Postcoloniality in corporate social and environmental accountability

Alawattage, C. and Fernando, S. (2017) Postcoloniality in corporate social and environmental accountability. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 60, pp. 1-20. (doi: 10.1016/j.aos.2017.07.002)

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Using a discourse analysis of interviews with corporate managers and their published corporate sustainability information, this paper argues that corporate social and environmental accountability (CSEA) in a postcolonial context (Sri Lanka) is a textual space wherein local managers create a hybrid cultural identity through mimicking. It examines how local managers embrace and appropriate global discourses to reimagine their local managerial circumstances. They deploy a set of textual strategies – imitation, redefinition, innovation, and codification – to translate CSEA into a hybrid ‘textual(real)ity’ (i.e., interspace and duality between accounting text - textuality - and material practices - reality) whereby the global context is textualized as local and the local is contextualised as global. Nationalism, cultural ethics, and poverty enter this textual(real)ity as discursive elements that reactivate locality. A cultural notion of philanthropic giving, dana, gives local cultural authenticity to this textual(real)ity while the national politico-economic identity of poverty textualizes CSEA as a national development strategy. The paper also critiques whether these postcolonial dynamics can promote agonistic accountabilities. It contributes to the accounting literature on postcolonialism, imperialism, and globalization discourses.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Postcolonialism, social and environmental accountability, Sri Lanka, Homi Bhabha, agonistics, globalization discourses.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alawattage, Professor Chandana
Authors: Alawattage, C., and Fernando, S.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Research Group:Accounting
Journal Name:Accounting, Organizations and Society
Journal Abbr.:AOS
ISSN (Online):1873-6289
Published Online:19 July 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Accounting, Organizations and Society 60(1): 1-20
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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