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Article Review (Approaches and Perspectives in Social and Environmental Accounting)

Brown & Fraser (2006) in “Approaches and perspectives in social and environmental accounting” argues that corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social and environmental accounting (SEA) have resulted to different understanding of the business environment. The authors have brought out their views concerning CSR and SEA through evaluation of the comparison of the three approaches of the theories (Brown & Fraser, 2006 p. 104-113). They have also looked at different expressions that commentators as well as other scholars have done with regards to the dominance that has been shown by business case in the business today. The approaches that are discussed within the article are the business case, stakeholder-accounting and the critical theory based on the fundamental differences realized in the business society interface. The benefits of these approaches have been argued out with the authors as well as the situations for their usage as they try to bring out the similarities and differences in application of the approaches to business.

“While SEA may not convince the ‘radicals,’ it is likely to assist in controlling the perception of those groups most likely to identify with the organization” (Brown and Freser, 2006 p.105). This statement is very interesting as it shows some elements of contradiction in realizing the benefits of the SEA. I fail to understand how SEA do not have the capacity to convince the organizations as well as individuals with poor understanding of the organizations yet it still have the possibility to change the perceptions of the organizations stakeholders. Convincing the radicals is the important part of the business and the inability to convince those shows reduction in the efficiency of the management (Basu and Palazzo, 2008 p.130). SEA application shows that it has the potential to suite the business and it has the highest percentage in convincing every individual in today’s business therefore little doubts should not be put into its operation.

“Stakeholder accountability is also increasingly viewed as a process in which people and records must interact to achieve accountability” (Brown & Fraser, 2006 p.107). I totally agree with this statement, as I believe it is the point of action that brings pressure to remaining relevant within the business operations. Holding every individual within an organization responsible for his or her action makes the individuals to develop the highest level professionalism in managing and running the organization (Deegan and Blomquist, 2006 p.351). If different sectors within the organization interact perfectly and share the information that is relevant for the organization, then every activity and the resources of the organization will be easily accounted for in the business. Leaving the accountability work to only the auditing company and management implies that the stakeholders have lost interests in running the organization. Interactions of different stakeholders of the business ensure that mistakes and problems that a specific stakeholder may possess is solved instantly and even held accountable for the resource misuse at the initial stages.

Part Three

The article “Approaches and Perspectives in Social and Environmental Accounting “ will be useful for my chosen essay topic for week 13 as it will be responsible for the following actions. It will enable me to evaluate the ethical and business environment in relation to the management and understanding of the different approaches of SEA. It will also help me to identify a specific direction to take in my essay writing as it gives the descriptions to take in writing. The article has also given me further reading materials concerning CSR and SEA which will help me shape my essay. The article critically argues about the approaches of SEA which I have fully understood and will make it easy for me to develop my essay.

References list

Basu, K. and Palazzo, G., 2008. Corporate social responsibility: A process model of sensemaking. Academy of management review, 33(1), pp.122-136.

Brown, J. and Fraser, M., 2006. Approaches and Perspectives in Social and Environmental Accounting: An Overview of the Conceptual Landscape. Business Strategy and the Environment, 15 pp. 103-117

Deegan, C. and Blomquist, C., 2006. Stakeholder influence on corporate reporting: An exploration of the interaction between WWF-Australia and the Australian minerals industry. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 31(4), pp.343-372.