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A critical discourse analysis of the concept sustainability within the accounting community inclusive of small and medium-sized practices.

Kelsall, CA (2015) A critical discourse analysis of the concept sustainability within the accounting community inclusive of small and medium-sized practices. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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In looking at the continued development of the concept of sustainability intra and inter the accounting community, this work has created a number of empirical data sets: interviews with Small and Medium-sized Practices (SMPs); interviews with Big Four firms/ Professional Accounting Bodies/ others – relevant to sustainability and accounting. This empirical data has in particular added the views of a marginalised group within the accounting community – SMPs. Also the web-site empirical data sets from the Big Four have added some triangulated data. The key findings include: SMPs understanding of sustainability is still quite basic, grappling with the definitions and how the sustainability concept can be aligned to accounting services; dominant groups (Professional Accounting Bodies and Big Four firms) continue to develop the concepts and services, with a view those developed primarily for and with multi national firms can be trickled down to SME/Ps; SMPs have been viewed as trusted business advisers, combined with the development of the business case to sustainable development and the reduction in traditional accounting services, there are strong motivations for the development of sustainability services and advice by SMPs; the concept of sustainability is multi-layered within the accounting community with SMPs still at an introductory stage whilst the Big Four and Professional Accounting Bodies developing the use of accounting language to create, explain and analyse sustainable development. The theoretical development in using a critical discourse analysis framework is in particular the stage between discourse and Grand Discourse. Initially in poly-vocal discourse the Grand Discourse analysis can be said to theoretically identify the level of development of the idea and leadership and power dynamics within the specific sub-groups in the progression of the concept. There are a number of policy suggestions that this work develops including: improved engagement intra the accounting community; clear guidance developed for marginalised accounting groups; increased regulatory support in addition to reporting; continued guidance on sustainability assurance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.668310
Depositing User: Mr CA Kelsall
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2015 12:13
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10594

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