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Introduction to the SAGE major works in social and environmental accounting

Social and Environmental Accounting edited by Rob Gray, Jan Bebbington and Sue Gray is a four-volume set of selected previously published articles and extracts, each volume of which is introduced by an editors’ essay. The set is priced for library purchase.


When we were asked to produce The Major Works in Social and Environmental Accounting to be published by SAGE, we saw this as a major opportunity. Not only would there be the chance to revisit a considerable proportion of the social and environmental accounting literature but, with luck, the resultant volumes would provide both a convenient source through which to access a range of work (some of which is far from accessible) and, at the same time, a broad overview and representation of the field as it has evolved. (What is Social and Environmental Accounting?) Circumstances ensured that we had less freedom that we might have liked but this forced us to be more innovative. Whilst we were very pleased with the result (given the situation) it seemed to us very important that we explain, at least in broad terms, how we came to recommend the structure and pieces that we did.

The list of papers is not intended to be `the best’, `finest’, most cited, or whatever, papers. It is an attempt to gain a balanced view of the field within the constraints under which we had to work. This section of the CSEAR website explains those constraints and how the resultant process was undertaken. This should (we hope) both make the selection more understandable and make it clearer why (say) your favourite piece is not here and/or why we have cited your favourite author (or you yourself) less than we might have done. We would still maintain, however, that a careful study of the collection would provide a very fine basis for any scholarship endeavour in social and environmental accounting.