Social and Environmental Reporting in the UK: A Pedagogic Evaluation

Aberdeen Papers in Accountancy, Finance & Management WP 02-01

41 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2002

See all articles by Jan Bebbington

Jan Bebbington

University of Aberdeen - Business School

Ian Thomson

University of Strathclyde - Department of Accounting and Finance

Date Written: January 24, 2002

Abstract

In essence, this paper argues that the provision of accounts about an organisation can be viewed as being a process of education and is thus amenable to a pedagogic assessment. In providing accounts about their activities, organisations are educating those internal and external to their organisation about 'events' which have previously been unknown, or incompletely known to account audiences. As a result, a changed perception of the organisation, the 'events' described or some other change in understanding may emerge. Taking this premise as a starting point, this paper seeks to explore how social and environmental reporting (hereafter SER) may be evaluated from a pedagogic perspective. In undertaking this task, this paper draws extensively (but not exclusively) from the work of Paulo Freire (primarily Freire, 1996). We argue that Freire's work is relevant to the evaluation of SER because Freire focuses on the critical and emancipatory possibilities of education. In a similar vein, proponents of SER suggest that it provides some possibilities for emancipatory change. Evaluating SER through the lens of Freire's work sheds light on the robustness of these claims.

Keywords: Critical social science; Education; Social and environmental reporting; Stakeholder engagement

JEL Classification: M40

Suggested Citation

Bebbington, Jan and Thomson, Ian H., Social and Environmental Reporting in the UK: A Pedagogic Evaluation (January 24, 2002). Aberdeen Papers in Accountancy, Finance & Management WP 02-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=298584 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.298584

Jan Bebbington (Contact Author)

University of Aberdeen - Business School ( email )

Edward Wright Building Dunbar Street
Aberdeen AB24 3QY, Scotland
United Kingdom
+44 0 1224 273590 (Phone)
+44 0 1224 272214 (Fax)

Ian H. Thomson

University of Strathclyde - Department of Accounting and Finance

Curran Building
100 Cathedral Street
Glasgow G4 0LN
United Kingdom

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