Monday, 23 July 2018

Meet the Members: Paweena Orapin & Hongtao Shen

Paweena Orapin, University of Exeter, UK/ Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

My research aims to investigate the role of management control systems (MCS) in relation to the sustainable development in an industrial company in Thailand. Through a case study, the interplay between the formal controls (e.g. written procedures and policies, incentive criteria and budgeting systems) and informal controls (e.g. shared values, beliefs, and cultures) including how to balance/mitigate any tensions amongst competing control devices are insightfully explored. I'm currently the first year PhD student at the University of Exeter, working as a lecturer at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Previously, I have completely two master's degrees in Accounting and Finance (University of Exeter) and International Hotel Management (University of Surrey). I worked in the hospitality industry for a couple of years before getting into the academia.

I do believe that my research would contribute to the knowledge relating to social and environmental accounting because management control systems play a significant role in managing green issues as indicated from the literature. Also, it would be intriguing to explore how accounting is able to enhance the effectiveness of the sustainability practices that organisations adopt, especially in the emerging/developing countries.

I am more than happy to join the CSEAR community. It has been a very constructive platform for social and environmental accounting research for many years. This is my first year with CSEAR and I am really looking forward to attending the 30th CSEAR International Conference at the University of St. Andrews in August 2018.

Dr. Hongtao Shen, Professor of Accounting, Jinan University, China

I attended the CSEAR conference at St. Andrews in 2009, when I met Professor Rob Gray and knew CSEAR for the first time.
Till then, I found I am not in a minority doing research on Social and Environmental Accounting, as most of my colleagues are interested in capital market, earnings management, etc. Then I organized a CSEAR conference at Jinan University, South China in 2012, and introduced CSEAR to more Chinese academics. We gathered again last winter at Polytechnic University, Hong Kong and met old and new CSEAR friends in China again.

I have been working on Social and Environmental Accounting research for more than 10 years and have tens of papers published in top peer-reviewed Chinese academic journals. Total citation number of my published papers has reached above 4000. I am now serving as committee member of Environmental Accounting in Accounting Society of China, and in Editorial board of Accounting Research (in Chinese) and China Journal of Accounting Studies (in English, published by Taylor & Francis). Both of the journals are official research journals of Accounting Society of China. My current research interests include CSR and environmental accounting, and green finance.

I firmly believe that no issue could be more important than social and environmental accounting, both in academic research and in practice, for China. China has achieved unprecedented, sustained economic growth over the past four decades, which has been accompanied by severe environmental deterioration. As the world's second largest economy enters the "new era", China is determined to shift its focus from quantitative to sustainable growth, meaning a more compatible institutional setting for efficient and optimal growth. Beyond solving practical environmental issues, is the country attempts to establish a system that promotes sustainable economy, protects ecosystem, and improve green governance. All these provide unique institutional settings and rich practical cases for academic research. 

I am now responsible for the daily operation of Research Center of Low Carbon Economy for Guangzhou Region (, one of the key research centers of humanities and social science sponsored by Guangzhou Municipal Government. CSEAR members are warmly welcome to visit us and be our guest researchers.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Meet the Members: Mira Lieberman & Carol Tilt

Mira Lieberman, PhD Candidate and Grantham Scholar, Sheffield University Management School, UK
First Year in CSEAR

Bibliography Editor for the International Ecolinguistics Association, I hold an MA in Sociocultural Linguistics from Goldsmiths College, University of London in which I investigated the representation of Animal Welfare on Sainsbury's corporate website through a multimodal ecolinguistic analysis.

My interdisciplinary PhD project has a strong activist underlying epistemology that sees environmental accounting as emancipatory both for enacting change in terms of corporate behaviour and reporting, and for stakeholders and society at large. My project, supervised by Professor Jill Atkins and Dr. Robert McKay, deals with the existential threat posed by climate change that drives mass extinction. Social and environmental accounting sees corporations as powerful entities that influence the protection of animals and all living beings on Earth. Accounting for extinction is developed as a tool to help companies change the way they report on their activities and lead to a real change in their operations. Despite the importance of all species to the survival of ecosystems and humans, companies do not disclose information on biodiversity loss in a meaningful, transparent way. Using a combination of linguistic analysis tools, the project examines whether integrated reports produced by corporations reporting on their impact on species aligns with the spoken report given to various stakeholders and whether a new extinction accounting framework can be operationalized in a way that promotes meaningful change in the paradigm of value creation that moves beyond financial value. Additionally, being a scholar at the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures ( gives me the opportunity to situate my research within the wider frame of sustainability research and gain first rate insight into ongoing sustainability research from various fields.

The CSEAR community has been very welcoming and I enjoy the discussions on the CSEAR Facebook page. I am very excited to participate in my first International Congress on Social and Environmental Accounting Research in August and meet the CSEAR colleagues!
I am also the writer for my socio- and eco-linguistic blog:

Professor Carol Tilt, University of South Australia

I became a member of CSEAR as an emerging scholar, too many years ago to name, as it was the only place to find like-minded researchers who were passionate about social and environmental issues, and serious about developing the research community in this area. This is still true today, as it is a place where you can make friends as well as meet colleagues; that is supportive of new and innovative ideas for research; and provides a place (both through events and conferences, and in the virtual world) where collaborations can develop and prosper. 

My work currently focusses on SEA in developing country contexts and the importance of looking in-depth at contextual issues in these economics, rather than simply comparing them to more developed countries and using the same methodology and theories  If we want these countries to improve their environmental performance, we need to understand them better and apply an analytical lens that is relevant to their specific circumstances.  Only then can we determine ways to promote greater responsibility and transparency.

The other area I work in is gender and CSR with my colleague and former PhD student, Dr Kathy Rao:  and

As a senior academic, and the Chair of the Australasian CSEAR conference sub-committee, my focus is on mentoring emerging researchers in the area.  I try to do most of my work with more junior colleagues these days, as they are the future of our discipline. I am committed to helping our emerging scholars to develop their skills and find a place within the SEA community. I am not sure where the future lies for SEA research, but I believe that as our young researchers develop, SEA will develop along with them and continue to mature as a discipline. I hope to see it on the agenda of academics, students, university curricula and the professional agenda, for a long time into the future.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Meet the Members: Giovanna Michelon & Alexandros Parginos

Professor Giovanna Michelon, University of Exeter, UK
Active CSEAR Council Member & Co-organiser of the CSEAR Emerging Scholar Colloquium

I became a member of CSEAR ten years ago, in 2008, and I literally "grew up" in this community. Through CSEAR, I met great mentors, many amazing friends and co-authors, and here I continue to find the support and the encouragement to follow my passion for SEA research.
I have recently become a member of the CSEAR Council, to share my enthusiasm and help our network continue flourishing with new ideas and initiatives. I seek to be a role model for emerging scholars, and support them in developing interesting and challenging research questions, improving their research skills and building up their own special expertise in the area. That is why I am particularly excited to be organising, with Carmen Correa Ruiz, the next CSEAR Emerging Scholar Colloquium!

Since my PhD, my research has focused on three distinct but overlapping and interdependent fields: corporate governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and social and environmental reporting. Currently, I am interested in understanding the dynamics of shareholder activism on CSR. There are two aspects I am focusing on. First, I want to disentangle - in the most possibly nuanced ways - who are the various shareholders sponsoring CSR, why they engage in these activities and how the business case argument is used in their narratives. Second, I am interested in understanding how corporations engage with shareholders on social and environmental issues, and perceive and deal with activist shareholders' requests. In this context, international comparison are quite important, as institutional pressures may also affect how companies respond to the demands of various shareholders.

You can read more about my publications and research in progress here:

Alexandros Parginos, PhD Student, Essex Business School

It was last year when I firstly met one of the CSEAR members who talked to me about the CSEAR community and shared with me information about its purpose and initiatives. After being introduced to CSEAR for the very first time, it was obvious to me that I had to join and become an active member of this community since my interests are within social and environmental accounting research. After a fruitful year as a member of the CSEAR where I had the chance to present my research at the emerging scholars' colloquium in the UK in August 2017, I knew that I definitely had to renew my membership and continue to be part of this community. Currently, this is my second year as a CSEAR member, hoping for more and more years to come.

Regarding my research, it mainly focuses on companies' corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, initiatives and strategies, while also examining their social and environmental reporting behaviour in both the pre-and post-crisis era. Special emphasis is placed on companies' internal environment dynamics, how they affect the above two areas and how they are reflected in companies' socio-environmental status and reports. To this end, my research follows an interdisciplinary perspective by adopting and implementing theories from the social sciences such as sociology, psychology and naturally business, in order to meet the needs for more interdisciplinary research projects in accounting. Although mainly qualitative in nature, my research also includes some quantitative elements in terms of research methodology, taking into account that mixed methods may lead to more comprehensive and insightful conclusions on the topic under investigation. 

Thanks to the CSEAR community, I had the chance to receive invaluable feedback on my research ideas, obtain access to useful material, attend presentations and discuss my research with very approachable and well-established academics in the field of social and environmental accounting. All of these aspects contributed towards specifying my research focus and shaping my PhD thesis in a way that would level up my research and contribute original knowledge to the field of social and environmental accounting. Through a constructive dialogue and further co-operation with other CSEAR members, I hope to frame and complete a research project that will further enhance the social and environmental objectives of companies in a more intensive and effective way.

I look forward to this year's CSEAR conference in the UK in August, in which I hope to meet more colleagues who will share the same level of enthusiasm and interest into socio-environmental accounting research as me, and why not a mentor who will be happy to discuss their ideas with me and advise me accordingly.  

Monday, 2 July 2018

Meet the Members: Eija Vinnari & David Jackson

Eija Vinnari, Professor, University of Tampere, Finland

If my memory serves me correctly, I joined CSEAR in 2011 in the context of attending the UK conference for the first time. After some years of searching for my place in academia, I was thrilled to have finally found a community of colleagues who had similar concerns about the state of our planet and encouraged me to undertake critical research about these issues.

I have difficulties with disciplinary silos, which means that my work covers a range of fields including of course accounting but also public management and policy, political studies, and environmental/animal ethics. To highlight just one theme, what I consider to be my most significant achievements are recent and ongoing studies related to the promotion of animal rights, conducted in collaboration with various colleagues. Matias Laine and I continue our work on the counter accounts produced and other tactics employed by animal rights activists. Jesse Dillard and I share an interest in extending accountability and other democratic processes to marginalized constituencies, such as non-human beings, through critical dialogic accounting. With my spouse Markus Vinnari, I explore ways of integrating animal rights considerations into the definition of sustainability and associated decision-making. To find out more about these topics and my other research interests, please see my website (in English despite the link text):

It is not an exaggeration to say that I also feel passionate about conceptualization. I am more than happy to engage emerging scholars as well as more senior colleagues in discussions over Actor-Network Theory, agonistic pluralism, discourse analytical frameworks, institutional work, ontological politics and philosophy of science overall. This is because I firmly believe that value rational research stands a much better chance of making the world a better place if its prescriptions emerge from a strong conceptual foundation.

Mr David Jackson, PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh Business School, UK
First year with CSEAR

Before returning to academia I worked for the Met Office as a forecaster, but I was keen to change career paths to think about how I could reduce the impact of climate change rather than just predicting it.  

I am part of the Centre for Business and Climate Change and my research aims to help reduce carbon emissions throughout the construction industry, particularly on large infrastructure projects.  This will be done through the development of an open-sourced carbon accounting tool that will identify carbon hotspots and allow decision makers to make informed decisions to reduce carbon emissions on their projects.

As well as the development of the tool and exploring the most appropriate carbon accounting methods to use, I am keen to research the social barriers that stand in the way of the tool's adoption in the industry, and carbon management more generally. I will also explore the relationships between contractors and their supply chains, looking at how carbon reduction can be used to improve relationships and increase efficiency.

This research is important as whether directly or indirectly, the infrastructure sector is responsible for over 50% of the UK's carbon emissions.  If the UK is serious about meeting the targets set under the 2008 Climate Change Act then carbon reductions in this area are certainly needed.

Social and environmental accounting brings new depth to research in this area. Within the construction industry, much of the research on carbon accounting focusses on the methods used without understanding how these tools will be used within organisations. I feel that understanding the social reservations that organisations have towards carbon accounting will enable us to help overcome these challenges and change the way the industry works.

I am currently supervised by Dr. Matthew Brander and Dr. Kathi Keasehage (both University of Edinburgh) but I am always open to new ideas, so please get in touch if you would like any more information, or have any suggestions for my research going forward.

Looking forward to hopefully meeting you in St Andrews in August!