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Biodiversity Accounting and Accountability in China

Zhao, Longxiang (2019) Biodiversity Accounting and Accountability in China. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The biodiversity loss has turned accounting academic community’s attention to biodiversity accounting. In consideration of the gap of biodiversity accounting research and practice between the western world and China, it is necessary to elaborate on this gap by investigating the current practices of companies in China and relevant stakeholders’ perceptions on biodiversity accounting and accountability in China, which has tended to become the key to developing the ‘Business and Biodiversity’ in China to address this pressing threat faced by the world. This has led to the research questions of this thesis: 1. what is the current status of biodiversity reporting from Chinese listed extractive companies? 2. what are the perceptions from different stakeholders on Chinese companies’ current and potential accountability for biodiversity? 3. how to improve Chinese companies’ accountability for biodiversity in China context? To explore the development and potentials of biodiversity accounting, and to improve the practice of ‘Business and Biodiversity’ in China context, General System Theory (GST) and emancipatory accounting theory are used as the theoretical framework of this thesis to identify key issues of ‘Business and Biodiversity’ in China, and to formulate ideal mechanism and reporting framework for further development. This thesis is conducted through interpretative content analysis and 19 semi-structured interviews. The corporate reports and disclosures from Chinese listed extractive companies on biodiversity issues are analyzed to identify the issues existing in current practices, the corporate accounting and accountability on specific species giant panda is investigated as a supplement of the interpretative content analysis. The findings are compared and discussed with the findings from interview analysis. The interviewees are invited from different stakeholder groups that in relevance with ‘Business and Biodiversity’ in China in expressing their perceptions. The grounded theory is partly employed, along with the employment of thematic analysis to elaborate on how the current issues in improving Chinese companies’ accountability for biodiversity could be addressed. This thesis has identified that awareness and understanding of ‘Business and Biodiversity’, as well as engagement among stakeholders to be the key for further development of biodiversity accounting and accountability in China, which can be reflected through empirical findings. By considering literatures and insights of empirical findings, this thesis constructs an ideal engagement framework and a reporting framework not only for Chinese companies, but also for other stakeholders in developing ‘Business and Biodiversity’ with emancipatory potential, thus, to address the threat of biodiversity loss.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: biodiversity accounting
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.784733
Depositing User: Mr Longxiang Zhao
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 15:01
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24834

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