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Book part
Publication date: 27 January 2014

Camelia Iuliana Lungu, Chiraţa Caraiani and Cornelia Dascălu

This study analyses the scope of social and environmental reporting from the perspective of integrating it in financial reporting and comments on a new approach regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

This study analyses the scope of social and environmental reporting from the perspective of integrating it in financial reporting and comments on a new approach regarding the presentation of social and environmental information in the annual reports from Romanian companies’ perspective.

Methodology

A literature review introduces and justifies the second part of the research. The latter is organised as an exploratory study based on interviews. It presents the current state of Romanian companies’ availability for reconsidering financial reporting from the perspective of corporate social responsibility.

Findings

While social and environmental involvement of Romanian companies is at an early stage, there is a basis for future development of corporate reporting by addressing social and environmental aspects. We noticed that companies have the tendency of responding rather to a mandatory framework than a voluntary one.

Research limitations

The limitations of the research are linked to the study population. The small number of Romanian companies that publicly manifest interest for social responsibility determined the choice of a qualitative instead of a quantitative research.

Social implications

The exploratory study based on the case of Romania accompanies the present state of non-financial versus financial reporting in order to highlight measurable and non-measurable, but relevant, information to be considered in a future reporting framework.

Originality of the chapter

The study advances new lines in accounting research by confronting the national and international perspectives of social and environmental reporting. Debates and arguments on the research results add value and utility to the research.

Details

Accounting in Central and Eastern Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-939-3

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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2003

Marc J Epstein

This paper provides a review of the progress made in both academic literature and corporate practice over the last forty years. Although there has been an increase in the…

Abstract

This paper provides a review of the progress made in both academic literature and corporate practice over the last forty years. Although there has been an increase in the number of companies producing social and environmental reports, the quality of the disclosures has not increased. Further, there is little evidence of progress in the integration of social and environmental impacts into management decisions. The paper provides suggestions on research needs to increase the integration of social and environmental impacts into management decisions and improve both the internal reporting and external disclosures and accountability of corporations.

Details

Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-070-8

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Arzu Özsözgün Çalişkan

– The main purpose of this paper is to illustrate the role of accounting and accounting professionals in sustainability by conducting an in-depth literature review.

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Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to illustrate the role of accounting and accounting professionals in sustainability by conducting an in-depth literature review.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review-based article that does not contain empirical research. A comprehensive literature research was conducted by using online databases of selected scientific publishers and using keywords such as accounting, accounting professionals, sustainability, sustainability reporting and sustainability accounting. In addition to that, web pages of the accounting regulatory bodies and four big audit companies were also investigated.

Findings

Based upon the literature survey, it can be said that there is a lack of defining the relationship between the sustainability concept and accounting and also potential solutions to overcome the problems which create challenges for accounting and accounting professionals.

Research limitations/implications

The only limitation of the study can be explained as it being a literature survey.

Practical implications

It is expected that the results of the paper will appear in several applications among accounting professionals, the firm that they work in, the association of professional accountants, education institutions and all the stakeholders of accounting, especially in countries with the relatively early stage of sustainability practices. The paper may give insight into aforementioned stakeholders of accounting in reformation of accounting toward sustainability.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is to fulfill the gap in the accounting and sustainability literature by suggesting “certified sustainability accountant” credential that is equipped with core knowledge of environmental engineering as a specialized profession to handle the technical accounting problems that are related to sustainability.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Seleshi Sisaye

The ecological framework focuses on ecosystems, natural resources, agricultural practices, geographical locations, conservation and environmental management. Recently…

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4574

Abstract

Purpose

The ecological framework focuses on ecosystems, natural resources, agricultural practices, geographical locations, conservation and environmental management. Recently, ecology has provided the underlying framework for sustainability development and reporting. This paper aims to relate the ecological approach to the environmental and conservation objectives embedded in sustainability development and reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper argues that sustainability reporting is an organizational development and management program that has to be studied within the context of ecological ethics. It examines the evolution of sustainability reporting in relation to triple bottom line (TBL) accounting systems prepared to report the economic, social and environmental objectives of organizations.

Findings

The paper shows that sustainability is a question that transcends several disciplines, including accounting and sociology. While sustainability has been within the domain of sociology (human ecology) and ecological anthropology, recently the subject has attracted researchers from other disciplines, notably from accounting and business management. This paper notes that sustainability development will continue to be of importance to financial accounting reports. TBL reporting has become a competitive advantage for many business organizations for sustained profitability and growth.

Research limitations/implications

The paper examines how governmental and corporations' natural resources conservation efforts have shaped the disclosure of environmental and social information in sustainability accounting reports. It applies theories of functionalism, institutional legitimacy, adaptation, incremental and transformational growth strategies from the organizational ecology and sociology literature to study the evolution of sustainability development and reporting.

Practical implications

Accounting has benefited from sociological theory and methods of research. It highlights the importance of ecological issues in shaping the preparation of sustainability reporting in accounting systems, a subject of interest to practitioners and accounting researchers.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the few attempts to relate ecology and sustainability to accounting reports. It integrates the sociological and organizational development literature related to ecology to advance behavioral accounting research in sustainability reporting beyond current social and environmental issues.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2014

Judy Brown and Jesse Dillard

The purpose of this paper is to critically assess integrated reporting so as to “broaden out” and “open up” dialogue and debate about how accounting and reporting

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8566

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically assess integrated reporting so as to “broaden out” and “open up” dialogue and debate about how accounting and reporting standards might assist or obstruct efforts to foster sustainable business practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors link current debates about integrated reporting to prior research on the contested politics of social and environmental reporting, and critiques of the dominance of business case framings. The authors introduce research from science and technology studies that seeks to broaden out and open up appraisal methods and engagement processes in ways that highlight divergent framings and politically contentious issues, in an effort to develop empowering designs for sustainability. The authors demonstrate the strong resonance between this work and calls for the development of dialogic/polylogic accountings that take pluralism seriously by addressing constituencies and perspectives currently marginalized in mainstream accounting. The authors draw and build on both literatures to critically reflect on the International Integrated Reporting Council's (IIRC, 2011, 2012a, b, 2013a, b) advocacy of a business case approach to integrated reporting as an innovation that can contribute to sustainability transitions.

Findings

The authors argue that integrated reporting, as conceived by the IIRC, provides a very limited and one-sided approach to assessing and reporting on sustainability issues. While the business case framing on which it rests might assist in extending the range of phenomena accounted for in organizational reports, it remains an ideologically closed approach that is more likely to reinforce rather than encourage critical reflection on “business as usual” practices. Recognizing that the meaning and design of integrated reporting are still far from stabilized, the authors also illustrate more enabling possibilities aimed at identifying and engaging diverse socio-political perspectives.

Practical implications

Science and technology studies research on the need to broaden out and open up appraisal methods, together with proposals for dialogic/polylogic accountings, facilitates a critical, nuanced discussion of the value of integrated reporting as a change initiative that might foster transitions to more sustainable business practices.

Originality/value

The authors link ideas and findings from science and technology studies with literature on dialogic/polylogic accountings to engage current debates around the merits of integrated reporting as a change initiative that can contribute to sustainability. This paper advances understanding of the role of accounting in sustainability transitions in three main ways: first, it takes discussion of accounting change beyond the organizational level, where much professional and academic literature is currently focussed, and extends existing critiques of business case approaches to social and environmental reporting; second, it emphasizes the political and power-laden nature of appraisal processes, dimensions that are under-scrutinized in existing accounting literature; and third, it introduces a novel framework that enables evaluation of individual disclosure initiatives such as integrated reporting without losing sight of the big picture of sustainability challenges.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Lachlan McDonald-Kerr

This paper aims to examine how social and environmental issues were accounted for and traded off within decision-making for Australia’s largest seawater desalination…

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4060

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how social and environmental issues were accounted for and traded off within decision-making for Australia’s largest seawater desalination plant. This is done through an investigation of disclosures contained within key publicly available documents pertaining to the project.

Design/methodology/approach

The study deploys content analysis to initially identify relevant disclosures. Themes and subthemes are based on definitions of social and environmental accounting adapted from prior research. Relevant information was used to develop “silent accounts” to identify and analyse accountability issues in the case.

Findings

It was found that a number of claims made throughout reporting were unsupported or insufficiently explained. At the same time, it is found that various forms of basic measurements used to describe social and environmental issues conveyed the rationale of decision makers. It is concluded that many of the claims were asserted rather than evidenced; yet, the manner and context of their presentation gave them the appearance of being incontestable truths. Further, it is argued that the portrayal of social and environmental issues through measurable means is emblematic of values associated with contemporary neoliberal and public sector reforms.

Research limitations/implications

The findings and conclusions of this study are contextually bound and therefore limited to this case.

Practical implications

This paper illustrates problems with the reporting of non-financial information and strengthens our understanding of the use of “silent accounting”. It illustrates the value of this approach to research examining accounting and accountability issues.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the literature on social and environmental accounting by providing unique empirical analysis of non-financial disclosures within publicly available reporting.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2009

Norhayah Zulkifli, Brian Telford and Neil Marriott

Purpose – During the past decade in Malaysia, there has been a rise in the number of companies engaging in a rudimentary form of social and environmental reporting, and

Abstract

Purpose – During the past decade in Malaysia, there has been a rise in the number of companies engaging in a rudimentary form of social and environmental reporting, and this has coincided with high-profile media coverage of environmental disasters in the country. The purpose of this article is to explore the perceptions of accounting practitioners in Malaysia to social and environmental accounting (SEA).

Methodology/approach – The study utilises a mixed-method approach and involves 245 survey questionnaire respondents, 7 in-depth interviews and the qualitative data from 123 of the survey respondents.

Findings – The level of knowledge and awareness of accounting practitioners in Malaysia of SEA is low. They are sceptical about quantification and valuation issues, but are able to see that reform, which would have to be driven by legislation, and could improve business performance regarding social justice and environmental quality.

Research limitations/implications – This study enables the development of SEA and reporting framework as a vehicle for further discussions on business communication and the participants’ perceptions relating to social and environmental accountability in Malaysia. It postulates the strong likelihood that SEA will take root in Malaysia given the strong undercurrents of accounting and business malpractices and the clarion call by many for the reinstatement of the ethical dimension of the profession.

Originality/value of the article – While most research on SEA and reporting in the context of Malaysia focuses on the disclosure aspects, this article explores the perceptions of accounting practitioners and establishes their insights on the issue of social and environmental accountability and reporting.

Details

Accounting in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-626-7

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Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Randolph Nsor-Ambala, Gabriel Sam Ahinful and Jeff Danquah Boakye

This study applies social identity theory (SIT) to explore the perceptual differences among various stakeholder groups regarding the relevance of social and environmental

Abstract

Purpose

This study applies social identity theory (SIT) to explore the perceptual differences among various stakeholder groups regarding the relevance of social and environmental accounting (SEA), SEA education and mandatory disclosure of SEA.

Methodology

The study adopts a mixed method applying a qualitative and quantitative approach. In total, 325 structured questionnaires were analyzed quantitatively, using ANOVA and group comparison methods. Responses from 18 interviews were analyzed qualitatively to provide complementary evidence for the quantitative study.

Findings

There were significant differences between various stakeholder groups regarding the relevance of SEA practice and SEA education. Regulators were mostly affected by considerations about the external perception of work quality, followed by financiers. Practitioners and shareholders were influenced by the ability of SEA in its current state to affect actual work quality. This possibly indicates that academic qualifications have marginal effects on predicting considerations about SEA compared to social identity.

Originality/Value

This is the first application of SIT to SEA research and contributes to the effort to improve SEA within emerging economies, highlighting that a one-size-fits-all approach may be ineffective.

Details

Environmental Reporting and Management in Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-373-0

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

Muhammad Islam and Steven Dellaportas

The aim of this study is to elicit accountants' perceptions regarding corporate social and environmental accounting and reporting practices in a developing country such as…

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10913

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to elicit accountants' perceptions regarding corporate social and environmental accounting and reporting practices in a developing country such as Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) were surveyed to determine their perceptions on issues pertaining to social and environmental accounting and reporting practices in Bangladesh.

Findings

Whilst the findings show that accountants have positive attitudes toward corporate social and environmental accounting, progress is limited, with the absence of ICAB in making any noticeable effort to develop such practices.

Research implications

Unlike prior studies, the implications of this study suggest that without international influence, it is less likely that institutional forces in Bangladesh (ICAB and the government) would be effective in dealing with social and environmental accounting and reporting issues.

Originality/value

While prior studies advocate proactive roles of the accounting profession, this study argues that proactive roles are less likely to prevail in the context of Bangladesh without direct intervention from institutional and regulatory authorities in the international arena.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 October 2021

Seleshi Sisaye

The purpose of this research is to provide an integrated approach of organizational ecology, population ecology and selection mechanisms within the context of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to provide an integrated approach of organizational ecology, population ecology and selection mechanisms within the context of the resource-based view of the firm, evolutionary economics (EC) and transaction cost economics (TCE). It applies this framework to examine the interrelationships between corporate social reporting (CSR) and global reporting initiative.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology for this paper is library-based archival research. It is qualitative and analytically descriptive of prior academic research and published literature on the subject.

Findings

CSR has the potential to provide functional credence to corporate social and environmental activities by legitimizing institutionalized corporate norms and behavior.

Originality/value

Accounting scholars have recognized the need for an integrated approach in the social sciences to examine the multifaceted aspects of sustainability development and accounting. This research highlights that sustainability is related to ecosystems, environments, natural resources, demography, population, culture, political systems and history.

Details

Journal of Business and Socio-economic Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2635-1374

Keywords

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