Accounting and Distributive Justice
By John Flower
Routledge – 2010 – 202 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in Accounting
Accounting and Distributive Justice challenges the basic assumptions on which the current practice of financial reporting is based. It argues that the objective of financial reporting should be to contribute to the achievement of distributive justice and not the optimal allocation of resources as in the traditional capitalist paradigm. It explains in non-technical terms the principle philosophical theories of justice and argues that a firm has a moral responsibility to seek distributive justice in its dealings with its shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, and other people with whom it has dealings, who are considered to be the firm’s stakeholders. The book introduces concepts of distributive justice to accountants and provokes them into reflecting on how the discipline of accounting can best serve the cause of justice. Accounting and Distributive Justice provides both a philosophical foundation and a practical game plan for the future of a more sustainable accounting practice.
'A valuable contribution to the accounting literature.' - David Collison, Social and Environmental Accountability Journal
'An interesting introduction for accounting scholars who want to broaden their perspectives on how reporting interplays with society' - Bino Catasús, The Accounting Review
1. The Wrong Paradigm 2. Distributive Justice 3. The Firm’s Responsibility for Distributive Justice 4. The Contribution of Financial Reporting to Distributive Justice 5. The Reporting Function 6. The Distribution Function 7. The Information Function 8. Concluding Remarks
John Flower is former Professor of Accounting at the University of Bristol and Director of the Centre for Research in European Accounting, Brussels. He has written several authoritative books on financial reporting, including Global Financial Reporting and European Financial Reporting.