Development news

Using accounting to facilitate sustainable development

May 2, 2024
Photo: Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

This is a summary of a post on the Stockholm University website and a recent paper titled ”Sustainability and technology: the contribution of “managerial talk” to the three pillars framework” by Olga Golubeva.

New research published by Olga Golubeva in a recent paper in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal investigates the potential of using accounting to facilitate sustainable development and “contribute to further developing the concept of sustainability”.

“The article investigates whether accounting, a tool that affects the actions of both organisations and society, can contribute to further developing the concept of sustainability. Exploiting real-time accounts of management speeches, termed ‘managerial talk’ in the context of this paper, the study is among the first to include technology within a sustainability framework.” The study highlights the relevance of accounting as a lens for sustainable development discourse and practice and argues for the inclusion of technology in the sustainability framework.

“The study develops an inductive model that emerges as a result of the data analysis process. It emphasises that technology can be both an enabler for, and an interference with, sustainability according to the application of steering mechanisms. The latter include governance and regulations, analysis and evaluation tools, and disclosure practice.” The paper concludes that “acknowledging the role of technology in sustainable development can potentially assist in the implementation of sustainability and, arguably, in fostering an alignment between the three pillars of sustainability” which are the social, environmental, and economic dimensions.