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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29037||2000||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7849 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 11, Issue 3, June 2000, Pages 289–309
Environmental accounting to date has been practised predominately as an addition to existing economic and accounting concepts of business activity. This practice has resulted in the marginalisation of environmental accounting and will, ultimately, hinder the development of a practise of accounting for sustainable development. A remedy for this situation may be found in an examination of ontological assumptions. This paper distinguishes between an ontology of discrete objects and an ontology of interconnected events in order to develop an accounting practise that will assist the development of sustainable business activities. An appropriate epistemology is also proposed and the use of suitable accounting tools are considered. Finally, an account of sustainable development that is compatible with an ontology of interconnected events is provided.
Accountancy is a part of knowledge. As the larger body of knowledge changes, so too will accountancy. In practical terms, this means that the performance appraisal of enterprises at the micro-economic level is not beyond change: what was once understood to constitute ‘‘success’’ could, with new knowledge, become the hallmark of ‘‘ failure’’. For practitioners of accountancy, this is a well known fact for certain aspects of accountability. In the 1970s, the importance of employee reporting diminished along with that of the power of the unions; only to be replaced by value added accounting with a strong social dimension; then came a period of inflation accounting and, most recently, an accounting for the environment using natural science and engineering. This kind of change reveals a measure of sensitivity and willingness to change within accountancy and that is not problematic. But within such change, a fundamental assumption remains unchallenged. This is problematic. This particular assumption goes a long way towards underwriting the ‘‘principles of accountancy’’ and hence guides the development of much accounting practice and theory. The assumption is that accountancy is based on an ontology of discrete objects. In this paper, an alternative to this assumption is derived from an ontology of interconnected events. Such ontological differences have the potential to change individual and institutional behaviour in fundamental ways. Whilst some might argue that accounting behaviour does not require fundamental change since many of us in the developed world have more goods and services provided by existing kinds of business activity than we had fifty years ago, others are alarmed by the deteriorating state of social and environmental conditions around the world and are indeed suggesting that fundamental change is needed in order to pursue a path of sustainable development1. The Art of Accounting for Science argues that the concept of sustainable development, and not the practical implementation, is the critical issue. Sustainable development will be achieved only by replacing (a) unsustainable development as a necessary consequence of an ontology of discrete objects, with (b) sustainable development as a necessary property of an ontology of interconnected events. This replacement is described in this paper as corresponding to a transition from environmental economics to an economic ecology. It is also argued in this paper that many of the problems being encountered when using the new tools of the emerging disciplines of environmental accounting and environmental engineering are a consequence of attempting to graft a praxis derived from an ontology of discrete objects onto a physical and social world that is described better by an ontology of interconnected events. Typically, such problems include spatial and temporal boundary problems, comparability versus diversity issues and observer impacts upon the observed. Finally an accounting statement more suited to an ontology of interconnected events is described.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In order to move towards sustainable development, current changes in business and accountancy practice are seeking to gain an environmental dimension by developing a systematic environmental economics. This is the step identified in this paper as moving from an understanding of economics to one of environmental economics. Because the contextual understanding of existing mainstream accounting is reductionist, being derived from an ontology of discrete objects, this step alone will not be enough to solve the dilemma of sustainable development. New scientific information about the nature of the world indicates that an ontology of discrete objects is no longer appropriate. This new scientific information describes an ontology of interconnected events. In order that accountancy may operate efficiently within an ontology of interconnected events, a change is needed to replace the medium of money with relationships as part of a transition going from environmental economics to an economic ecology. The benefits of making such a transition include resource utilisation efficiency gains. The Cloverleaf Account of Sustainable Development is suitable for appraising and reporting on the performance of industrial entities within an ontology of interconnected events.