Social accounting's emancipatory potential: A Gramscian critique
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2009, vol. 20, issue 2, 205-227
At the heart of the social accounting project lies a radical and emancipatory intent. Yet social accounting practice, in the form of corporate self reporting, has systematically failed to open up organisations to substantive critique. Rather than rendering transparent the contradictions within capitalism, corporate social accounting primarily obfuscates these. Through corporate social accounting business expresses Moral and Intellectual Leadership, further entrenching its hegemony. This paper offers a theoretical explanation for why this is the case, drawing upon the work of Antonio Gramsci. Corporate social accounting serves a regressive role because it is closely tied to the economic base of society. An emancipatory social accounting would operate relatively autonomously from the economic base and actively expose the contradictions of the current hegemony. Such an accounting could be, indeed is, practiced by civil society. This paper goes further than merely critiquing corporate social accounting and draws attention to some of the different types of social accounting that are practiced by civil society organisations. In drawing attention to these civil society accounts the paper suggests that the social accounting project's emancipatory intent can still be realised although this would require a reassessment of the faith that has hitherto been placed in the corporation as an emancipatory change agent.
Keywords: Social Accounting; Hegemony; Political Economy; Emancipation; Gramsci; Civil Society (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (26) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:20:y:2009:i:2:p:205-227
Access Statistics for this article
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING is currently edited by Marcia Annisette, Christine Cooper and Yves Gendron
More articles in CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().