The following Group members are involved in research in this area:
The Research area of Accounting is focussed on the social and technical aspects of accounting policy and practice.
Theoretical and empirical insights are drawn upon to help organisations improve how they interact with their stakeholders through audited public reports and also how they measure performance and manage against those measures.
The research activity of the group has been funded by both private and public sector organizations such as The British Council, ESRC, CIMA, British Accounting Association and Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM).
The wide ranging interests of the group are reflected in the substantive areas of research the group is working on:
Risk & performance management & risk reporting research is looking at the systems used for risk management in major public and private sector organisations and the lessons to be learned from cross sector comparisons (Woods). Related research has criticised the limitations of Value at Risk measures used in banking to both monitor and report market risk levels and the difficulties faced by investors using annual reports to evaluate a bank’s exposure to risk (Woods). Related research is looking at the links between risk and performance management in English local authorities (Woods). A further dimension encompasses the environmental (specifically climate change) performance of local government and regulated industries (Cooper).
Auditing projects have examined the market for audit services in the public and private sectors (Basioudis), explored the relationship between audit fee and audit firm alumni, and developed a model of audit fees based on the industry and city-level analysis of the audit market (Basioudis). Also, auditor reporting decisions for financial stressed companies have been investigated (Basioudis). The role of banking auditors in the financial crisis and the implications for the future of the external audit function have also been the subject of published papers (Woods).
Social, Ethical & Environmental Accounting (Belal and Cooper) research aims to consider the practice of corporate social, ethical and environmental responsibility and reporting. The research undertaken adopts a stakeholder approach to consider how corporations incorporate stakeholder concerns into their decision-making processes and how these are reported. The impact of recent social accounting standards, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), AA1000 and SA8000, is considered in both the UK context (Cooper) and in the context of emerging and less developed economies (Belal). The group is currently engaged in a British Council funded project on climate change reporting in Bangladesh.
Finance, Accounting & Operations Management (Georgiou) current research interests include corporate governance and specifically board composition and its relationship with several organisational parameters with a focus on accounting and financial parameters; the role of quality management as a rhetoric for organisational restructuring and change and its relationship with financial, accounting and corporate governance parameters; executive compensation; corporate social responsibility; and socially responsible investment funds. Previous work has examined the role of online quality management - as a proxy for switching costs - in explaining the financial market performance of pure B2C Internet stocks during the Internet stock bubble period based on a restatement of the Ohlson’s (1995) clean surplus relation; another piece of work focuses on the strategic fit between corporate governance structure and quality management success for quality award winners and the impact of this fit on firm performance. Particular interests include how the efficiency of alternative governance structures is contingent on organisational strategy, another relative piece of work examines the relationship between quality management and executive compensation. Recent work focuses on socially responsible investing based on a behavioural finance framework. A research project pertaining to the transferring of business ethics, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility values to business school students through teaching and learning in business schools. The methodologies employed are quantitative and involve extensive econometric analysis.
Financial Reporting, Transparency & Accountability Alan Lowe recently co-authored a 100 page monograph for ICAEW on this area focussing on the opportunities presented by digital reporting initiatives which make use of recent developments in regulatory policy, and in digital communication techniques and the associated attributes of the internet. Other research which uses a socio-technical perspective includes publications on enterprise resource planning and Casemix systems in the health sector (Lowe).
Management Control & Accountability in not-for-profits, Organisational Trust & Accounting Pedagogy (Manochin). Her research approach involves interpretive and reflexive study of organisational cases with the use of qualitative methods.
several significant projects over the last three years include:
1. Field work and secondary research on performance measurement and governance in UK social housing. This has involved several colleagues at Aston (Claire Howell, Prof Stan Brignall, Prof Alan Lowe as well as other researchers in the UK including Professor Lisa Jack (University of Portsmouth). The project has delivered a peer reviewed publications, conference papers and draft papers in a review process stage.
2. Pedagogic research based in the innovative teaching I have designed and introduced into a final year accounting course (BF3301 Organisational Context of Management Accounting). Collaboration with Dr Stuart Cooper has led to a HELM working paper, a peer reviewed paper under review and conference participations.
3. Collaboration with Professor John Sillince (Strathclyde University) on a ‘trust and organizational identity in a university budget negotiation processes’ framework. Project initiated from PhD research outcomes/suggestions/material. Conference presentations and draft papers submitted peer reviewed journals