Foundations for socio-ecological accounting scholarship

Jan Bebbington, Giovanna Michelon, Shona Louise Russell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter aims at crafting the likely foundations for accounting scholarship to place socio-ecological thinking at the heart of research, education, and engagement. By taking a systems approach to conceptualising the domain of concern, we describe how living in the Anthropocene dictates the need for research of a different type. In particular we outline how a sustainability science approach will lead to different accounting interventions being designed. We then develop three pre-dispositions that will need to be fostered to support a socio-ecological research tradition, namely: decentring individualised and instrumental academic identities; deepening empathy for action; and integrating capabilities of flourishing into accounting scholarship. Overall, the chapter calls for future scholarship to be attuned to the foundations of socio-ecological system in the Anthropocene and identifies dispositions and conceptual tools to enable scholars to undertake research, education and engagement that are fit for purpose given the socio-ecological challenges faced by global society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of accounting in society
EditorsHendrik Vollmer
Place of PublicationNorthampton
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781803922003
ISBN (Print)9781803921990
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Publication series

NameResearch handbooks on accounting


  • Socio-ecological accounting
  • Anthropocene
  • Sustainability science
  • Academic identities
  • Academic empathy
  • Capabilities of flourishing


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