Theoretical Developments of Accountability and Risk
Risk is a pervasive construct in society, and has permeated an increasing number of disciplines. This project seeks to develop new theoretical insights into accounting as a risk discourse. It draws heavily on aspects of the works of Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck on the nature of reflexive modernity, which have yet to be used extensively in the accounting academic literature.
One aspect of the project uses empirical material from the regulatory reaction to large scale corporate and accounting failures in the USA in the early years of the 21st century to analyse the applicability of Giddens' and Beck's theoretical constructs. The remainder of the project explores how social reporting can be viewed as a form of discourse aimed at minimising the risk (for corporations) which can arise from public perceptions of unintended consequences of corporate activities.
The project promises results in the following areas:
- Development of theoretical insights into social and environmental reporting practices as a form of risk discourse
- Insights into the regulatory and the accounting profession's response to large scale accounting failures from the perspective of reflexive modernity
The project is mainly theoretical, with some empirical data coming from secondary sources.