Information for decision making
Providing information to inform decisions is the central purpose of accounting and finance scholarship. This information might be directed at stakeholders (through, for example, ‘non-financial’ information found in corporate sustainability reports) or at shareholders (through, for example, quantification of risks from global environmental change). This information is generated by organisations themselves. At the same time, information is also gathered and communicated by investors who are seeking to understand the environmental, social and governance (ESG) profiles of firms they invest in. Moreover, financial markets need to incorporate such information into their operation in order to accurately reflect all the salient risks for capital markets.
Selected research in this theme
- Professor Shantanu Banerjee works on strategic corporate financial decisions with special attention to the role of non-financial stakeholders in shaping the priorities of business entities, including consideration of the factors that motivate firms to make long-term investments to improve the environmental and social impact of their activities.
- Dr Patrick Bigger and Dr Benjamin Neimark both work on engaging with stakeholders in a variety of profit-oriented conservation mechanisms, the financialisation of nature and land acquisitions in the Global South.
- Green bonds are a means for institutions, such as cities, to raise money to pay for projects that have an explicit environmental impact. Dr Patrick Bigger leads on this work. His research papers on this topic can be accessed via ResearchGate.
- Dr Mo Cheded adopts a science and technology studies perspective to explore how scientific and academic knowledge participate in shaping new subjectivities and forms of consumption – particularly in relation to genomics markets, genetic subjectivities, and the consumption of preventive solutions. Drawing on performativity theory, his work explores the possibility(ies) of alternative ways of doing markets, that are good for our society.
- Dr Sylvia D'souza's research focuses on the processes, relational dynamics, and micro logics that underlie practical ethical decision-making and action in organisations embedded within diverse socio-cultural contexts. In this sense, she is also interested in how particular ethical subjectivities are constituted and implicated within the dynamics of broader organizational and social structures, and how this shapes and orients different forms of ethical expression.
- Adrian Friday is Professor of Computing and Sustainability at Lancaster University. His work focuses on understanding how digital technologies, data and ICT impact society and the environment. He is an advisor to the leading Ubicomp journal, IMWUT; and a member of the Royal Society "Digital Technology and the Planet" working group responsible for advising on policy for ICT toward sustainable digital society.
- Dr Mahmoud Gad is interested in the information role of financial reporting, corporate transparency, and corporate social responsibility.
- Dr Stephen Homer's research revolves around defining and conceptualising sustainability and CSR based phenomena using a bottom-up approach and engagement with stakeholders to construct what these terms mean to them, in various scenarios. This includes sustainable campus, sustainable development, and corporate citizenship. As he is based in Malaysia, he also conducts research to evaluate how Western and Eastern perspectives vary on the concepts of sustainability and CSR.
- Dr Marian Iszatt-White’s research considers the potential disconnect between aspirational theories of leadership (for example, authentic, sustainable and servant leadership) and their fitness for purpose in enabling businesses to tackle the UN’s sustainable development goals. Specifically, she is concerned with the problems of advocacy versus inquiry in leadership research and with the notion of stewardship as constituting a higher order of aspiration.
- Professor Katy Mason investigates how multiple and distributed actors produce and consume different forms of knowledge in the making of moral markets. She draws on performativity theory to explore the representational practices that managers use to envision new versions of markets, to mobilise collective action and make markets that are good for our planet and society.
- Dr Argyro Panaretou’s research focuses on financial accounting and reporting, particularly on fair value accounting, credit risk reporting and accounting for financial instruments, including ESG-linked instruments.
- PhD candidate Michael Scotney is engaged in research on how corporations integrate climate-related information into traditional risk management processes, and on institutional investors' perceptions of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures project.
- Global Reporting Initiative is the most popular framework for corporate reporting of ESG performance indicators. Dr Dasha Smirnow explores whether voluntary adoption of the framework by a company is associated with the quality of their ESG disclosures or the level of their ESG performance.
- Green investment funds screen prospective investments in respect of a range of environmental (and social) impacts. Dr Di Wang looks at the motivation and effectiveness of corporations disclosing this type of environmental impact information through corporate reports.
- Dr Chelsea Yao's research interests lie in green investments, ESG, empirical asset pricing, institutional investors, and textual analysis.
- Professor Steve Young has a research focus on financial reporting and corporate communications, particularly the automated analysis of texts, and the increasing inclusion of ESG considerations in corporate disclosures.