Clicca qui per scaricare

The forgotten origins of social accounting: Two pioneering U.S. models of the early 1970s
Titolo Rivista: CONTABILITÀ E CULTURA AZIENDALE 
Autori/Curatori: Gianfranco Rusconi 
Anno di pubblicazione:  2019 Fascicolo: Lingua: Inglese 
Numero pagine:  24 P. 61-84 Dimensione file:  266 KB
DOI:  10.3280/CCA2019-001004
Il DOI è il codice a barre della proprietà intellettuale: per saperne di più:  clicca qui   qui 


Various countries have adopted pioneering social accounting with different approaches and projects. This analysis concentrates specifically on U.S. account-ing research. The source of this study is U.S. accounting journals of the 1970s, which pub-lished papers studying data and information about the social and environmental effects of firms’ activities. This is a crucial and very often forgotten step in the his-tory of accounting theories and practices, because it shows that, despite some limits and flaws, accounting culture had a sound basis for the birth of social ac-counting. This study focuses particularly on two pioneering models of that time, namely, those of Linowes (1973) and Epstein, Flamholtz, and McDonough (1976), which were developed at a time when the term ‘social accounting’ was unknown or misunderstood. These models are chosen because they were strictly and coher-ently led by the notion of the accounting nature of social/sustainability accounting. Therefore, the research aim of this study is to show that these two pioneering models of the 1970s are historically important for affirming the role of accounting research and profession in social/sustainability accounting, particularly for helping to tackle managerial capture and greenwashing.


Keywords: Social/sustainability accounting, pioneering models, limits, contribu-tions, accountability, accounting profession, managerial capture.

  1. American Accounting Association (1973b). Report of the Committee on Human Resource Accounting. The Accounting Review, Supplement, 48(4): 168-185.
  2. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) (1977). The Measurement of Corporate Social Performance.
  3. Epstein M.J.(Chairperson), Dilley S.C., Estes R.W., Fertig P.E., Oliver B.L. and Ramanathan V.K., American Accounting Association (1976). Report of the Committee on Accounting for Social Performance. American Accounting Association 1975. The Accounting Review, Supplement, 51(4): 38-69.
  4. Anell B. (1985). Exercises in Arbitrariness and Ambiguity. A Study of Twice Cost Benefit Analyses of Industrial Disinvestment Decision. Accounting, Organization and Society, pp.479-492.
  5. Bauer R.A. and Fenn D.H. (1972). The Corporate Social Audit. New York: Russel Sage Foundation.
  6. Bauer R.A. and Fenn D.H. (1973). What is a Corporate Social Audit?. Harvard Business Review, 51(1): 37-48.
  7. Beams F. and Fertig P. (1971). Pollution Control Through Social Cost Conversion. The Journal of Accountancy, November, pp. 37-43.
  8. Bonal J. (1977). Les tableaux de bord du bilan social dre Battelle. Revue Francaise de Gestion, nov-dec., pp. 180-185.
  9. Burton E.J. (1977). Toward a Theory of Corporate Social Accounting: A Comment. The Accounting Review, 52(4): 971-976.
  10. Corbin D. A. (Chairman), Chastain C. E., Daugherty W. K., Fox K. L., Guy D. M. and Ray D. D., American Accounting Association (1973a). Committee on Environmental Effects of Organization Behavior. The Accounting Review, Supplement, 48(4): 72-119.
  11. Churchman C.W. (1968). The Systems Approach. New York: Delacorte Press.
  12. Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, CSEAR, St Andrews site.
  13. De Santis G. and Ventrella A. (1980). Il bilancio sociale dell’impresa. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  14. Dierkes M. (1979). Corporate Social Reporting in Germany: Conceptual Developing and Practical Experiences. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 4(1-2): 87-107.
  15. Dilley S.C. and Weygandt J.J. (1973). Measuring Social Responsibility: an Empirical Test. The Journal of Accountancy, pp. 62-70.
  16. Epstein M.J., Flamholtz E.G. and Mc Donough J.J. (1976). Corporate Social Accounting in the United States of America: State of the Art and Future Prospects. Accounting, Organizations and Society, pp. 23-42.
  17. Ernst and Ernst (1978). Social Responsibility Disclosure Survey of Fortune 500 Annual Reports, Cleveland.
  18. Estes R.W. (1972). Socio-Economic Accounting and External Diseconomies. The Accounting Review, 47(2): 284-290.
  19. Franch Law July 12th 1977, concerning social account.
  20. Frederic W.C. (1981). Free market vs. Social Responsibility. Decision Time at the CED. California Management Review, 23(3): 20-28.
  21. Freeman R.E., Harrison J.S:, Wicks A.C., Parmar B.L. and De Colle S. (2010). Stakeholder Theory. The state of the art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  22. Gray R. (1999). The Social Acting Project and Accounting Organizations and Society: Privileging Engagement, Imaginings, New Accountings and Pragmatism over Critique?. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, G12 8LE, DRAFT 2B, December.
  23. GRI, Global reporting Initiative (2002). Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
  24. Grojer J.E. and Stark A. (1977). Social Accounting: A Swedish Attempt. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 2(4): 349-385.
  25. IR (2013). Consultation Draft of the International < IR > Framework Integrated Reporting.
  26. Jensen R.E. (Chairman), Arnet H.E., Frank W.G., Jones G.M., Luoma G.A., Manes R.P. and Oliver B.L., American Accounting Association (1971). Committee on Non-Financial Measures of Effectiveness. The Accounting Review, Supplement, 46(4): 164-211.
  27. Jensen R.E. (Chairman), Campfield W.L., Frank W.G., Luoma G.A., Manes R.P., Oliver B.L.. and Onsi M., American Accounting Association (1972). Committee on Measures of Effectiveness for Social Programs. The Accounting Review, Supplement, 47(4): 336-396.
  28. Jensen R.E. (Chairman), Beams F.A., Churchill N.E., Dilley S.C:, Elias N. and Epstein M., American Accounting Association (1974). Report of the Committee on the Measurement of Social Costs. American Accounting Association. The Accounting Review, Supplement, 49(4): 99-113.
  29. Jensen R. (Chairman) E., Beams F.A., Churchill N.E., Dilley S.C., Elias N. and Epstein M., American Accounting Association (1975). Committee on Social Costs. The Accounting Review, Supplement, 50(4): 50-89.
  30. Linowes D.F. (1968). Socio-Economic Accounting. The Journal of Accountancy, November, pp. 37-42.
  31. Linowes D.F. (1973). The Accounting Profession and Social Progress. The Journal of Accountancy, 136(1): 32-40.
  32. Marques E. (1978). Le bilan social: l’homme, l’entreprise, la citè. Paris: Dalloz.
  33. Marlin J.T. (1973). Accounting for Pollution. The Journal of Accountancy, 135(2): 41-46.
  34. Matacena A. (1984). Impresa e ambiente, “il bilancio sociale”. Bologna: Clueb.
  35. Mathew M. R. (1997). Twenty-five years of social and environmental accounting research: Is there a silver jubilee to celebrate?. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 10(4): 481-531.
  36. Medawar C. (1976). The social audit: a political view. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 1(4): 389-394.
  37. Mobley S.C. (1970). The Challenges of Socio-Economic Accounting. The Accounting Review, 45(4): 762-768.
  38. Owen D.L. (2014). The Evolution of Social Reporting: The Early Days’. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 34(2): 75-80.
  39. Owen D.L., Swift T., Humphrey C. and Bowerman M. (2000). The New Social Audits: Accountability, Managerial Capture or the Agenda of Social Champions?. European Accounting Review, 9(1): 81-98.
  40. Paton W.A. (1971). Earmarks of a Profession-and the APB. The Journal of Accountancy, 131(1): 37-46.
  41. Praxis (1978). Sozial-Bilanz-heute. der Betrieb, Heft 24 vom 16.6, pp. 1141-1144.
  42. Ramanathan V.K. (1976). Toward A Theory of Corporate Social Accounting. The Accounting Review, 51(3): 516-528.
  43. Rusconi G. (1988). Il bilancio sociale d’impresa. Problemi e prospettive. Milano: Giuffré.
  44. Rusconi G. (2012). A reassessment of the “open model” of social account proposed in the mid 1980s: are some insights still useful for the current social accounting debate?. In: Arena P., Cardillo E. (Eds). Social and Environmental Accounting. Roma: Aracne, pp. 17-37.
  45. Rusconi G. (2013). Il bilancio sociale delle imprese, Economia, etica e responsabilità dell’impresa. Roma: Ediesse (second revised edition, first edition 2006).
  46. Tipgos M.A (1977). Toward a Theory of Corporate Social Accounting: A Comment. The Accounting Review, 52(4): 977-983.
  47. Toan A.B. (1973). Accounting and Social Measurement. The Journal of Accountancy, editors’ notebook, 136(1): 30-31.
  48. Ward B. and Dubos R.J. (1973). The Price of Pollution. The Journal of Accountancy, 136(1): 62-68. Excerpt from Chapter 7 of the book Only One Earth. New York: Norton & Company, Inc., 1972.

Gianfranco Rusconi, in "CONTABILITÀ E CULTURA AZIENDALE" 1/2019, pp. 61-84, DOI:10.3280/CCA2019-001004

   

FrancoAngeli è membro della Publishers International Linking Association associazione indipendente e no profit per facilitare l'accesso degli studiosi ai contenuti digitali nelle pubblicazioni professionali e scientifiche