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School of Business and Management

Accounting & Accountability Research Group (AARG)

Overview

The Accounting and Accountability Research Group (AARG) aims to promote accounting, accountability and financialization research relating to social justice, sustainability and good governance in public, private and third sectors. In particular, we broadly examine how accountancy and financial devices, discourses and practices shape and are shaped by markets, organisations and society. 

Our research concerns analysis of corporate reports, the accounting profession, accounting regulations and their development, the construction of financial markets and the way actors use and mobilise accounting in their daily life.

To better understand the aforementioned topics, the Group gathers researchers from different disciplines and diverse epistemological traditions with a view to promoting inter-disciplinarity, from critical accounting to capital market related research, and as a result developing new understandings and new knowledge in these areas. 

Members

PhD Students

Affiliate Members

The work of members of the Accounting and Accountability Research Group (AARG) addresses important contemporary and historical topics in accounting research. The Group serves as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas among accounting researchers, facilitates collaborative work within the School, hosts international speakers and research visitors and has acquired a national profile through building networks with professional accountancy bodies and hosting national and international accounting conferences. The contribution of AARG to the theoretical and empirical development of the discipline is evidenced by publications in high-ranking accounting journals such as Accounting, Organisations and Society; Critical Perspectives in Accounting; Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal; British Accounting Review; European Accounting Review and Accounting Forum.

Group members are involved in a number of areas of research:

Business models and financialisation

Professor Sukhdev Johal, Professor Colin Haslam and Dr Nick Tsitsianis are recipients of the Hans-Matthöfer prize award for their contributions to the ongoing academic and policy informing work on the Foundational Economy. This work is focussed on how to construct an understanding of the drivers of wellbeing and liveability.

The accounting profession and accounting history

Sean McCartney's research interests are mainly historical, focusing on aspects of British industrial performance since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and has focused particularly on railways both during the nineteenth century, and since privatisation.  He is currently working on the causes of the Railway Mania of the 1840s and preparing a book on the experience of railway privatisation.

Dr Suki Sian’s work is themed around exclusion from and marginalisation within the accounting profession. She has undertaken historical studies on raced and class-based exclusion from the accounting profession and contemporary work on gender-based marginalisation within the profession. More recently, Dr Sian has been studying changes in the work patterns of professional auditors arising from enforced homeworking.

Corporate Governance, sustainability and pensions

Dr Evisa Mitrou’s work focuses on governance and sustainability as they relate to pensions in the UK. In her work on pension de-risking strategies in the UK, Mitrou and her co-authors examine the characteristics of pension plans and sponsoring firms that have an effect on the decision to undertake a de-risking strategy. In a second project, she and her co-authors have developed a cross country study to examine the influence of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activity on corporate pension policies.

Accounting and politics

Dr Claudine Grisard’s research broadly considers the links between accounting and politics and seeks to understand how actors discipline themselves through dominant (and financial) discourses, as well as act as political subjects. Her work involves the study of the ways in which actors develop political arguments and controversies, through the mobilisation of accounting metrics to influence decisions and the conflicts between various political ideologies. She has studied the links between politics and accounting in relation to CSR, to poverty and to state programmes.

Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal and Nick Tsitsianis’ work on business models and the financialized firm has been presented at the European Institute for Law. Their findings have been incorporated in the UNEP/WRI report on Carbon Asset Risk. They are also co-authors of “Foundational Liveability: Rethinking Territorial Inequality”, a report submitted to the UK2070 Commission, established to conduct a review of the policy and spatial issues related to the UK’s long-term city and regional development and submitted to the Public Administration And Constitutional Affairs Committee. They have submitted evidence to the British Parliament regarding the Sourcing of Public Services: Lessons to Be Learned From the Collapse of Carillion.

Evisa Mitrou is a member of the European Accounting Association (EAA) and a member of the Accounting Research Centre Committee, the EAA Virtual Activities Committee and organising member of the EAA Virtual Accounting Research Seminars (EAA- VARS).

Suki Sian leads the AARG. She serves on the editorial board of Critical Perspectives in Accounting; Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal and Accounting History. She is the organiser of the annual PhD Scholars Conference at QMUL and also led the organising team for the Alternative Accounts Europe Conference, 2021. She has led international focus groups for studies commissioned by IFAC and UNCTAD.

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