Accounting and accountability in the Anthropocene
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Purpose: This paper aims to interrogate the nature and relevance of debates around the existence of, and ramifications arising from, the Anthropocene for accounting scholarship. Design/methodology/approach: The paper’s aim is achieved through an in-depth analysis of the Anthropocene, paying attention to cross disciplinary contributions, interpretations and contestations. Some points of connection between the Anthropocene and accounting scholarship are then proposed and illuminated through a case study drawn from the seafood sector. Findings: This paper develops findings in two areas. First, there are suggestions about how accounting scholarship might be further developed by the provocation that thinking about the Anthropocene provides. Second, we suggest new accounting research findings, through engagement with the case study, and propose that the concept of stewardship may re-emerge in discussions about accountability in the Anthropocene. Research limitations/implications: The paper argues that accounting scholarship focused on social, environmental and sustainability concerns may be further developed by engagement with Anthropocene debates. Practical implications: While accounting practice might have to change to deal with Anthropocene induces effects, this paper focuses on implications for accounting scholarship. Social implications: Human wellbeing is likely to be impacted should environmental impacts accelerate. In addition, an Anthropocene framing alters the understanding of nature-human interactions and how this affects accounting thought. Originality/value: This is the first paper in accounting to seek to establish connections between accounting, accountability and the Anthropocene.
Bebbington , J , Österblom , H , Crona , B , Jouffray , J-B , Larrinaga , C , Russell , S L & Scholtens , B 2020 , ' Accounting and accountability in the Anthropocene ' , Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal , vol. 33 , no. 1 , pp. 152-177 . https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-11-2018-3745
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Copyright © 2019, the authors. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
DescriptionThis research received funding from the Walton Family Foundation (2017-693, 2018-1371), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation (2017-66205, 2019-68336), and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (5668.01).
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