Critical, social and sustainability accounting

This research specialisation integrates a range of social and environmental considerations into studies of accounting, and critiques the nature of accounting and its effects, considering its actual and potential functions and roles in society.

In this research, technical, economic and financial concerns that are traditionally associated with accounting are supplemented with a concern for the social functioning of accounting and its interrelationship with ethics and the public interest.

Researchers examine the values and assumptions underlying accounting systems, and the ethical, social, environmental, cultural, and political uses and effects of accounting. In many respects, researchers in this area challenge traditional ways of thinking about the nature and role of accounting in society.

Broad themes considered within this research stream include:

  • Social, environmental and sustainable management
  • Social and environmental performance and reporting
  • Business and organisational ethics
  • Accounting and accountability in public sector and not-for-profit entities
  • Corporate social responsibility and accountability
  • Accounting and human rights
  • Social and environmental accounting education
  • Indigenous people and accounting
  • Financial crime
  • Financial inclusion
  • Environmental discourse

La Trobe's researchers in critical, social and environmental accounting and accountability apply a range of theories and methods and adopt a variety of qualitative and quantitative research approaches including a greater sensitivity to the context in which accounting operates, the mutual relations between accounting and its environment, and interdisciplinary awareness.

Critical, social and environmental accounting analysis aims to illuminate the socio-political and value laden dimensions of accounting, in the process problematising accounting as a social, political and situated practice.

Team members