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Accountability and accounting for fisheries – six decades of reporting by the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland, 1935–1993

Accountability and accounting for fisheries – six decades of reporting by the Electricity Supply... This study aims to contribute to the relatively limited historic literature on social and environmental accounting/accountability. More specifically, the study explores accounting and accountability for fisheries over time and determines potential legitimacy relations as conveyed through reporting.Design/methodology/approachA content analysis method is used to analyse a fisheries-related section of an annual report of a state-owned electricity firm for 56 years (1935/36–1993). The time frame analysed is a period when environmental or social reporting was, in general, informal and not mandated. However, accountability was established for the company under study, through the legally mandated provision of (unspecific/discretional) information about fisheries activities. A lens evoking legitimacy relationships as a dyad is utilised.FindingsThe fisheries reporting within the case organisation is an early example of recognition of the important effects of business activities on the environment and biodiversity. The findings of the analyses suggest the content aligns with what may be anticipated in a contemporary setting. Drawing on trends noted from the content analysis, three potential legitimacy relationships are identified around the fisheries reporting. Only one is determined as a complete legitimacy relationship.Research limitations/implicationsThe research is limited in that it is an analysis of one case in a single context. Also, the content analysis methods used were developed specifically for the study, which may limit their application. Finally, the data source used, and the historic nature of the study, to some extent limits the ability to determine some legitimacy relationships.Originality/valueThis study offers some insights on the historic nature of environmental reporting from a fisheries perspective in the Northern Hemisphere. The longitudinal nature of the analysis also offers insights into how the content of the reporting changed over time. Additionally, the use of a relatively new approach to operationalising legitimacy may prove useful for future researchers in the accounting discipline, especially given recent concerns on how the concept of legitimacy has been utilised in such research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal Emerald Publishing

Accountability and accounting for fisheries – six decades of reporting by the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland, 1935–1993

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References (111)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0951-3574
DOI
10.1108/aaaj-12-2021-5573
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to contribute to the relatively limited historic literature on social and environmental accounting/accountability. More specifically, the study explores accounting and accountability for fisheries over time and determines potential legitimacy relations as conveyed through reporting.Design/methodology/approachA content analysis method is used to analyse a fisheries-related section of an annual report of a state-owned electricity firm for 56 years (1935/36–1993). The time frame analysed is a period when environmental or social reporting was, in general, informal and not mandated. However, accountability was established for the company under study, through the legally mandated provision of (unspecific/discretional) information about fisheries activities. A lens evoking legitimacy relationships as a dyad is utilised.FindingsThe fisheries reporting within the case organisation is an early example of recognition of the important effects of business activities on the environment and biodiversity. The findings of the analyses suggest the content aligns with what may be anticipated in a contemporary setting. Drawing on trends noted from the content analysis, three potential legitimacy relationships are identified around the fisheries reporting. Only one is determined as a complete legitimacy relationship.Research limitations/implicationsThe research is limited in that it is an analysis of one case in a single context. Also, the content analysis methods used were developed specifically for the study, which may limit their application. Finally, the data source used, and the historic nature of the study, to some extent limits the ability to determine some legitimacy relationships.Originality/valueThis study offers some insights on the historic nature of environmental reporting from a fisheries perspective in the Northern Hemisphere. The longitudinal nature of the analysis also offers insights into how the content of the reporting changed over time. Additionally, the use of a relatively new approach to operationalising legitimacy may prove useful for future researchers in the accounting discipline, especially given recent concerns on how the concept of legitimacy has been utilised in such research.

Journal

Accounting Auditing & Accountability JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 18, 2023

Keywords: Fisheries; Accounting; Accountability; River

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