Social Accounting Research as If The World Matters: An essay in postalgia and a new absurdism

Rob Gray, Jesse Dillard, Crawford Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


This essay is intended as a self-reflective, auto-critique of the ‘social accounting community’. The essay is directed at the academic community of accountants concerned with social accounting. This `community' is predominantly concerned with English language accounting journals and is preoccupied with the social and environmental practices of the larger private sector organisations. The essay is motivated by a concern over our responsibilities as academics in a world in crisis and a concern that social accounting is losing its energy and revolutionary zeal. This community's social accounting endeavours have taken place in almost complete ignorance of the activities and developments in non accounting communities and, in particular, developments in the public and third sectors. The essay reaches out to the public and third sector work and literature as an illustration of one of the ways in which ‘our’ social accounting can try to prevent itself from becoming moribund.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-573
Number of pages29
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number5
Early online date20 Aug 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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