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Professor Robert Hugh Gray

Professor Rob Gray

MBE, BSc(Econ), MA(Econ), FCCA, FCA, PhD, FAcSS

Emeritus Professor of Social and Environmental Accounting

Biography

Accountability, Social Responsibility and Sustainability (Gray et al., 2014) cover‌Rob is a qualified chartered accountant and was editor of Social and Environmental Accounting Journal from 1991 to 2007. He is the author/co-author of over 300 books, monographs, chapters and articles. His books include Accounting for the Environment; Financial Accounting: practice and principles and Accounting and accountability: Changes and challenges in corporate social and environmental reporting. His work has appeared in nine languages other than English. He was Director of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) from its inception in 1991 to 2012.

Research specialisms

Social and Environmental and Sustainability Accounting, Reporting and Accountability.

Selected publications (2011 to present)

Books

‌Accountability, Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Accounting for Society and the Environment
Gray, R. H., Adams, C. & Owen, D. Jan 2014 Pearson Education. 360 p.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

 

Chapters

Organisational Effectiveness and Social and Environmental Accounting: Through the Past Darkly
Gray, R. H., O'Dochartaigh, A. & Rannou, C. 8 Jan 2016 Pioneers of Critical Accounting: A Celebration of the Life of Tony Lowe. Haslam, J. & Sikka, P. (eds.). London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 53-71
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

How can teaching and learning encourage responsible enterprise?
Grahle, C., Gray, R. H., Hibbert, P. C. & Mansell, S. F. Mar 2014 Creating cultures of integrity: Ethics education in UK business schools. Bell, E., Caulfield, P., Hibbert, P. & Jennings, P. (eds.). York: The Higher Education Academy, p. 11-16 5 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Scorecard of organizational un-sustainability
Gray, R. H. 2014 Disrupting the Future : Great ideas for creating a much better world. Visser, W. (ed.). London: Kaleidescope, p. pp38--40 3 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Histories, Rationales, Voluntary Standards and Future Prospects or Sustainability Reporting: CSR, GRI, IIRC and Beyond
Gray, R. H., Milne, M. & Buhr, N. 2014 Sustainability Accounting and Accountability . Bebbington, J., Unerman, J. & O'Dwyer, B. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. pp51-71 21 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Accountability, sustainability and the world's largest corporations: Of CSR, chimeras, oxymorons and tautologies
Gray, R. H. 2012 Corporate responsibility: A research handbook. Dillard, J., Haynes, K. & Murray, A. (eds.). Routledge, p. 151-166
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Sustainability and Social Responsibility Reporting and the Emergence of the External Social Audits: The Struggle for Accountability?: (Chapter 22)
Gray, R. H. & Herremans, I. 2012 Oxford Handbook of Business and the Environment. Bansal, T. & Hoffman, A. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 405-424
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Environmental Management, Measurement and Accounting: Information for Decision and Control?: (Chapter 23)
Gray, R. H. & Buhr, N. 2012 Oxford Handbook of Business and the Environment. Bansal, T. & Hoffman, A. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Reporting and Accounting
Gray, R. H. 2011 Environmental Management in Organisations (The IEMA Handbook). Brady, J., Ebbage, A. & Lunn, R. (eds.). 2nd ed. London: Earthscan, p. 433-443
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

A brief re-evaluation of "the social accounting project": Social accounting as if the world matters
Gray, R. H., Dillard, J. & Spence, C. 2011 Social Accounting and Public Management: Accountability for the Public Good. Osborne, S. & Ball, A. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 11-22 12 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

Articles

Social compliance audits and multinational corporation supply chain: evidence from a study of the rituals of social audits
Islam, M. A., Deegan, C. & Gray, R. 11 Oct 2017 In : Accounting and Business Research. Latest Articles, 35 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Perhaps the Dodo should have accounted For Human Beings?: Accounts of humanity and (its) extinction
Gray, R. H. & MIlne, M. 4 Jan 2017 In : Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reading for displeasure: Why bother with social accounting at all? – A Review Essay
Gray, R. H. 2016 In : Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. 36, 2, p. 153-161
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Social Responsibility Disclosure in the International Gambling Industry: A Research Note
Leung, C. H. & Gray, R. H. 2016 In : Meditari Accountancy Research. 24, 1, p. 73-90
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Accounting, identity, autopoiesis + sustainability: A comment, development and expansion on Lawrence, Botes, Collins and Roper (2013)
Tehmina, K. & Gray, R. H. 2016 In : Meditari Accountancy Research. 24, 1, p. 36-55
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it? Of method and madness
Gray, R. & Milne, M. J. Nov 2015 In : Critical Perspectives on Accounting. 32, p. 51-66
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standards of Performance in the Supply Chain: The (un)reliability of assurance and surveillance in the garment industry
Shyamain, W. & Gray, R. H. 2015 In : Social Business. 5, 4, p. 323-341
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

New accounts: Towards a reframing of social accounting
Gray, R. H., Brennan, A. & Malpas, J. Dec 2014 In : Accounting Forum. 38, 4, p. 258-273 16 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ambidexterity, puzzlement, confusion and a community of faith? A response to my friends
Gray, R. Nov 2014 In : Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. 34, 2, p. 97-105 9 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Plotting the contours of an emerging field: an essay and research note concerning British academic social and environmental accountants
Gray, R. Nov 2014 In : Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. 34, 2, p. 106-116 11 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

What is the triple bottom line?
Gray, R. H. & Milne, M. Feb 2014 In : The Conversation.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

New accounts of old accounts, the chatter of silence and not being who we are not
Gray, R. H., Malpas, J. & Brennan, A. 2014 In : Accounting Forum. 38, 4, p. 296-298 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Groups acting on semimetric spaces and quasi-isometries of monoids
Gray, R. & Kambites, M. Feb 2013 In : Transactions of the American Mathematical Society. 365, 2, p. 555-578 24 p., PII S0002-9947(2012)05868-5
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Environmental, Social + Sustainability Accounting: Quo Vadis?
Gray, R. H. 2013 In : Revista de Contabilidade e Organizações. 7, 17, p. 3-5
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Corporate governance for sustainability in Asia: A work-in-progress or wishful thinking?
Ng, A. & Gray, R. H. 2013 In : Corporate Governance Asia. 10, 1, p. 46-48
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Standing on the (skeletal) shoulders of a (middle-range) giant: Acknowledging intellectual debt
Gray, R. H. 2013 In : Critical Perspectives on Accounting. 24, 3, p. 207-210
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The emergence of stand-alone social and environmental reporting in Mainland China: An exploratory research note
Du, Y. & Gray, R. H. 2013 In : Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. 33, 2, p. 104-112
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

W(h)ither Ecology?: The Triple Bottom Line, the Global Reporting Initiative, and Corporate Sustainability Reporting
Milne, M. & Gray, R. H. Nov 2012 In : Journal of Business Ethics.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Integrated Reporting: Integrated with what and for whom?
Gray, R. H. 2012 The Loop, 5
Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

It Was 20 Years Ago Today: Sgt Pepper, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, green accounting and the Blue Meanies
Gray, R. H. & Laughlin, R. C. 2012 In : Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. 25, 2, p. 228-255
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A SVARC-MILNOR LEMMA FOR MONOIDS ACTING BY ISOMETRIC EMBEDDINGS
Gray, R. & Kambites, M. Nov 2011 In : International Journal of Algebra and Computation. 21, 7, p. 1135-1147 13 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Accountability and Human Rights: A Tentative exploration and commentary
Gray, R. H. & Gray, S. Nov 2011 In : Critical Perspectives on Accounting. 22, 8, p. 781 - 789 9 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Please cite this: An exploratory paper on citations, impacts and the social accounting literature
Gray, R. H. & Hoepner, A. G. 2011 In : Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. 31, 1, p. 25-47
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

Selected publications 2001-2010

Gray R. (2010) "A re-evaluation of social, environmental and sustainability accounting: An exploration of an emerging trans-disciplinary field?" Sustainability Accounting and Management Policy Journal 1(1) (pp11-32).

"Some Theory for Social Accounting?: A review essay and a tentative pedagogic exploration of categorisation of theorisations around social accounting" by R.Gray, D. Owen and C. Adams, in Sustainability, Environmental Performance and Disclosures, Marty Freeman (ed), 2010, Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management Vol.4, pp 1-54.
- winner of Emerald "Outstanding Author Contribution Award" 2010.

Social and Environmental Accounting book coverSocial and Environmental Accounting: Sage Library in Accounting and Finance (with J. Bebbington and S. Gray) (London: Sage) Volumes I - IV, 2010, 1664pp.

"Is accounting for sustainability actually accounting for sustainability…and how would we know? An exploration of narratives of organisations and the planet", Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2010, pp 47-62.

"Social accounting research as if the world matters: Postalgia and a new absurdism", Public Management Review, 11(5), September 2009, pp545-573.

"International trends in corporate 'sustainability' reporting", (with M.Milne) Chartered Accountants Journal of New Zealand, 87(12), December 2008, pp61-63. (Reproduced in GAA Accounting (Global Accounting Alliance) February 2009 at http://www.gaaaccounting.com/gaa_issues)

"Social and environmental accounting and reporting: From ridicule to revolution? From hope to hubris?", Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting, 2(1), 2009, pp3-18.

"Review Essay: Envisioning sustainability and re-envisioning the large corporation - a short review essay on business and sustainable development", Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 28(1), April 2008, pp45-48.

"Taking a long view on what we now know about social and environmental accountability and reporting", Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting, 1(2), 2008, pp169-198.

"Struggling with the praxis of social accounting: Stakeholders, accountability, audits and procedures", (with C.Dey, D.Owen, R.Evans and S.Zadek) in A.Crane, D.Matten and L.J.Spence (eds) Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context, Routledge, London, 2008, pp358-400.

Social and Environmental Reporting and the Business Case, (with C. Spence) ACCA Research Report No.98, ACCA, London, 2008, 84pp.

Social Accounting, Mega Accounting and Beyond book cover"Social accounting and the academic community: Of foundations, jubilees and consistency" Ch1 in Social Accounting, Mega-Accounting and Beyond: A Festschrift in Honour of M . R. Mathews (Ed. with J. Guthrie) ( St Andrews: CSEAR) 2007 (pp3-10) ISBN 978-0-9555076-0-1

Social Accounting, Mega-Accounting and Beyond: A Festschrift in Honour of M . R. Mathews (Ed. with J. Guthrie) ( St Andrews: CSEAR) 2007 pp128+ Appendices ISBN 978-0-9555076-0-1

"Future Prospects for Sustainability Reporting" (with M. Milne) Ch 10 in Sustainability Accounting and Accountability J. Unerman , J. Bebbington and B. O'Dwyer, ( London: Routledge) 2007 (pp184-208) ISBN 978-0-415-38489-6

"Corporate sustainability: Accountability and the Pursuit of the Impossible Dream" (with K. J. Bebbington) in Handbook of Sustainable Development Ch 23 in Atkinson G, S. Dietz and E. Neumeyer (eds) ( London: Edward Elgar) 2007 (pp ISBN 978-1 84376 577-6

"A few thoughts on theory, methodology and research design in social accounting: (Or why is social accounting so difficult? Part II)", Social and Environmental Accounting Journal, 27(1), April 2007, pp17-22.

"Towards a more systematic study of stand-alone corporate social and environmental reporting: An exploratory pilot study of UK reporting", (with A.Erusalimsky and C.Spence) Social and Environmental Accounting Journal, 26(1), 2006, pp12-19.

"Does sustainability reporting improve corporate behaviour? Wrong question? Right time?" Accounting and Business Research International Accounting Policy Forum Vol.36 2006 (pp65-88)

"Trustworthy plc", Green Futures, March/April 2006, p45.

"Social, Environmental and Sustainability Reporting and Organisational Value Creation: Whose Value? Whose Creation?" Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 19(6) 2006 (pp793-819) ISSN 0951-3574/ doi:10.1108/09513570610709872
** Highly commended in the Mary Parker Follett Award for 2006

"NGOs, Civil Society and Accountability: Making the People Accountable to Capital" (with J.Bebbington and D. Collison) Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 19(3) 2006 (pp319-348)

"Do financial markets care about social and environmental disclosure? Further evidence and exploration from the UK" (with A.Murray, C.D.Sinclair and D.M.Power) Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 19(2) 2006 (pp228-255)

"Accounting and Theology, an introduction: initiating a dialogue between immediacy and eternity" - Guest Editorial (with K.McPhail and T.Gorringe) Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 17(3) 2004 (pp320-326) ISSN 0951-3574

"Beyond a critique of pure reason: From policy to politics to praxis in environmental and social research" (with T.Tinker) Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 16(5) 2003 (pp727-761) ISSN 0951-3574

"Can't See The Wood For The Trees, Can't See The Trees For The Numbers? Accounting Education, Sustainability And The Public Interest" (with D.J.Collison) Critical Perspectives on Accounting 13 (5/6) 2002 (pp797-836) ISSN 1045-2354

"The Social Accounting Project and Accounting Organizations and Society: Privileging Engagement, Imaginings, New Accountings and Pragmatism over Critique?" Accounting Organizations and Society 27(7) October 2002 (pp687-707) ISSN 0361 3682.

"Social and Environmental Disclosure and Corporate Characteristics: A Research Note and Extension" (with M.Javad, D.Power and D.Sinclair) Journal of Business Finance and Accounting 28(3/4) April/May 2001 (pp327-356) ISSN 0306 686X.

Selected other information

  • 2004: Elected as one of 14 founding members of the British Accounting Association Hall of Fame.
  • Has served on the editorial boards of 21 journals including Accounting Organizations and Society, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management and The British Accounting Review.
  • In recent years have given over 50 invited presentations in seventeen different countries.
  • Awarded the MBE for Services to the Accountancy Profession in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. See University of St Andrews archive press release 'MBE and OBE for St Andrews Professors'
  • 2012: Elected to the Academy of Social Science.
  • 2016: Inducted to Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal/Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Hall of Fame.

Web links

Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR)

Professor Rob Gray's YouTube channel

Link to Extended CV