Social and Environmental Accounting in Malaysia: Practioners' Views

Brian Telford, Neil Marriott, Norhayah Zulkifli

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Purpose – During the past decade in Malaysia, there has been a rise in the number of companies engaging in a rudimentary form of social and environmental reporting, and this has coincided with high-profile media coverage of environmental disasters in the country. The purpose of this article is to explore the perceptions of accounting practitioners in Malaysia to social and environmental accounting (SEA).

    Methodology/approach – The study utilises a mixed-method approach and involves 245 survey questionnaire respondents, 7 in-depth interviews and the qualitative data from 123 of the survey respondents.

    Findings – The level of knowledge and awareness of accounting practitioners in Malaysia of SEA is low. They are sceptical about quantification and valuation issues, but are able to see that reform, which would have to be driven by legislation, and could improve business performance regarding social justice and environmental quality.

    Research limitations/implications – This study enables the development of SEA and reporting framework as a vehicle for further discussions on business communication and the participants’ perceptions relating to social and environmental accountability in Malaysia. It postulates the strong likelihood that SEA will take root in Malaysia given the strong undercurrents of accounting and business malpractices and the clarion call by many for the reinstatement of the ethical dimension of the profession.

    Originality/value of the article – While most research on SEA and reporting in the context of Malaysia focuses on the disclosure aspects, this article explores the perceptions of accounting practitioners and establishes their insights on the issue of social and environmental accountability and reporting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAccounting in Emerging Economies
    EditorsMathew Tsamenyi, Shahzad Uddin
    PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
    Pages145 - 167
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84950-626-7
    ISBN (Print)978-1-84950-625-0
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

    Publication series

    NameResearch in Accounting in Emerging Economies
    ISSN (Print)1479-3563


    • social and environmental accounting (SEA)
    • Malaysia
    • emerging economies


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