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The role of accounting in mediating empathic care for the “other”

The role of accounting in mediating empathic care for the “other” This paper hypothesizes that a system of accounting underpinned by attributions of harm has the capacity, more than conventional accounting, to elicit empathic concern among managers, by becoming the mediating link between organisational responsibility and concern for the “other”.Design/methodology/approachThe literature-inspired reflections presented in this paper stem from the theoretical perspective of care-ethics supported by the notions of empathy and proximity to highlight how the propensity to empathise is mediated by attributions of harm and responsibility.FindingsThe proposed “new” accounting, coined “connected accounting” is proposed because of its potential to make visible the neglected and marginalised segments of society that presently lie hidden in conventional accounting. Accounting for the effects of organisational practice on people and society is expected to strengthen the care-ethic relationship between key actors – managers, accountants and stakeholders.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper is limited by the assumptions that underpin the conceptualised notion of “Connected Accounting”.Originality/valueThis essay introduces to the accounting ethics literature the role of emotion and empathic care in accounting, including sociological aspects of accounting reflecting the ongoing quest for understanding the processes and consequences of accounting as a social practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal Emerald Publishing

The role of accounting in mediating empathic care for the “other”

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0951-3574
DOI
10.1108/aaaj-02-2017-2860
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper hypothesizes that a system of accounting underpinned by attributions of harm has the capacity, more than conventional accounting, to elicit empathic concern among managers, by becoming the mediating link between organisational responsibility and concern for the “other”.Design/methodology/approachThe literature-inspired reflections presented in this paper stem from the theoretical perspective of care-ethics supported by the notions of empathy and proximity to highlight how the propensity to empathise is mediated by attributions of harm and responsibility.FindingsThe proposed “new” accounting, coined “connected accounting” is proposed because of its potential to make visible the neglected and marginalised segments of society that presently lie hidden in conventional accounting. Accounting for the effects of organisational practice on people and society is expected to strengthen the care-ethic relationship between key actors – managers, accountants and stakeholders.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper is limited by the assumptions that underpin the conceptualised notion of “Connected Accounting”.Originality/valueThis essay introduces to the accounting ethics literature the role of emotion and empathic care in accounting, including sociological aspects of accounting reflecting the ongoing quest for understanding the processes and consequences of accounting as a social practice.

Journal

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 19, 2019

Keywords: Empathy; Emotion; Social accounting; Proximity; Care-ethics

References