Social and Environmental Accounting and Reporting: From Ridicule to Revolution? From Hope to Hubris? - A Personal Review of the Field

Rob Gray


The objective of this essay is to provide a coherent overview of author’s research and scholarship over the last two decades or so. As such it is a compromise between a revisionist history, an auto-critique and a review essay. This compromise arises, primarily, for two reasons. First, the work I have undertaken in developing social accounting has often been ad hoc and pragmatic; it certainly has not followed a carefully crafted master plan or research design. Secondly, the work is heavily context dependent. Issues such as personal history, changing attitudes in politics, business and the profession, the development of the author’s understandings and, interaction with colleagues have all had major influence on the research. Some of the work may only make sense when seen in those contexts.


Social and environmental accounting, social and environmental reporting, personal review, sustainability.

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