Issues in Social and Environmental AccountingVol. 1, No. 2 December 2007Pp 217-242  A Communitarian Approach to Constructi...
218             M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-2421.      Introducti...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   219Doris 2004; Moir, 2001; O’ R...
220          M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242cial impacts of their...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   221in figure 1 below.          ...
222         M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242Private corporations s...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242       223                        ...
224         M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242able to them. Basic as...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   2251975) for the interpretive a...
226          M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242nomic should be addre...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   227imposed on pastoral farming ...
228         M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242and dialogue session t...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   2292002a; 2002b; Environment Wa...
230         M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-2426.3.2. Commercial Valu...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   231kato and Taupo District Coun...
232        M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242techniques will be more...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   233it may enter surface water o...
234         M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242tific and economic res...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   235cilitating role to the state...
236       M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242         Strategy - Part...
M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242   237        environmental news o...
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240      M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242       guest essay”, Acco...
11.pp.0217www.iiste.org call for paper-242
11.pp.0217www.iiste.org call for paper-242
11.pp.0217www.iiste.org call for paper-242
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  1. 1. Issues in Social and Environmental AccountingVol. 1, No. 2 December 2007Pp 217-242 A Communitarian Approach to Constructing Accountability and Strategies for Sustainable Development Murugesh Arunachalam Stewart Lawrence Waikato Management School University of Waikato, New Zealand Martin Kelly Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, New Zealand Joanne Locke Birmingham Business School, UKAbstractThis paper explores some ideas for expanding the scope of corporate accountability and therebycontemporary practices in corporate social reporting (CSR). Contemporary CSR practices havebeen criticized for acting as a legitimizing device for profit-seeking entities possibly at the ex-pense of the community. A communitarian correction to CSR practices suggests that account-ability to the community is necessary for any accounting aimed at sustainability. The interpre-tive methodology adopted in this study starts with a set of ideas or “pre-understandings” drawnfrom extant literature on accountability and communitarian philosophy. These ideas provide atheoretical lens for examining and understanding the participation of the Taupo business, farm-ing and general community in formulating strategies for sustainable development.of the TaupoDistrict in New Zealand. Alternating between our pre-understanding and the empirical data, aprocess known as “fusion of horizons” (Gadamer, 1975) in philosophical hermeneutics, is ameans by which theories can be developed.. This interpretive study indicates that meaning ofaccountability can be extended beyond a narrow conventional sense portraying accountabilityas a process of providing an account. Accountability also involves other dimensions such asmoral responsibility, cooperative enquiry, information sharing, transparency and joint responsi-bility. From a communitarian perspective these dimensions of accountability emphasise thecentrality of community and communal values. Accountability for environmental and socialissues extends beyond the domain of corporations, and involves community participation.Keywords: Community, Communitarian, Accountability, Sustainable Development and Coop-erative Enquiry
  2. 2. 218 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-2421. Introduction Drawing on the extant literature, we construct a model of accountabilityThe issue facing the Lake Taupo District based on communitarian philosophy.in New Zealand is the same as many These pre-understandings provide a con-other places: how to achieve sustainable ceptual lens to examine and understandmanagement in a vibrant economy. The empirical data related to community par-economic activity surrounding the larg- ticipation in developing strategies for theest Lake in New Zealand has had detri- Taupo District of New Zealand. In amental effects on water quality. In order sense, the theoretical ideas are testedto save the Lake from further degrada- against actual practice.tion, the community discussed andagreed on ecological priorities that The paper is structured as follows. Sec-would guide decision making in the tion 2 provides a literature review ofarea. CSR and common criticisms which have been levied against contemporary CSRThe objectives of this paper are two- practices. Section 3 provides explicationfold: firstly to provide a theoretical of a communitarian approach to environ-model of accountability involving com- mental and social accounting as articu-munal values and the social process of lated by some scholars. Flowing fromcooperative enquiry; and secondly to these ideas we develop a theoreticalillustrate through empirical evidence model for a communitarian approach tohow in practice such a model may affect accountability. Section 4 describes thethe priorities assigned to economic model and explains the principles under-growth, environmental protection and pinning it. Section 5 deals with thesocial considerations by a community. methodology adopted. Section 6 pro-The reported attempt to develop sustain- vides an illustration of aspects of theable strategies for the Taupo community communitarian model that have becomehelps us to reflect on the expanded operational in the Taupo District of New‘accountability’ model. Zealand. The paper concludes with some reflections on the communitarian ap-Contemporary corporate social reporting proach to accountability.(CSR) practices have been criticised fornot being genuine (Adams, 2002; Ad-ams, 2004; Owen, 2005; 2. Corporate Social ReportingCoupland ,2006, Gray, Deegan & Ran-kin, 1996). Some scholars have sug- Corporate social reporting involves re-gested a communitarian approach as a porting on social and environmental re-way forward to overcome flaws identi- sponsibilities of corporations (Golob &fied in current CSR practices (Lehman, Bartlett, 2007; Vuontisjarvi, 2006; Jen-1999; Lawrence & Arunachalam, 2006). kins & Yalovleva, 2006; Douglas &Murugesh Arunachalam is lecturer of financial accounting at the Waikato Management School, University of Waikato,New Zealand, email: murugesh@waikato.ac.nz. Stewart Lawrence is Professor in the Department of Accounting at theWaikato Management School, University of Waikato, New Zealand, email: slawrence@waikato.ac.nz. Dr Martin Kellyis a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a member of the New Zealand Institute of CharteredAccountants and also Joint Chairperson of the Department of Accounting, The University of Waikato, New Zealand,email: kelly@waikato.ac.nz. Dr. Joanne Locke is a senior lecturer at Birmingham Business School in the U.K., email:j.locke@bham.ac.uk
  3. 3. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 219Doris 2004; Moir, 2001; O’ Riordon, The lack information on negative im-2000). Though annual reports used to be pacts of corporate activities arises be-the major channel for reporting corpo- cause companies are concerned aboutrate performance in these areas (Epstein public reaction to bad news (Adam,& Freedman, 1994; Tilt, 1994), recent 2002). Negative information, such asdevelopments have seen web-based and non-compliance of environmental laws,stand-alone reports becoming more may raise concerns among investors andprevalent (Maughan, 2006; Musgrave expose the corporations to financial risksGroup, 2006; Coupland, 2006; WS At- (Deegan & Rankin, 1997). However,kins Plc., 2005; Fliess, 2007). The devel- lack of disclosures of negative newsopment of environmental and social ac- “acts as a barrier to enlightenment andcounting has been centred on corpora- hence progress” (Puxty 1991,p.39). Ad-tions reporting to their stakeholders, the ams (2002) considers contemporary en-main stakeholder being equity owners, vironmental and social accounting prac-creditors, customers, and employees tice as not representing “a genuine at-(Goyder, 2007; Moir, CGA, 2005; 2001; tempt to be accountable” (p.224).Clarkson, 1995; Starik, 1995;). Corpora-tions were given the privileged status of Some scholars criticise CSR practices as“reporting entities” and environmental being grounded in libertarian models ofand social accounting is assumed to be a accountability emphasising economicdomain managed and controlled by cor- rationale, individualism and accountabil-porations (Lehman, 1999). ity to self rather than accountability to others (Lehman, 1999; Shearer, 2002).CSR has been criticised to be reporting This makes “ethical all forms of exploi-more on positive impacts (Adams, 2004, tation that do not imply actually depriv-Gray, Owen, Adams, 1996) but with ing an individual of his or her free-minimal disclosures on the negative im- dom” (Barque, 1993, p.11 in Shearer,pacts of corporate activities (Deegan & 2002, p.561). Such an approach to ac-Gordon, 1996; Deegan & Rankin, 1996) countability can be catastrophic in that:or totally no disclosures of negative in-formation (Gutherie & Parker, 1990). The lives of people, the existence ofAchieving organisational legitimacy has non-human life forms, the integritybeen the main motivation for CSR of ecosystems, and the sovereignty(Deegan & Gordon, 1996; Deegan & of nations all are made subservientRankin, 1996; Guthrie & Parker, 1989, to the instrumental pursuit of profit1990; Cormier & Gordon, 2001; Patten, or productive growth. (Shearer,1992; Gray, Kouchy & Lavers 1995; 2002, p.563)Brown & Deegan, 1998; O’Donovan,2002; Deegan, Rankin & Voght 2000; Lehman (1999) is critical of contempo-O’Dwyer, 2002; Deegan, Rankin & rary social and environmental account-Tobin 2002, Adam, 2002). According to ing models which are based on proce-these studies corporations use CSR to dural liberal frameworks. Lehman pointsinfluence stakeholders’ perceptions of out that the liberal accountability enabletheir activities and enhance their image corporations to legitimize their activitieswith stakeholders. but fail to transform and make them ac- countable for the environmental and so-
  4. 4. 220 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242cial impacts of their activities. society. For Schweiker (1993) giving an account is one means by which individu-Maunders & Burritt (1991) believe that als are constituted as moral agents:environmental accounting has been in-fluenced by those with “a vested interest “Giving an account is one activity inin down–playing ecological im- which we come to be as selves andpact’ (p.12). Cooper & Sherer (1984) particular kinds of communitiesconsider that the outcomes of such ac- through forms of discourse thatcounting practices are “…essentially shape, guide and judge life regard-political in that they operate for some ing concern for the common good,groups in society and to the detriment of human solidarity and basic respectothers. (p.208). Gray et al (1996) consid- (p.235)ers contemporary accountability prac-tices as serving the interests of the most Accountability relationships becomepowerful groups in society and therefore more complex when a society consists ofa source of anti-democracy (p.41). multiple stakeholder groups or commu- nities with different interests and values. In this complex situation a stakeholder3. Broad Conceptualization of Ac- can be an accountor in one situation and countability to Society accountee in another (Gray et al 1996). Hence society is thought of as sets ofTo overcome limitations in libertarian relationships between the differentmodel of accountability, some scholars stakeholder groups and there exists ahave suggested broad conceptualisations series of ‘social contracts’ betweenof accountability (Cooper, 1992; Gray, members of society and society itself.1992; Henderson, 1991; Lehman, 1995;Lehman, 1999; Lehman, 2001; Maun- Lehman (1999) proposes a communi-ders & Burritt, Gelfand, Lim & Raver, tarian correction to reform liberal ac-2004; Green & Crowther, 2004, Democ- countability models. In the communi-racy Watch, 2004; Cooper, 2004; 1991, tarian model, accountability relation-Harte & Owen 1987). These scholars ships are formed at the community levelgenerally agree that organisations are and not merely confined within the pa-accountable to society at large for the rameters of corporations. Lehman’simpacts of their activities on the natural communitarian model envisages inter-environment, culture and values of soci- change between all levels in a commu-ety. Bebbington (1997) suggests the de- nity. This implies reporting on environ-velopment of new forms of environ- mental and social impacts of corpora-mental and social accounting which tions in order to empower the commu-have “enabling, empowering and eman- nity to engage in critical enquiry of thecipatory” (p.365) potential to create a impacts. Such enquiry enables the com-“fairer and more just society” (p.365). munity to participate in statutory deci-To take seriously obligations and ac- sion making processes to counter ad-countability to society, Shearer (2002) verse impacts of corporate activities.suggests “radical accountability” inwhich interests and values of individuals We have captured the broad form of ac-are subordinate to interests and values of countability articulated by these scholars
  5. 5. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 221in figure 1 below. The role of the state is to facilitate the process of cooperative enquiry and pro-Figure 1 shows the accountability rela- vide regulations and policies to monitortionship between the community, private activities of corporations. The overallcorporations and the state. Private corpo- purpose of accountability is to safeguardrations are accountable to the commu- the natural environment and communitynity for the impacts of their operations values According to Lehman (1999),on the natural environment and commu- modern communitarian thought ac-nal values. knowledges the importance of the role of the state in providing structures to en-The state collaborates with the commu- able civil society to evaluate criticallynity through processes of cooperative impacts of corporate activities and toenquiry to make private corporations decide on the future of such activities.accountable for their actions. Crucial The role of the state is confined to facili-aspects of the process of cooperative tating the accountability and policy mak-enquiry are dissemination of information ing processes in civil society withoutto community and participation of its interfering in the processes. The state ismembers in public meetings to debate on expected to be neutral. Modern commu-issues of common concern to members nitarian thought implies some kind ofof the community. Private corporations interaction between state and communityreport to communities on the impact of in formulating policy measures.their activities on the environment andsociety. However this broad conceptualization of accountability is flawed in several ways. Figure 1 Broad Conceptualization of Accountability to Community State Regulates Collaboration Accountable to Private Community Corporations
  6. 6. 222 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242Private corporations still assume the pri- forms to provide explanations andmary role of reporting entities and there- reasons for conduct (Munro, 1996,fore the flaws of contemporary CSR Willmott, 1996, Roberts, 1996,practices may also prevail in the broad Boland & Schultze 1996, Garfinkel,conceptualization of accountability. Also 1967). We are concerned with thethe meaning of community, process of mode of account giving to the com-cooperative enquiry and the outcome of munity.the process remains abstract. The broadconceptualization does not explain the 4. The underlying purpose of account-factors which drive accountability. Pal- ability explains the significance of alot (1991) considers the communitarian particular model of accountability.approach to accountability as remaining We want to know the significance ofin a skeletal and ambiguous form both in the communitarian model.theory and practice. If the broad concep-tualization is to be accepted as an appro-priate pathway to accountability, it needs 4. Cooperative Enquiryto address issues which are imperative toany form of accountability. The issues According to Tam (1998) cooperativeare: enquiry requires that claims to truth be evaluated or validated by a process of1. Accountability arises from a contrac- deliberation involving the participation tual relationship between the accoun- of members of society. The participants tor (the person held to account) and of cooperative enquiry should have ac- the accounteee (the person to whom cess to relevant information and be al- accountability is due). In this rela- lowed to express their views and ques- tionship the accountee has the right to tion the views put forward by other par- receive information and the accountor ticipants without intimidation, threat of obligation/ responsibility to supply persecution or stigmatization and be able information (Gray, 1992; Tricker, to come to a consensus on the validity of 1983; Munro 1996). In this paper we a claim. are interested in accountability rela- tionships that involve the community. Debate and dialogue in the public sphere is a crucial aspect of communitarian ap-2. The subject matter of accountability proach to decision making (Lehman, determines the types of information 1999). Taylor (1989) believes in a public produced. In this paper we are inves- sphere committed to discussion and de- tigating the type of information that bate. The purpose of debate and dia- empowers the cooperative enquiry logue is to enable members of civil soci- process. ety to be aware critically and deliberate on issues of significance. Debate and3. The mode of reporting is central to dialogue in the public sphere provides the accounting process. Written re- easy access to the viewpoints of differ- ports are an important form of ac- ent stakeholder groups and involves a count giving. Several researchers process of negotiation and explanation have extended the mode of account concerning the common good. giving to conversation and verbal
  7. 7. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 223 Figure 2 Role of Cooperative Enquiry in Communitarian Theory Community Partici- pates in Fundamental Princi- ples of Cooperative Enquiry Process of 1. Mutual Responsibility Cooperative 2. Power Symmetry Enquiry 3. Information Symme- Venue for Critical Validating enquiry truth Developing communal valuesThe centrality of the process of coopera- existence of a community of individualstive enquiry in communitarian ideology who have common values and are will-is the principal assertion of this paper ing to come together to deliberate andand the fundamental basis for a commu- agree on values for their common good.nitarian approach to accountability. Therole of the process of cooperative en- The epistemological stance assumed byquiry in communitarian theory is shown communitarians is the discovery of ethi-in Figure 2. cal values through the process of inter- pretation and social construction of val-The process of cooperative enquiry is a ues which exist in the “ways of life” ofhermeneutical process adopted by a members of a community. Under thecommunity to develop communal values social construction process members ofand enter into a critical enquiry of issues a community deliberate on their similarwhich have an impact of these values. and different values and attempt to es-The communitarian theory assumes the tablish a set of values which is accept-
  8. 8. 224 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242able to them. Basic assumptions guiding intelligible some aspects of their lives tothe process of cooperative enquiry are others in the social world is labeled thethe communitarian tenets of mutual re- universal aspect of accountability bysponsibility, symmetry of power, sym- Willmott (1996):metry of information and common good.Communal values, once developed and …accountability is a widespreadaccepted, form the basis for establishing phenomenon that occurs wheneverthe common good and virtues deemed people strive to account for theirimportant for the well-being of members experience in the world (p. 24).of community. An individual’s identityis assumed to be shaped by the values of We turn now to an empirical illustrationthe community to which the individual of this otherwise abstract communitarianbelongs. A set of communal values, once approach to accountability.established, can in turn serve as bench-mark for further cooperative enquiry.This includes critical enquiry to chal- 5. Research Methodologylenge existing systems and activitieswhich are detrimental to communal val- The regional authority, Environmentues. The enquiry process also deals with Waikato (EW), organised public meet-validation of truth claims i.e. assessing ings during the period July 2003 – Au-claims put forth by members of a com- gust 2004 to discuss and design a strat-munity to justify a certain course of ac- egy . The plan was known as the 2020tion. Taupo-nui-a-Tia Action Plan for the sus- tainable development of Taupo District.Accountability is embedded within the Information for this paper was obtainedprocess of cooperative enquiry. Advo- by attending such community consulta-cates of communitarianism generally tions and public participation pro-believe that accountability involves grammes, forums and community groupprocesses of negotiation, explanation meetings which were held in the Taupoand articulation in civil society to pro- District. Meetings were attended by thevide a sense of belonging and under- researchers, and follow-up interviewsstanding in the community arranged with influential groups such as(Macintyre,1984; Francis, 1991; Wilson the District Council, Protecting Lake1993.) The discharge of accountability Taupo Group (a group representinginvolves more than the preparation and farming interests), Bird and River Pro-dissemination of written reports to stake- tection League, and other active partici-holders and includes modes of account pants in the process. Minutes of meet-giving in the form of the spoken word ings, fact sheets, EW press releases,that draws the attention of members of strategy reports, website information oncivil society to the social impacts of pri- Lake Taupo, research articles publishedvate activities. Account giving also in- by EW and field notes were accumulatedcludes oral explanations and justifica- for subsequent analysis. The informationtions expressed in defending one’s inter- accumulated was examined using anest during the public participation proc- interpretive approach which is groundedesses. This making and giving of ac- in hermeneutic philosophy of Gadamercounts where participants are rendering (1975). Our fore-knowlwdge (Gadamer,
  9. 9. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 2251975) for the interpretive approach con- ery depend on a clean, clear lake (APRsists of our understanding of broad con- Consultants, 2002a, 2002b). The lake isceptualisation of accountability to soci- being affected by excess nitrogen flow-ety (paragraph 3 above) and understand- ing into the Lake from fertilizers, animaling of the communitrain process of co- effluent, septic tanks and urban stormoperative enquiry (paragraph 4 above). water runoff from the surrounding landWe interpret or make sense of the data (Marie, 2003). Environment Waikatoon the basis of these pre-understanding. (the Regional Council for the WaikatoIn turn, the data provides evidence to Region) has identified intensive animalvalidate, refute or modify our pre- farming as the main source of nitrogenunderstanding. The interaction or alter- flows into Lake Taupo (Environmentnation between the data and pre- Waikato, 2001a). The pumice soils ofunderstanding or “fusion of hori- the surrounding land allow nitrogen tozons’ (Gadamer, 1975) enabled us to leak into groundwater and bypass ripar-create themes which interrogate the con- ian vegetation (Environment Waikato,cepts of accountability, communitarian 2001a). The degrading water quality inprocess of cooperative enquiry and sus- the lake has been causing algal boomstainability The discussion in the follow- and health risks (Environment Waikato,ing section is presented according to 2001b; 2001c; 2001d). Changes to pol-these themes. icy decisions and local government plans are necessary to halt the decline in the water quality in the Lake6. Illustration of Communitarian (Environment Waikato, 2001e). Scien- Form of Accountability in the tific evidence (Environment Waikato, Taupo District 2004a) estimates that nitrogen entering the Lake from pastoral farmlands mustThe issue facing the Lake Taupo District be reduced by 20% to maintain waterin New Zealand is the same as many quality at current levels. However anyother places: how to achieve sustainable policy change will have implications formanagement in a vibrant economy. The land use, especially far mingeconomic activity surrounding the larg- (Environment Waikato, 2000b). Localest Lake in New Zealand has had detri- authorities acknowledge the importancemental effects on water quality of consulting the Taupo Community be-(Environment Waikato, 2000a, Marie, fore any change can be instituted2003a). In order to save the Lake from (Environment Waikato 2001h).further degradation, the community dis-cussed and agreed on ecological priori- The issue at hand was not merely an en-ties that would guide decision making in vironmental issue. The task of the policythe area (Environment Waikato, 2001f). makers (Environment Waikato in its ca-Lake Taupo, considered a national treas- pacity as the Regional Council) and stra-ure in New Zealand, is the source of the tegic planners (Taupo District Council)Waikato River and the main source of was to take into consideration economicwater supply for the greater Waikato and social considerations when address-Region (APR, Consultants, 2004b). Sev- ing the environmental issue affectingeral economic activities in the District Lake Taupo (Environment Waikato,including tourism, recreation, and fish- 2000b). The question is whether the eco-
  10. 10. 226 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242nomic should be addressed within the Taupo District Council, Central Govern-broad environmental dominion or ment Departments such as Ministry forwhether environmental considerations Environment, Department of Conserva-are subservient to economic considera- tion and Ministry for Agriculture andtions (Environment Waikato, 2000b). At Forestry (APR, 2002a, 2002b, Environ-several Public meetings in Taupo it was ment Waikato, 2004a, 2004b, 2005 ).pointed out that that any measures to The public realise the importance of tak-maintain a clean clear lake should take ing into consideration the views andinto consideration farming needs and concerns of the diverse stakeholderpractical considerations (Environment groups in reaching any decision or strat-Waikato, 2000b). egy to address the environmental issues aff ecting the Taupo Distri ctThe public in the Taupo District is repre- (Environment Waikato, 2000b ). Follow-sented by numerous groups with differ- ing are dimensions of a communitarianent interests, values and concerns (APR approach to accountability that emergedConsultant, 2002a; 2002b). There are from our hermneutical exploration of the“literally thousands of people, lots of data collected in relation to communitydifferent ideas, and in some cases, dif- participation in the Taupo District.ferent agendas in the Taupo Dis-trict” (Interview 2004, Response from 6.1. Accountability Issues in theFacilitator of Economic Development Taupo CommunityStrategy Processes). But they have ex-pressed an overriding mutual concern, a Though the Taupo Community consistscommon interest, in the preservation of of multiple groups which have differentthe water quality of Lake Taupo. An interests, they were willing to come to-active particupaant of communal proc- gether to identify their common valuesesses points out that : and engage in cooperative enquiry on issues that threaten their common values …we’re all in the community, what- (Taupe Accord, 1999, Environment ever our primary responsibilities, we Waikato, 2004b). The central issue of need to be thinking about commu- accountability is the pollution of Lake nity outcomes, what’s good for us as Taupo and the impacts of the pollution a community, and determining on communal values (Environment Wai- whether or not we have an impact kato, 2001b, Environment Waikato, on these areas, as value areas, areas 2004B). According to a member of which the community does. If we LWAG “People are just realising that have an impact then we should be the consequences of farming on the lake part of the solution in some way. and having septic tanks draining in there (Interview, 2003). has now destroyed or destroying theSome of these groups include the busi- lake.” (Interview, 2004). The variousness sector, various local community groups who acknowledge common val-groups, the local Maori Tribe (Iwi) ues (Taupe Accord, 1999, Environmentknown as the Ngati Tuwharetoa, the Waikato, 2004b,, nevertheless have di-Taupo farming community strongly sup- vergent interests. Farmers are concernedported by Federated Farmers, environ- about their livelihood and economic vi-mentalists, Environment Waikato, ability of their farms if restrictions are
  11. 11. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 227imposed on pastoral farming nitarian accountability (Lehman, 1999).(Environment Waikato, 2000b, Marie, The Taupo Community has been en-2003b). The tourist industry wants to gaged in cooperative enquiry processes -maintain clean water quality in the lake in the form of public meetings and fo-to cater for recreational activities like rums organised by local authorities andswimming and fishing (APR Consult- community groups - to address the pol-ants, 2002a, 2002b, Environment Wai- lution of Lake Taupo (Taupo Accord,kato, 2004b). There are conflicting inter- 1999; APR Consultant, 2002a; 2002b;ests between animal farming and tour- Environment Waikato, 2004a; 2004b;).ism related activities as commented by Community meetings have become ven-an interviewee “Continuing animal ues for reporting and debating the im-farming in the district will create good pacts of animal farming (Participant ob-district income, but threaten tourism in- servation in 2020 Forum and LWAGcome because the lake is going to be meeting).polluted” (Interview, 2003). Developerssupport less polluting residential devel- Several public meetings organised byopment in opposition to farming activi- Environment Waikato related to the twoties (APR Consultants, 2002a, 2002b). projects for developing strategies for theEnvironment Waikato wants to prioritise protection and management of Lakeabove all else the safeguarding of the Taupo and its catchments. These strate-Lake (Environment Waikato, 2004b). A gies are the Protecting Lake Taupo Strat-Planning Officer from the Taupo District egy (Environment Waikato, 2004a) andaptly points out that: the 2020 Action Plan (Environment Waikato, 2004b). Environment Waikato people are concerned about various initiated the development of the different things, some might be con- “Protecting Lake Taupo Strategy” in cerned about productive land being 2000. The aim of the strategy is to pro- taken out of existence, some will be tect the water quality of Lake Taupo. concerned about the effect on their The strategy is the outcome of consulta- enjoyment of land, some might be tion with the Taupo community, local concerned about increased traffic and central government agencies and and loss of amenity they expect in scientific and research organizations. the rural, they expect the rural area The formulation of the 2020 Action Plan to be quiet and not busy (Interview, was undertaken over the period 2001 – 2004) 2004 (Environment Waikato, 2004b). A significant aspect of the formulation was The cooperative enquiry processes pro- a communitarian process of cooperativevide a suitable setting in which to dis- enquiry known as the 2020 Forum. En-cuss the diverse interests in relation to vironment Waikato prepared and distrib-common values andpriorities. uted scientific and other information to engage the Taupo Community in the6.2. Theorization of Accountability As Forum (Participant Observation, 2020A Process of Cooperative . Forum 2003-2004). The first debate and dialogue session of the forum involvingSocial processes of cooperative enquiry members of the Taupo Community com-serve as the primary venue for commu- menced in July 2003. A monthly debate
  12. 12. 228 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242and dialogue session took place (every able and responsible for safeguardinglast Thursday of each month commenc- the common good, to address the pollu-ing July 2003 until September 2004) tion and make collective decision onuntil Environment Waikato produced the policy measures to counter the pollution.2020 Action Plan in October 2004. The The way to discharge this form of re-purpose of the forum was to address the sponsibility is by participating in theissues relating to protection and manage- processes. Accountability relationship isment of Lake Taupo and the sustainable implied during these processes whendevelopment of its catchments. One of there are members who do the answeringthe researchers was able to attend all the and providing information (the accountdebate and dialogue sessions of the 2020 giver) on the one hand and membersForum and monthly meeting of LWAG who question, listen and receive infor-over a period of 18 months.. mation on the other hand.Community meetings were also organ- Accountability has new meanings i.e. itised by Lakes and Waterways Action means more than traditional or conven-Group on a monthly basis to discuss tional concepts of accountability. It is amatters which are of significance to the more holistic approach involving differ-Taupo Community (Participant observa- ent parties. Some groups have direct im-tion attending LWAG meetings in 2003- pact, others no impact but the whole2004). This group has a good representa- community is involved. There is a sensetion from various stakeholder groups in of moral responsibility to the communitythe Taupo District (LWAG minutes of and this is discharged in several waysmeetings and participant observations). e.g. participating in community meetingsAt the same time as Environment Wai- in the accountability process, givingkato started community discussions opinions, answering, critically examin-through the 2020 Forum, the main ing an issue because of a sense of ac-agenda for the Lakes and Waterways countability. Various parties which par-Action Group were centred around is- ticipate in the enquiry processes can besues on protecting Lake Taupo and the seen as parties attempting to form com-sustainable development of its catch- munitarian accountability relationshipsments (Participant Observation 2003- in the Taupo District. One aspect of ac-2004). countability which involves most of these groups is the preparation and dis-Participation of members of the Taupo semination of information to the com-Community in the cooperative processes munity.is motivated by a sense of responsibilitytowards a common concern. Account- 6.3. Communal Values As The Basisability takes place when various commu- for Accountabilitynity groups engage in a collective dis-cussion to debate, seek and give expla- The values of the Taupo communitynation on the issues. It is the moral re- were identified through various surveyssponsibility of the members of the com- and community consultation pro-munity to participate in these processes, grammes undertaken by Environmentto take accountability for the common Waikato during the period 1998–2004good – Lake Taupo – and to be answer- (Taupo Accord, 1999; APR Consultants’
  13. 13. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 2292002a; 2002b; Environment Waikato, nutrients from farmlands in the sur-2004a; 2004b). Environment Waikato rounding catchments.identified three broad categories of com-munal values: environmental, commer- Another environmental value is the aes-cial and cultural (Environment Waikato, thetic worth of Lake Taupo and its sur-2004b). These reflect the three crucial roundings (Environment Waikato,elements of sustainability. The 2020 Ac- 2004b). The community want the wil-tion Plan specifically mentions that the derness, scenery and geological featureseconomic and cultural values are inher- of the area to be protected from inappro-ent in the environmental values priate development. The major human(Environment Waikato, 2004b). A brief threat on these aesthetic values is urbani-discussion of the community values sation which increases destruction ofwhich are presented in the 2020 Action natural areas, restrictions to legal access,Plan follows. visual and noise pollution, destruction of unique geological features, overcrowd-6.3.1. Environmental Values ing and congestion.The prominence of environmental values On a regional scale, Environment Wai-in the Taupo Community and a strong kato was seeking a mandate from thepreference for preserving the Lake was Waikato community to enforce policiesreported in surveys conducted by Envi- to protect the natural environmentronment Waikato. According to a sur- (Environment Waikato, 2001b). In No-vey undertaken in the year 2000 vember 2000, public participation in the(Stewart, Johnston, Rosen and Boyce, form of a survey of 1873 people in the2000) 90% of the urban community and Waikato Region gave a strong mandate91% of the rural community consider to Environment Waikato to take actionpreserving the water quality of the Lake on environmental issues affecting theas the most important issue for the region. The survey revealed a strongTaupo District. The survey also reported environmental ethic in the region, thethat 78% of the respondents want the community’s awareness of environ-protection of Lake Taupo to occur ahead mental issues and its unwillingness toof development. allow activities that harm the natural environment. The community did notThe community wants clear and clean wish to compromise environmental qual-water in Lake Taupo in order to main- ity for economic growth. Environmentaltain a range of ecosystems and natural issues that were considered increasinglyhabitats which support flora and fauna in important were water quality in localthe Lake; for trout fishing; to support streams, rivers and lakes. The commu-recreational activities; for safe drinking nity was concerned about water pollu-water that continues to meet the New tion from industries, towns and farmZealand drinking water standards; for runoffs. People rated the environment assafe swimming; and for a weed-free lake more important than economic growth.to reduce harm to the ecosystem The Taupo community does not accept a(Environment Waikato, 2004b). The deteriorating lake, though at a slow rate,major threat to the water quality in the and it was important to adopt strongerLake is groundwater carrying nitrogen measures to save the Lake.
  14. 14. 230 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-2426.3.2. Commercial Values decision making related to environ- mental management. The Maori tribeCommercial activities which are recog- wants to improve communications withnised as contributing to the economic government agencies and to be recog-development of the Taupo District are nised as treaty partners in resource man-animal farming in the catchments, tour- agement and decision making processesism industry based on the Lake’s natural in the Taupo district. The tribe alsofeatures and values and the hydropower wants to reduce adverse impacts of ur-schemes (Environment Waikato, 2004b). banisation on Lake Taupo and protect,The Taupo Community realise the im- enhance and restore sacred places likeportance of continuous economic devel- burial grounds. The values of the Maoriopment that provides long-term employ- Community are also stated in its envi-ment and business opportunities. At the ronmental management and strategicsame time the community wants eco- plans (Ngati Tuwharetoa Maori Trustnomic development that builds on com- Board, 2002; Nga Hapu Ongati Tuwha-munity. This includes protecting the lake retoa, 2000).and its catchments from further degrada-tion and preserving these natural re- The main threat to the cultural values ofsources for future generations. The 2020 the Maori tribe is the confusion aboutAction Plan has described the duality of the roles and responsibilities of govern-this development strategy as Eco- ment agencies and the lack of partner-Development. ship between the Maori tribe and gov- ernment agencies in the management ofThe major threats to Eco-Development the natural resources of the Taupo Dis-are degradation of water quality in the trict.lake due to inflow of nutrients fromfarming activities, diversification of land Non-Maori people also form a large por-use, fluctuating Lake levels due to hydro tion of the population in the Taupo Dis-power schemes, lack of infrastructure, trict. The Europeans own many busi-tourism expansion which causes over- nesses and farm land and are an impor-crowding, noises, littering around the tant part of the Taupo Community.lake and lake side development such as However the 2020 Action Plan does notmotels, hotels and restaurants resulting link Non-Maori and other cultures to thein loss of scenic and landscape values. cultural values of the Taupo Commu- nity. Hence attempts to use cultural val-6.3.3. Cultural Values ues in the interpretation of sustainability are limited to the culture of the localCultural values have been related to the Maori tribe only and this may not repre-beliefs of the Ngati Tuwharetoa, the sent a holistic interpretation of sustain-Maori tribe in the Taupo District ability.(Environment Waikato, 2004b). Accord-ing to the 2020 Action Plan the Maori 6.4. Integrated Sustainable Develop-tribe asserts custodial and customary ment Strategies Setting Benchmarkrights and sovereignty over Lake Taupo. For Evaluating Future Activities.The tribe holds a holistic view of theenvironment, which is at the core of its Since the late 1990’s Environment Wai-
  15. 15. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 231kato and Taupo District Council with the The 2020 Action Plan (Environmentsupport of the Central Government, Waikato, 2004b) presents the values ofcommunity groups and other sectors the community, threats to the values andhave developed several strategies for the ways to manage these issues. It focusesfuture development of the Taupo District on what needs to be done in addition to(Apr Consultants, 2002b; Environment the current work to reduce the threats toWaikato, 2004a; 2004b). Three main the communal values. It outlines the newstrategy reports containing the outcomes actions to be undertaken by variousof public participation and cooperative agencies to assist the community to pro-enquiry processes have been published tect and enhance the communal values.to date i.e. Taupo District Economic De- Key agencies which were given thevelopment Strategy (APR consultants, mandate to address theses actions in-2002b), 2020 Action Plan (Environment clude The Tuwharetoa Maori TrustWaikato, 2004b) and Protecting Lake Board, Environment Waikato, TaupoTaupo Strategy (Environment Waikato District Council, Department of Conser-2004a). These strategies reflect the com- vation and Department of Internal Af-munal values, in particular the commu- fairs. The Action Plan identifies annity’s strong preference for protecting “action manager’ – i.e. an agency – forthe water quality in the Lake. each new action. Each agency is to take a lead in coordinating the actions by in-The Taupo District Economic Develop- cluding community groups and otherment Strategy (APR Consultants, 2002b) agencies in carrying out the actions.acknowledges all the values of theTaupo Community and supports ac- The Protecting Lake Taupo Strategytivites that protect and enhance Taupo (Environment Waikato, 2004a) is anDistricts lakes and waterways. The strat- outcome of several years of communityegy asserts that future economic devel- participation in public consultation proc-opments in the district should ensure that esses organised by Environment Wai-the environment is protected but not to kato to find solutions that protect Lakethe extent that growth is stifled unneces- Taupo and maintain the local economysarily. The strategy has identified strate- and community. It comprises a frame-gic objectives, high priority actions, lead work of ideas that are intended to assistagencies to implement the strategy and the Taupo community in developingthe time frame for implementation. Ar- more specific solutions to reduce theeas covered in the strategy include busi- amount of nitrogen flowing into theness development, Maori economic de- Lake. To achieve the 20% reduction invelopment, agriculture, education, en- nitrogen load the strategy suggestsergy, forestry and tourism. The Lake changes to farm management and landTaupo Development Company was uses in the surrounding catchments offormed by the local authorities to coordi- the Lake. Nitrogen reducing options fornate the implementation of the strategy, farm management include changing feedto update the strategy document, coordi- regimes to reduce the amount of nitro-nate the lead agencies and checking with gen excreted by stock and changing thethem on progress and reporting publicly mix of stock in farming systems to re-on the progress. duce the overall amount of nitrogen leached from a property. However these
  16. 16. 232 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242techniques will be more costly to operate activity that affects the natural environ-and impinge on the economic well being ment. Clause 6 Part 1 of the First Sched-of the farmers. Therefore the strategy ule in the RMA provides opportunitiesalso recommends conversion of the use for any person to make submission toof land from animal farming to other the Regional Council on a proposed pol-activities that yield low levels of nitro- icy statement or plan that is publicly no-gen while providing returns comparable tified under Clause 5 of the First Sched-to traditional farming returns. The alter- ule.natives include forestry and switching tohorticulture. The strategy also proposes Based on the facts and arguments pre-rules to implement a nitrogen cap in the sented at the hearing local authoritiescatchments. These rules require that ex- make decisions related to approving oristing land uses do not increase their ni- rejecting a proposed plan or activitytrogen leaching above current levels. A (Mitcalfe & Lang, 2002 ). A copy of thenitrogen tax is being considered on ac- decision is sent to all submitters allow-tivities which cause increases in nitrogen ing submitters the opportunity of appeal-flows compared to existing levels of ing against the council’s decision in theflows. The strategy provides guidelines Environment Court. Section 120 of theto monitor future activities in the catch- Resource Management Actments in that it serves as a document for 1991provides the right of appeal to thethe community to compare future activi- submitters (RMA, 1991). The appealsties with the options proposed in the against the resource consent decisions orstrategy. appeals on plans or policy statements are made to the Environment court. The6.5. The Submission, Hearing and Ap- Ministry for the Environment providespeals Processes Environmental Legal Assistance Scheme for appellants (Mitcalfe & Lang, 2002).The submission and public hearing proc- The Environment Court, also known asesses are other means by which commu- the Planning Tribunal, is a specialistnities in New Zealand can participate in Court set up under the RMA and con-cooperative enquiry on activities that sists of Environment Judges and Envi-affect the natural environment such as ronment Commissioners (Mitcalfe &land, beds of lakes and rivers, coastal Lang, 2002).marine area and on activities that dis-charge contaminants into the environ- On 9 July 2005 Environment Waikatoment (RMA, 1991, MFE, 2003). Further, publicly notified a Proposed Waikatocommunities can also have a say in rela- Plan Regional Variation (Environmenttion to proposed changes in plans and Waikato, 2005). The proposed variationpolicy statements of local authorities is an outcome of consultation with the(Mitcalfe & Lang, 2002). The submis- community which was undertaken bysion and hearing endorsed by the Re- Environment Waikato in its attempts tosource Management Act 1991 (RMA) in form the various strategies discussedNew Zealand. Section 96 of the RMA above. The purpose of the variation is toallows any person to make a submission protect water quality in Lake Taupo byto a consent authority about an applica- managing land use and nutrient dis-tion for resource consent to carry out an charged to land in the catchments where
  17. 17. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 233it may enter surface water or ground wa- maintain relevance of the Action Plan toter and subsequently enter the Lake. The all sectors of the Taupo Community.variation document which is publiclyavailable contains background informa- The JMG is expected to meet on a quar-tion and explanation on the pollution of terly basis to receive reports from theLake Taupo and related issues and pro- key agencies on actions being under-posed policy measures, implementation taken, completed or planned and to de-methods, environmental results antici- bate and dialogue on community con-pated and details of how to make a sub- cerns on the values identified in themission. 2020 Action Plan. The JMG appears to be mainly represented by governmentThe Taupo Community was given until agencies and local authorities. The only2 September 2005 to lodge submissions link between the JMG and the commu-on the proposed variations (Environment nity at large is the representation byWaikato, 2005). During the submissions Lakes and Waterways Action Group.period Environment Waikato received This group reports to the community136 submissions from individuals, com- during its regular monthly meetings.panies, Maori tribal community, envi- Feedback from the community is con-ronmental groups, another regional veyed to the JMG through the represen-council, industry groups, central govern- tative of the Lakes and Waterways Ac-ment, community groups, territorial au- tion Group.thority, tourism and recreational groupand others (Environment Waikato, 6.7. Dissemination of Information and2005). The submissions addressed over a Two-Way Reporting Process820 matters related to the pollution ofLake Taupo. Information reported to the community was mainly scientific in nature6.6. The Joint Management Commit- (Environment Waikato 2004a, 2004b).tee The information was mainly provided by Environment Waikato, Central Govern-The Joint Management Committee ment Departments, such as Department(JMG) was set up in the Taupo District of Conservation, Ministry of Agricultureto monitor the implementation of strate- and Forestry, Ministry for the Environ-gies and progress on the action plans ment, etc and the Taupo District Coun-that were identified during the commu- cil. The information was reported duringnal processes (Environment Waikato, community meetings, consultation, sub-2004b). The JMG comprises of repre- mission and hearing processes, sciencesentatives from various interest groups expo in the form of fact sheets, bro-in the Taupo District including Lakes chures, complete reports, minutes ofand Waterways Action Group, Depart- meetings and power point and videoment of Conservation, Environment presentations (Participant observationWaikato, Taupo District Council, Maori during 2020 Forum, 2003-2004). An-Tribal Community and Department of other medium of reporting includes web-Internal Affairs. The task of the JMG is sites created by Environment Waikatoto ensure that the actions identified in and Taupo District Council containingthe Action Plan are carried out and to extensive information including scien-
  18. 18. 234 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242tific and economic research findings on forum could then take the informa-the issues related to pollution of Lake tion back to their groups and share itTaupo (Environment Waikato, 1999- with all their people and they come2007) . The purpose of providing infor- back and report at the next forum somation is to enable members of the com- there is a cycle developed throughmunity to participate in the cooperative giving out information to the stake-enquiry on the pollution and in a way holder representatives they wouldmaking the community accountable for share it with their groups and theythe common good. Community groups will bring comments back in thesuch as farmers association – Lake next meetingTaupo Care and Fonterra – and Lakesand Waterways Action Group also pro-vided some information to the pubic but 7. Conclusion and Reflectioninformation from these sources wereminimal when compared to the abun- The illustration of the Taupo Commu-dance of material provided by local au- nity indicates that a communitarian ap-thorities, in particular Environment Wai- proach to accountability becomes opera-kato (Participant observation during tional when community groups partici-LWAG meetings and 2020 Forum, 2003 pate in the local government policy mak--2004). ing and planning process. The distinctive features of a communitarian approach toThe reporting process in the Taupo accountability discussed in this paper areCommunity is a two-way process in that reporting to communities, critical en-information is disseminated to various quiry by members of public on privategroups during the processes of coopera- activities, a lead role for the state (in thetive enquiry and representatives of these illustration it refers to local authoritiesgroups in turn report this information to and central government departments) intheir respective organisations. In subse- the reporting and facilitating critical en-quent community meetings, the repre- quiry, focus on communal values, andsentatives report on their groups’ views symmetry of information to empowerand other information related to the issue communities. The process provides abeing discussed. This process aims to venue for enquiry on activities that af-induce dialogue in the community. The fect communal values.facilitator of the 2020 Forum made thefollowing comments on the reporting Accountability takes the form of report-process during the 2020 Forum: ing and sharing of information in the community; debate and dialogue in the …to empower everyone that was community with some groups providing there with information that can then explanations and others seeking clarifi- be taken back to their groups and cations and querying; establishing shared with their groups so the pre- benchmarks, roles, responsibilities and senters who gave updates on the strategies and monitoring performance latest of the scientific research and of agencies assigned key responsibilities the findings of their investigation to manage and protect lake Taupo and that information was presented to communal values. The communitarian the forum each representative in the approach to accountability assigns a fa-
  19. 19. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 235cilitating role to the state in order to with a willingness to share information,bring more accountability to the commu- discuss and find solutions on issues thatnity. The state takes the responsibility to affect communal values.prepare and disseminate information tothe public on issues that affect commu- We hope the communitarian frameworknal values such as environmental and will inspire private and public organisa-social impacts of private activities. In tions to include community views andaddition the state provides appropriate communal values in developing corpo-structures for a critical evaluation of rate governance strategies and makingthese issues in the public sphere. This policies for corporate social reporting.can take the form of debate and dialogue The model complements calls by re-in forums and public consultation pro- searchers to consider accounting andgrams organized by the state. In this accountability as a social phenomenonprocess members of civil society are involving the wider community and toengaged to decide on the fate of activi- construct critical and democratic path-ties that have negative repercussions on ways to accountability and strategies forcommunal values. Accountability can be sustainability. The illustration of com-enforced when private entities or indi- munity participation in the Taupo Dis-viduals take part in community delibera- trict shows that the scope of accountabil-tions and attempt to justify their activi- ity for the natural environment and soci-ties in order to avert policy outcomes ety can be expanded beyond contempo-that are detrimental to their legitimacy. rary CSR practices. It shows joint ac- countability of a community, private andThe significance of the communitarian public corporations to each other.approach to accountability is that it en-hances citizen participation by creatingawareness and enabling members of a Referencescommunity to participate in a criticalenquiry on common issues. This ap- Adams, C. A. (2002) “Internal organisa-proach also allows for more symmetry tional factors influencing corpo-of information in that the community rate social and ethical reporting.can gain access to information which Accounting , Auditing and Ac-may not be disseminated by contempo- countability Journal, 15(2), 223-rary models of accountability. The pri- 250.mary purpose of the communitarian ap- __________ (2004) The ethical, socialproach to accountability is to safeguard and environmental reporting-the common good and not the private performance gap, Accountinginterest of a limited number of members Auditing and Accountabilityin the community. Journal, Vol 17 No 5, 731-757 APR Consultants, (2002a) Taupo Dis-This case study illuminates a wider trict Economic Developmentmeaning for accountability. Account- Strategy – Economic Overviewability in the community denotes a re- (Draft for Public Comment)sponsibility on the part of members of Taupo.the community to participate in _______________ (2002b) Taupo Dis-a network of interactive relationship trict Economic Development
  20. 20. 236 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 Strategy - Partnership for ResearchAndAdvocacy/ growth (Final Strategy Report). A r e a s o f I n t e r e s t / Taupo: Lake Taupo Communi- SustainabilityReporting/Pages/ ties Economic Partnership Steer- ca_sustainability_exe_summary. ing Group. aspxAristotle, (1968) The politics of Aristotle Clarkson, M. B. E. (1995) “A stake- (E. Barker, Trans.). London: holder framework for analyzing Oxford University Press. and evaluating corporate socialBebbington, J. (1997) “Engagement, performance”, Academy Of education and sustainability: a Management review, Vol. 20, review essay on environmental pp. 92-117. accounting”, Accounting , Audit- Cooper, C. (1992) ‘The non and nom of ing and Accountability Journal, accounting for mother nature”, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 365-381. Accounting , Auditing and Ac-Boland, R. J., & Schultze, U. (1996) countability Journal, Vol. 5, No. “Narrating accountability: cog- 3, pp. 16-39. nition and the production of the Cooper, D. J., & Sherer, M. J. (1984) accountable self”, In R. Munro “The Value of Corporate Ac- & J. Mouritsen (Eds.), Account- counitng Reports: Arguements ability: Power, Ethos & The for a Political Economy of Ac- Technologies of Managing, pp. counting”, Accounting, Organi- 1-19. London: International sations & Society, pp. 207-232. Thomson Business Press. Cooper, S. (2004) Corporate Social Per-Bradley, F. H. (1927) Ethical Studies. formance: A Stakeholder Ap- Oxford: Clarendon Press. proach. Hampshire, England:Brown, N., & Deegan, C. (1998) “The Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. public disclosure of environ- Cormier, D., & Gordon, I. (2001) “An mental performance information examination of social and envi- - a dual test of media agenda ronmental reporting strategies”, setting theory and legitimacy Accounting , Auditing and Ac- theory”, Accounting and Busi- countability Journal, Vol. 14, ness Research, Vol. 29, No. 1, No. 5, pp. 587-616. pp. 21-42. Coupland, C. (2006) “Corporate socialBurritt, R., & Welch, S. (1997) and environmental responsibility “Accountability for environ- in web-based reports: Currency mental performance of the Aus- in the banking sector?” Critical tralian Commonwealth public Perspectives on Accounting, service”, Accounting, Auditing Vol. 17, No. 7, pp. 865-881. and Accountability Journal, Deegan, C., & Gordon, B. (1996) “A Vol. 10, pp. 532-562. study of the environmental dis-CGA (Certified General Accountants closure policies of Australian Association of Canada) (2005) corporations”, Accounting and “Corporate Sustainability Re- Business Research, Vol. 26, No. porting”, Retrieved 20 Novem- 3, pp. 187-199. ber, 2007, from http://www.cga- _________ & Rankin, M. (1996) “Do canada.org/en-ca/ Australian companies report
  21. 21. M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 237 environmental news objec- Releases : Minister Backs Taupo tively? An analysis of environ- Protection [http:/ mental disclosures by firms w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / prosecuted successfully by the whatshappening/mediareleases/ Environmental Protection Au- mr639193.htm?version=print]. thority”, Accounting , Auditing Wikato regional Council. Re- and Accountability Journal, trieved 16/10/2000, 2000, from Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 52-69. the World Wide Web:__________ & _________ (1997) “The _____________ (2000b) Media Re- materiality of environmental leases : Residents Agree on information to users of annual Clean Lake [http:// reports”, Accounting, Auditing w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / and Accountability Journal, whatshappening/mediareleases/ Vol. 10, pp. 562-584. mr645130.htm?version=print].___________, _________ & Tobin, J. Wikato regional Council. Re- (2002) “An examination of the trieved 25/10/2000, 2000, from corporate social and environ- the World Wide Web mental disclosures of BHP from _____________ (2001a) Media Re- 1983-1997: a test of legitimacy leases : Boost for Riverbanks in theory”, Accounting , Auditing Council Plan [http:// and Accountability Journal, w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 312-343. whatshappening/mediareleases/___________, __________ & Voght, P. mr664940.htm?version=print]. (2000) “Firms disclosure reac- Wikato regional Council. Re- tions to major social incidents: trieved 12/3/2001, 2001, from Australian evidence”, Account- the World Wide Web: ing Forum, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. ______________ (2001b) Media Re- 101-130. leases : Growing Concern AboutDemocracy Watch. (2004) “Definition Environmental Issues http:// of a Democratic Society”, Re- w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / trieved 21 November, 2007, whatshappening/mediareleases/ from http://www.dwatch.ca/ mr664680.htm?version=print]. democracy.html Wikato regional Council. Re-de Villiers, C., & van Staden, C. J. trieved 9/3/2001, 2001, from the (2006) “Can less environmental World Wide We disclosure have a legitimising ______________ (2001c) Media Re- effect? Evidence from Africa”, leases : Algal Bloom Shows Up Accounting Organizations and Lake Problems [http:// Society, Vol. 31, No. 8, pp. 763- w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / 781. whatshappening/mediareleases/Douglas, A., & Doris, J. (2004) mr664251.htm?version=print]. “Corporate social reporting in Wikato regional Council. Re- Irish financial institutions”, The trieved 7/3/2001, 2001, from the TQM Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 6, World Wide Web: 387-395. _______________ (2001d) Media Re-Environment Waikato (2000a) Media leases : Eradicating Lake Taupo
  22. 22. 238 M. Arunachalam, et. al. / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 2 (2007) 217-242 Weed Not Possible [http:// Proposed Waikato Regional w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / Plan Variation 5 Lake Taupo whatshappening/mediareleases/ Catchment (Proposed) Summary mr681269.htm?version=print]. of Submissions. Wikato regional Council. Re- ______________ (1999 - 2007) trieved 1/6/2001, 2001, from the “Protecting Lake Taupo”, Re- World Wide Web: trieved 22 November, 2007,______________ (2001e) Media Re- from http://www.ew.govt.nz/ leases : Protection for Lake policyandplans/taupo/ Taupo in Council Plan [http:// i n - w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / dex.htm#Bookmark_submission whatshappening/mediareleases/ s mr664950.htm?version=print]. Epstein, M., & Freedman, M. (1994) Wikato regional Council. Re- “Social disclosure and the indi- trieved 12/3/2001, 2001, from vidual investor”, Accounting, the World Wide Web: Auditing and Accountability______________ (2001f) Media Re- Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 94- leases : Environmental Expecta- 109. tions Rising [http:// Etzioni, A. (1993) The Spirit of Commu- w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / nity: Rights, Responsibilities, whatshappening/mediareleases/ and the Communitarian Agenda. mr666109.htm?version=print]. New York: Crown Publishers Wikato regional Council. Re- Inc. trieved 16/3/2001, 2001, from _________ (1996) The new golden rule : the World Wide Web: community and morality in a______________ (2001h) Media Re- democratic society. New York: leases : Minister to Launch BasicBooks. Taupo Strategy [http:// Fliess, B. (2007) “Informing consumers w w w . e w . g o v t . n z / about social and environmental whatshappening/mediareleases/ conditions of globalized produc- mr688637.htm?version=print]. tion”, Paper prepared for the Wikato regional Council. Re- OECD/NL Food Economy Con- trieved 4/7/2001, 2001, from the ference 18-19 October 2007 in World Wide Web: The Hague. Retrieved 19 No-______________ (2004a) “Protecting vember, 2007, from http:// Lake Taupo: A Long Term Stra- www.foodeconomy2007.org/ tegic Partnership”, Environment NR/rdonlyres/6C1DDC4F-0FCF Waikato Regional Council - 4 C C E - B D 3 6 -______________ (2004b) 2020 “Taupo C5176CF6263A/50189/ -nui-a-Tia Action Plan: An In- Workshop32BarbaraFliess.doc tergrated Sustainable Develop- Francis, J. R. (1991) “After Virtue? Ac- ment Strategy for the Lake counting as a Moral and Discur- Taupo Catchment”, Environ- sive Practice”, Accounting , Au- ment Waikato regional Council diting and Accountability Jour-______________ (2005) Environment nal, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 5-17. Waikato Policy series 2005/09: Frazer, E. (1998) “Communitarianism”,
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