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Sustaining diversity in social and environmental accounting research

Robin W. Roberts and Dana M. Wallace

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2015, vol. 32, issue C, 78-87

Abstract: During its relatively brief, 40-year life as a recognized field of inquiry (Owen, 2008), research in social and environmental accounting (SEA) has witnessed its fair share of struggles within both the mainstream and critical accounting literature. Only recently, the elite mainstream academic journals in the United States have (re)discovered SEA-related work on corporate social responsibility, and in a vast majority of that work, earlier SEA studies are either not acknowledged (e.g., Elliott, Jackson, Peecher, & White, 2014) or are dismissed as irrelevant to the discussion at hand (e.g., Moser & Martin, 2012). Critical accounting research has been more welcoming generally to SEA topics, although there has been near constant tension between the reformist approach taken in many SEA studies and the more radical tenor understandably present in critical research (e.g., Spence, 2009; Tinker et al., 1991). At certain points in the development of SEA research, common ground has been found (Tinker & Gray, 2003). Grappling with these dilemmas seems especially acute for quantitative SEA work that follows an objectivist/positivist research tradition, often facing increasing methodological hurdles from the elite mainstream, and/or a rejection of fundamental assumptions by critical theorists.

Keywords: Critique; Environnemental; Social; Crítica; Ambiental; Social; Social accounting; Environmental accounting; Corporate social responsibility; Sustainability; Quantitative research (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:32:y:2015:i:c:p:78-87