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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Thereza Raquel Sales de Aguiar

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues related to the use of financial accounting and reporting by discussing three interrelated areas: the theoretical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues related to the use of financial accounting and reporting by discussing three interrelated areas: the theoretical foundations, the framework and practicalities. The paper also discusses participatory and pluralistic approaches to accounting and corporate governance as alternatives to address some of these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a narrative research based on deductive thematic analysis of secondary data. This study provides a general overview of the existing literature of the limits of the use of financial accounting and its impact on business and society.

Findings

In terms of the theoretical foundations, this paper contrasts financial accounting explained by agency theory and a dialogic accounting approach. The findings of this study emphasise the need to establish an accounting framework for the interests of the many (not the few) in conjunction and simultaneously with a participatory and pluralistic approach to corporate governance. Finally, this paper explores accounting for carbon emissions and recent financial accounting scandals to analyse the impact of the inappropriate use of financial accounting and reporting in business and society.

Originality/value

This paper provides an overview of the limits of the use of financial accounting by exploring its theoretical background, framework and practicalities. The paper also discusses the need for new accounting and corporate governance frameworks that allow a pluralistic and participatory approach to the decision-making of companies.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2016

John Ferguson, Thereza Raquel Sales de Aguiar and Anne Fearfull

The purpose of this paper is to explore corporate communications related to climate change in both a voluntary and mandatory setting. Adopting a critical perspective, the…

4676

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore corporate communications related to climate change in both a voluntary and mandatory setting. Adopting a critical perspective, the paper examines how companies who participated in the voluntary UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) and the UK Government’s mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme positioned themselves within the climate change debate. In particular, the analysis draws attention to how companies, through their communicative practice, helped to constitute and reproduce the structure of the field in which they operate.

Design/methodology/approach

A context-sensitive discursive analysis of 99 stand-alone reports produced by companies participating in the UK ETS and CRC over a nine-year period. The analysis is informed by Thompson’s (1990) depth-hermeneutic framework, which mediates the connection between linguistic strategies and the institutional field.

Findings

The analysis suggests that companies tended to adopt particular linguistic strategies in their communications related to climate change. For example, the strategy of “rationalisation” was employed in order to emphasise the organisational “opportunities” resulting from climate change; in this sense, companies sought to exploit climate crises in order to advance a doctrine that endorsed market-based solutions. A noteworthy finding was that in the mandatory CRC period, there was a notable shift towards the employment of the strategies that Thompson (1990) refers to as “differentiation” – whereby companies attempted to displace responsibility by presenting either government or suppliers as barriers to progress.

Originality/value

This paper explores how disclosure on climate change evolved while organisations participate in voluntary and compulsory climate change initiatives. In this respect, the analysis is informed by the social and political context in which the disclosure was produced.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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