Vigilant spreadsheets

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Accounting and Finance


In this paper we develop a categorization scheme for stakeholder research based on differences in studies' primary level of analysis (managerial agency, organizational, or societal) and use this scheme to review and critique genres of stakeholder-based accounting research. We draw three primary conclusions: 1) stakeholder research in accounting should more clearly incorporate the business ethics stakeholder literature, 2) ethical issues are much less likely to be considered in stakeholder-based accounting research when a managerial agency level of analysis is adopted, and 3) the accounting discipline can learn from debates within the business ethics literature concerning shareholder dominance and stakeholder legitimacy. These conclusions, taken together, demonstrate the need for accounting researchers to become more focused on ethical considerations in the design of accounting information systems, performance measurement criteria, and financial reporting models. Reprinted by permission of Business Ethics Quarterly

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