Seminar: ‘THE POTENTIAL FOR ‘BOUNDARY-SPANNING ORGANISATIONS’ IN ADDRESSING THE RESEARCH-PRACTICE GAP IN SUSTAINABILITY ACCOUNTING’
School of Business Seminar Room, Building 27, Level 1
The purpose is to understand the role of boundary-spanning organisations as intermediary institutions potentially able to close the gap between applied research and practice in sustainability accounting.
A review of literature reveals boundary organisation theory provides a potential way of understanding the role of boundary-spanning organisations in the context of the research-practice gap. The theory is applied in the context of three cases of potential boundary-spanning organisations involved with sustainability accounting – Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the International Federation of Accountants.
Findings from the three cases indicate potential for professional accounting associations to act as sustainability accounting boundary-spanning organisations has not been realized for four main reasons relating to: the need for finer granularity in relation to boundary objects and problem-solving; uncertainty about the range of parties to be involved as boundary-spanning organisations; importance of reconciling views about different incentives for academics and practitioners in the sustainability accounting space; and that collaboration with other boundary-spanning organisations is necessary to address the transdisciplinary nature of sustainability accounting.
This is the first paper to consider boundary organisation theory and the role of boundary-spanning organisations in the context of the complex transdisciplinary problems of sustainability accounting.