Environmental Management Accounting in Local Government: Functional and Institutional Imperatives

18 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2018

See all articles by Wei Qian

Wei Qian

University of South Australia - School of Commerce

Roger Burritt

University of Kassel

Gary S. Monroe

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Australian School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2018

Abstract

The challenge of using environmental management accounting (EMA) tools such as full‐cost accounting to improve waste and recycling management has been acknowledged for over a decade. However, research on assessing and understanding local government use of EMA, especially broader levels of EMA, is lacking. This study investigates the link between the nature and drivers of EMA practice for waste and recycling services based on a survey conducted with local governments in New South Wales, Australia. The study finds that although social and organisational factors are related to the uptake of EMA, local governments are subject to stronger functional demands than institutional pressures in their use of more expansive EMA such as indirect and external costs and impacts. This implies that the use of EMA in local government is viewed more as an adaptive activity to cope with functional challenges and achieve efficiency, than as an institutional imperative to achieve social acceptance.

Keywords: contingency theory, environmental management accounting, institutional theory, local government, waste and recycling management

Suggested Citation

Qian, Wei and Burritt, Roger and Monroe, Gary S., Environmental Management Accounting in Local Government: Functional and Institutional Imperatives (May 2018). Financial Accountability & Management, Vol. 34, Issue 2, pp. 148-165, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3159631 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/faam.12151

Wei Qian (Contact Author)

University of South Australia - School of Commerce ( email )

37-44 North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000, South Australia 5001
Australia

Roger Burritt

University of Kassel ( email )

Nordbanhofstr. 1
Witzenhausen, 37213
Germany

Gary S. Monroe

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Australian School of Business ( email )

UNSW Business School
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+61293856443 (Phone)

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