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Jun 1, 2018


The role of accounting in enabling strategic corporate social responsibility: A functionalist, critical and post-modern reading of a case study Corporations around the world are developing their own strategic approaches to address important social and environmental issues in ways that will yield them financial and competitive advantage. This thesis explores how a large packaging company, PackCo, developed its own strategic approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and explores the role of accounting in this pursuit. The qualitative case study research consisted of some 30 interviews with PackCo managers, conducted over a three year period. The case is analysed through three very different research paradigms: a functional/managerial analysis; a critical analysis; and a post-modern analysis. The functional analysis draws upon Simons’ ‘levers of control’ framework to explore how PackCo used accounting and associated management control systems to enable strategic CSR. It explores how performance metrics, operating procedures and strategy documents were integrated within PackCo to enable a set of environmental initiatives that were both socially responsible and profitable. The critical analysis explores some of the unintended consequences of these environmental initiatives, which were revealed through a survey of PackCo staff attitudes to corporate responsibility. The causes of staff discontent, as revealed by the survey, and the interpretation and response of management to these, are traced back to the intense, and at times brutal, pressure for enhanced financial performance to which both staff and management were subject. The post-modern analysis of the case material explores CSR as a form of socio-ideological control. Rather than accounting enabling CSR, here CSR is argued to effect an ethical framing of managerial work at PackCo, which, for some managers at least, gave greater moral licence to their aggressive pursuit of profit. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the contrasts, conflicts and insights offered by these three different readings of strategic CSR and its relationship to accounting.

If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it's within your reach. And it'll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. Steve Wozniak

While waiting for the remaining Bulatlat articles to come in, I decided to surf the Net and came across this “unusual” paragraph. Even if the answer is immediately below, try to know for yourself what’s so “unusual” about it.

I actually was not able to guess it, as I was preoccupied with the way the paragraph’s sentences were written: I had observed that all but two sentences end with the word “it.” As it turns out, that’s not the only unusual characteristic of this paragraph.

Read it now and analyze. Clue: Study the form, not the substance.

This is an unusual paragraph. I’m curious though just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it. It’s just unusual though. Study this paragraph, its grammar, punctuation, capitalization, composition, or anything and think about it. You still may not find anything odd about it, but if you cautiously look at it and work at it, you just might find out what is actually so unusual or untypical about it.

Do you already know the paragraph’s “unusual” characteristic? The answer may be found after the jump.

The answer is not that obvious: The paragraph does not have the letter “e.” Find that hard to believe? Read it again!

The “unusual” paragraph is an example of a lipogram, or a word game consisting of writing text in which a particular letter or group of letters is missing (i.e., intentionally not included). In English writing, the missing letter is usually a vowel, the most common being the letter “e.”

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