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Accounting for the environment: a gap between theory and academic practice?
Örebro University, Orebro University School of Business, Örebro University, Sweden. (CEROC)
2017 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper extends calls for the exploration of environmental management control systems (EMCS) as integrated systemic approaches by addressing how environmental controls are presented in the extant management accounting literature via a systematic mapping process. It assesses if EMCS are presented as systemic, holistic structures at the intra-organisational level from a scholarly viewpoint, or if the components remain disassociated as discrete systematic processes and procedures. Via a systematic literature review based on the levels of integration and the instruments and processes of control from 2007 to 2016, existing frameworks, such as Malmi and Brown’s (2008), are suggested as non-transferrable to the environmental accounting realm as per academic practice, and that a new conceptual map could prove more utile. The study finds that the systemic perspective of EMCS is empirically wanting in favour of reductionist approaches via discrete systematic environmental management accounting (EMA) tools which are often exploratory and lack overt theoretical underpinnings. The paper concludes that the increased use of theoretical perspectives could improve the functionality of EMCS, and that academics wishing to explore elements of environmental control should do so systemically, concurrently considering institutional, contextual, strategic, social and numerical controls under the variable of time, inherent to the evolutionary nature of the sustainability discourse and beyond the intra-firm level. All-embracing, it posits that traditional reductionist approaches are partial when accounting for the environment and there is a gap between theoretical operationalisation and academic practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
environmental management accounting, EMA, environmental management control systems, EMCS, management accounting, systematic review
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-57974OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-57974DiVA: diva2:1108260
Conference
Management Control Association Conference – Researching Researching Management Accounting and Control: Reflections on its Impact and Implications for the Future, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, June 8-9, 2017
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation
Available from: 2017-06-12 Created: 2017-06-12 Last updated: 2017-06-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf