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Recent developments in social and environmental accounting research

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  • Teresa Eugénio
  • Isabel Costa Lourenço
  • Ana Isabel Morais
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The last years have witnessed a growth in interest in social and environmental questions. Many companies have developed environmental management and auditing systems and altered their social and environmental disclosure practices. These developments resulted in the growth of research focusing on the analysis of information disclosed by companies. The purpose of this study is to contribute a reflection on the papers that have been published on social and environmental accounting from 2000 to 2006. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review of the papers examining social and environmental matters published in selected accounting journals allows the identification of the key content issues, methodologies and research questions which have been predominant in the social environmental accounting research (SEAR) area. It also enables one to pin-point areas for future research. Findings – The content was examined and classified in four groups: social and environmental accounting systems; social and environmental disclosures; regulation impact; and relations among environmental disclosure and environmental performance. For each group, the research method; data origins and type of data; industry and country were identified. Almost all the studies are based on content analysis and interviews. Data are collected not only from the financial statements but also from other types of information disclosed by companies. In many cases, industry activities are selected carefully and most of the studies used data from the UK, Australia, and the USA. Originality/value – The paper provides a contribution to the development of the SEAR area, exploring different views. It also helps schools to identify areas for future research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 286-305

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:6:y:2010:i:2:p:286-305

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    Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
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    Related research

    Keywords: Research; Research methods; Social accounting;

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Carlos Larrinaga & Francisco Carrasco & Carmen Correa & Fernando Llena & Jose Moneva, 2002. "Accountability and accounting regulation: the case of the Spanish environmental disclosure standard," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 723-740.
    2. David Campbell & Geoff Moore & Philip Shrives, 2006. "Cross-sectional effects in community disclosure," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(6), pages 96-114, November.
    3. Campbell, Katherine & Sefcik, Stephan E & Soderstrom, Naomi S, 2003. " Disclosure of Private Information and Reduction of Uncertainty: Environmental Liabilities in the Chemical Industry," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 349-78, December.
    4. Patten, Dennis M., 2002. "The relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: a research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 763-773, November.
    5. Denis Cormier & Michel Magnan & Barbara Van Velthoven, 2005. "Environmental disclosure quality in large German companies: Economic incentives, public pressures or institutional conditions?," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 3-39.
    6. Matteo Bartolomeo & Martin Bennett & Jan Jaap Bouma & Peter Heydkamp & Peter James & Teun Wolters, 2000. "Environmental management accounting in Europe: current practice and future potential," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 31-52.
    7. Deegan, Craig & Blomquist, Christopher, 2006. "Stakeholder influence on corporate reporting: An exploration of the interaction between WWF-Australia and the Australian minerals industry," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(4-5), pages 343-372.
    8. de Villiers, Charl & van Staden, Chris J., 2006. "Can less environmental disclosure have a legitimising effect? Evidence from Africa," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 763-781, November.
    9. Patten, Dennis M., 2005. "The accuracy of financial report projections of future environmental capital expenditures: a research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 457-468, July.
    10. Herbohn, Kathleen, 2005. "A full cost environmental accounting experiment," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 519-536, August.
    11. Lehman, Glen, 1999. "Disclosing new worlds: a role for social and environmental accounting and auditing," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 217-241, April.
    12. van der Laan Smith, Joyce & Adhikari, Ajay & Tondkar, Rasoul H., 2005. "Exploring differences in social disclosures internationally: A stakeholder perspective," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 123-151.
    13. Ullmann, Arieh A., 1979. "Corporate social reporting: Political interests and conflicts in Germany," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 4(1-2), pages 123-133, January.
    14. Jose Moneva & Fernando Llena, 2000. "Environmental disclosures in the annual reports of large companies in Spain," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 7-29.
    15. Medawar, Charles, 1976. "The social audit: A political view," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 389-394, October.
    16. Lars Hassel & Henrik Nilsson & Siv Nyquist, 2005. "The value relevance of environmental performance," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 41-61.
    17. David Campbell & Geoff Moore & Philip Shrives, 2006. "Cross-sectional effects in community disclosure," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 96-114, January.
    18. Satish Joshi & Ranjani Krishnan & Lester Lave, 2002. "Estimating the Hidden Costs of Environmental Regulation," Working Papers 02-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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