fairly under-researched. This paper seeks to build on existing research surrounding gang, further exploring religiosity from a UK context.

Practical implications

Time spent with Ibrahim had to be tightly scheduled, due to the work commitments of both Ibrahim and the researcher. Therefore, planning had to be done ahead in an efficient manner.

Social implications

Researching the way individuals experience the world is a “growing phenomenon”. This paper aimed to explore the lived experience of religiosity from the perspective of Ibrahim. However, it was important to not stereotype and label all Black males who have embraced Islam and desisted from crime. Therefore, this paper’s intention is not to stereotype Black men, but to raise awareness and encourage further discussion surrounding the role of religiosity in the lives of ex-offenders’.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, studies specifically focusing on the role of Islam in the life of an ex-offender are few and far between. Therefore, findings from this study are important to develop further understanding surrounding religiosity, offending and desistance. This study explores the lived experiences of Ibrahim, an former gang member and ex-offender who professes Islam to be a fundamental source to his desistance process.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Jill Atkins, Warren Maroun, Barry Colin Atkins and Elisabetta Barone

The purpose of this paper is to explore a possible framework for extinction accounting which builds on but also extends significantly the existing GRI guidelines relating…

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5143

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore a possible framework for extinction accounting which builds on but also extends significantly the existing GRI guidelines relating to species identified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List as under threat of extinction.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses disclosures relating to rhinoceros conservation and protection produced by top South African-listed companies in order to assess the current state of “extinction accounting”. Following this analysis, the authors explore and discuss a potential framework for extinction accounting which may be used by companies to demonstrate their accountability for species and disclose the ways in which they are working alone, and in partnerships, to prevent species extinction.

Findings

Corporate disclosures relating to rhinoceros may be interpreted as emancipatory. The authors identify several disclosure themes dealing with rhinoceros in integrated and sustainability reports of large South African companies and on their websites. Contrary to initial expectations, there is evidence to suggest corporate awareness of the importance of addressing the risk of this species becoming extinct.

Research limitations/implications

The authors have relied on public corporate disclosures and would like to extend the work further to include interview data for a further paper.

Practical implications

An extinction accounting framework may be applied to corporate accounting and accountability for any species under threat of extinction. The framework may also be considered for use as a tool for institutional investors as well as NGO engagement and dialogue with stakeholder companies.

Social implications

The rhinoceros has, from the analysis, significant cultural, heritage, eco-tourism and intrinsic value. Developing and implementing an emancipatory extinction accounting framework to prevent extinction will have a substantial social and environmental impact.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to the knowledge to explore accounting for extinction and a possible extinction accounting framework. It is also the first attempt to investigate accounting and accountability for the rhinoceros.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2019

Garry D. Carnegie

Expanding upon the special issue entitled “The special issue: AAAJ and research innovation”, published in 2012, this introduction to the second special issue of the genre…

Abstract

Purpose

Expanding upon the special issue entitled “The special issue: AAAJ and research innovation”, published in 2012, this introduction to the second special issue of the genre is concerned with selected thematic special issues of AAAJ appearing during the second decade of publication from 1998 to 2007. The paper explores research innovation by means of the thematic issues addressed from this decade.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides a background to this special issue and an outline of the articles included. The issue features seven retrospective/prospective articles written by the guest editors of special thematic issues published during 1998 to 2007, supplemented where appropriate by other co-authors or, in one instance, by a new author team.

Findings

The guest editors and other contributing authors sought to identify and discuss the progression of each field since the AAAJ special issue was published, and to assess the impacts of the special issues to this progression, and to propose future research developments in the designated fields.

Research limitations/implications

This commentary on articles published is no substitute for carefully reading these contributions. The papers provide a comprehensive review of key developments in the literature until most recently and explore the opportunities for further innovative interdisciplinary accounting research.

Originality/value

This AAAJ special issue, and the earlier 2012 prototype, constitute a different approach to producing special issues, where the original special issues are revisited with a view to assessing research trends and impacts and to identifying research developments which are ripe for pursuing in each of these interdisciplinary accounting fields.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Silvia Gaia and Michael John Jones

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of narratives in biodiversity reports as a mechanism to raise the awareness of biodiversity’s importance. By classifying…

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1049

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of narratives in biodiversity reports as a mechanism to raise the awareness of biodiversity’s importance. By classifying biodiversity narratives into 14 categories of biodiversity values this paper investigates whether the explanations for biodiversity conservation used by UK local councils are line with shallow, intermediate or deep philosophies.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used content analysis to examine the disclosures on biodiversity’s importance in the biodiversity action plans published by UK local councils. The narratives were first identified and then allocated into 14 categories of biodiversity value. Then, they were ascribed to either shallow (resource conservation, human welfare ecology and preservationism), intermediate (environmental stewardship and moral extensionism) or deep philosophies.

Findings

UK local councils explained biodiversity’s importance mainly in terms of its instrumental value, in line with shallow philosophies such as human welfare ecology and resource conservation. UK local councils sought to raise awareness of biodiversity’ importance by highlighting values that are important for the stakeholders that are able to contribute towards biodiversity conservation such as landowners, residents, visitors, business and industries. The authors also found that local councils’ biodiversity strategies were strongly influenced by 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the few accounting studies that engages with the literature on environmental ethics to investigate biodiversity. In line with stakeholder theory, it indicates that explanations on biodiversity’s importance based on anthropocentric philosophies are considered more effective in informing those stakeholders whose behaviour needs to be changed to improve biodiversity conservation.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2018

John Dumay, Charl de Villiers, James Guthrie and Pei-Chi Hsiao

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the highly cited articles published in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ), since its inception, to answer three…

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1970

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the highly cited articles published in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ), since its inception, to answer three research questions: first, how have scholarly articles published in AAAJ developed? second, what are the focus areas and characteristics of articles in AAAJ, and who are the influential authors? third, who are the emerging next generation scholars and what are the emerging research themes in AAAJ?

Design/methodology/approach

A structured literature review (SLR) was used to analyse 126 most cited classic AAAJ articles and 21 additional emerging articles published between 1988 and 2016. Traditional literature reviews can have varied results because of a lack of rigour. The SLR method allows for an examination in detail of the articles, authors, focus areas and pattern of AAAJ publishing over three decades.

Findings

The findings show increased diversity in more recent years in theories, methods, origins, focus areas, and where AAAJ articles are cited, which highlights that the interdisciplinary accounting research project is maturing and remaining true to the ideal of being inclusive.

Research limitations/implications

Within this diversity, the analyses show that AAAJ remains focussed on and presents opportunities for impactful accounting research related to social issues, including non-financial corporate reporting/disclosure, public sector accounting, corporate governance and alternative forms of accounting, audit and accountability. Additionally, there is a need for more practice-based research to address the “wicked” problems at the intersection between accounting and society.

Originality/value

This paper presents accounting researchers with an opportunity to develop insightful and publishable studies. Also, it serves as a basis for developing future research agendas in the interdisciplinary accounting field.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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