Original Research

Integrated reporting education and hegemonic domination

Karin Barac, Pieter Conradie, Rene L. de Klerk
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 13, No 1 | a534 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v13i1.534 | © 2020 Karin Barac, Pieter Conradie, Rene L. de Klerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2019 | Published: 22 October 2020

About the author(s)

Karin Barac, Department of Auditing, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Pieter Conradie, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Rene L. de Klerk, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Conventional accounting education is presented from a business perspective that rationalises the prioritisation of shareholder interests. Such a paradigm, viewed as the hegemony of business, fails to deliver on the emancipatory intent of social and environmental justice.

Research purpose: To determine whether a postgraduate diploma in integrated reporting (PGDIR) (advancing the principles of social and environmental justice) offered participants an explicitly transformative experience.

Motivation for the study: As educators, first, the authors set out to determine whether graduates of the PGDIR achieved a critical awareness of the tension between sustainability and the hegemony of business, and second, they wanted to determine whether the PGDIR prepared students to deal with hegemonic domination in practice.

Research approach/design and method: In this qualitative study, the first 4 years PGDIR graduates were interviewed.

Main findings: Postgraduate diploma in integrated reporting graduates, after critical self-reflection, expressed a sense of disillusionment arising from having attempted to implement the theory presented in the PGDIR. Whilst prior studies have identified critical thinking skills as necessary components of critical accounting education, this study suggests the need for emotional intelligence, and skills in consultation and negotiation as equally important tools to empower graduates to deal with hegemonic tension in practice.

Practical/managerial implications: The findings of the study could inform accounting pedagogies, as it explains how integrated reporting, with its purpose of advancing the principles of social and environmental justice, was taught in the PGDIR.

Contribution/value-add: The PGDIR, the object of the study, is based on the principles of social and environmental justice and provides insights into the way that these concepts can be taught in a progressive way.


Keywords

integrated reporting; accounting education; hegemony; critical awareness

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