The emancipatory potential of online reporting: The case of counter accounting

Sonja Gallhofer, James Haslam, Elizabeth Monk, Clare Roberts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    179 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to elaborate upon the notion of counter accounting, to assess the potentiality of online reports for counter accounting and hence for counter accounting's emancipatory potential as online reporting, to assess the extent to which this potential is being realised and to suggest ways forward from a critical perspective.

    Design/methodology/approach – There are several components to a critical interpretive analysis: critical evaluative analysis, informed to some extent by prior literature in diverse fields; web survey; questionnaire survey; case study.

    Findings – Web-based counter accounting may be understood as having emancipatory potential, some of which is being realised in practice. Not all the positive potential is, however, being realised as one might hope: things that might properly be done are not always being done. And there are threats to progress in the future.

    Originality/value – Clarification of a notion of counter accounting incorporating the activity of groups such as pressure groups and NGOs; rare study into practices and opinions in this context through a critical evaluative lens.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)681-718
    JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • Online operations
    • Pressure groups
    • Social accounting
    • Information society
    • Generation and dissemination of information
    • Social interaction


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