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Call for Papers: Accounting, non-governmental organizations and civil soc

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Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Accounting, non-governmental organizations and civil society

Organizers: Matthew Hall (LSE), David Lewis (LSE) and Brendan O’Dwyer (Amsterdam Business School).

Organizers: Matthew Hall (LSE), David Lewis (LSE) and Brendan O’Dwyer (Amsterdam Business School).

A Workshop sponsored by Accounting, Organizations and Society and Department of Accounting, London School of Economics and

Political Science

Location: London School of Economics, 7th-8th December 2012

In recent years the non-government/non-profit sector has

expanded in numerous ways, whether through a rise in the number of organizations, an increased level of economic activity,

or a greater role in welfare provision, humanitarian and development assistance and the formation of public policy. Despite these developments, little is understood about the practice, meanings and implications of

accounting in this expanding and increasingly more influential sector. Thus, the aim of the workshop is to promote examination of the role of accounting in the context of non-governmental organizations and civil

society. The workshop is interdisciplinary in focus and aims to bring together scholars from a variety of fields, including accounting, management and organization, development studies, social entrepreneurship,

philanthropy and the non-government and voluntary sectors. Indicative themes to be addressed include but are not limited to:

1. Performance measurement and evaluation How have the roles for and conceptions of performance measurement in NGOs and civil society changed over time, and what factors/events gave rise to those changes? What are the challenges in developing performance measurement and evaluation systems in cases of ambiguous and often conflicting goals and the absence of an institutionalised ‘bottomline’? What methods and practices (e.g., social return on investment, logical frameworks, most significant change stories, outcome mapping) are used to evaluate the work, effectiveness and impact of NGOs and what are their implications?

2. The role of accounting in NGO accountability What is the role of accounting in constructing notions of success and failure in NGOs and civil society? How does accounting contribute to and become implicated in different conceptions of accountability and the use of specific accountaility practices? How does the diversity of stakeholders (e.g., funders, beneficiaries, governments, the general public, professional staff, volunteers) relate to the tendency of NGOs to ‘over-account’ in general but ‘under-account’ to specific interest groups?

3. Management accounting/control systems and the management of NGOs What is the role of management control systems in changing the perceived importance of, and managing the tensions between, civic, social and economic imperatives in NGOs? What are the determinants, roles and effects of budgeting, costing, investment appraisal, incentives and other management control systems in NGOs?

4. External reporting How have the roles for and conceptions of financial reporting in NGOs and civil society changed over time, and what factors/events gave rise to those changes? Beyond the annual financial report, what is the role for and effects of the often extensive set of publicly-available material generated by NGOs, such as programme reviews, case studies, supporter newsletters and ad-hoc reports? How do NGOs cope with and respond to the often onerous reporting demands from a multitude of donors and supporters? How does the external reporting of NGOs represent and make visible the contribution and value of different NGO stakeholders?

5. Diversity and boundaries in NGOs and civil society How does the diversity of NGOs (e.g., small vs. large, local vs. national vs. multinational, single vs. multi-sector, humanitarian vs. development vs. advocacy) affect the role for and implications of accounting? What is the role of accounting in enabling (or constraining) the transformation of ‘informal’ social and volunteer movements into ‘formal’ organizations (or vice-versa)? How does accounting reinforce (or dissolve) the boundaries between private, public and civic modes of operation and governance in NGOs?

6. Accountants in NGOs and the role of expertise What role do accountants and accounting expertise play in NGOs and what is its significance? How are accountants viewed by NGO and civil society actors? What is the role of consultants, NGO experts, think tanks, professional associations, sector bodies, multilateral institutions (e.g., World Bank) and governments in promoting particular forms of accounting knowledge and practice in NGOs and civil society?

Conference papers must be submitted via email by 30th September 2012 to Matthew Hall (m.r.hall@lse.ac.uk). Authors

will be notified of their acceptance to the workshop by 30th October 2012. A financial contribution towards conference expenses will be made to authors of accepted papers. Authors of selected papers from the

conference will be invited to submit revised papers for a special issue of Accounting, Organizations and Society, subject to the normal review processes of the journal.

 

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