Special Issue: Accounting in and by the Extractive Industries - Deadline: 31.8.2021

Call for papers for: Meditari Accountancy Research

Guest Editors:

Grant Samkin, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Tesfaye Lemma, Towson University, USA
Dessalegn Mihret, RMIT, Australia

About the Special Issue

Extractive industries are operations that extract natural resources in the form of metals, mineral and aggregates from the earth to be used by consumers. Examples include: oil and gas; mining; dredging; quarrying; forestry; and fishing. These natural resources play a “dominant social, economic, and political role in 81 countries, accounting for a quarter of global GDP and half the world’s population. Africa alone is home to about 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, 10% of the world’s oil, and 8% of the world’s natural gas” (The World Bank, 2018).

Given that the extractive industries are significant economically both from an international and local context, it is unsurprising that a rich and extensive academic literature from a wide range of disciplines surrounds this industry. In accounting, this includes the role mining companies play in standard setting (Luther, 1996; Cortese, Irvine and Kaidonis, 2007, 2009, 2010; Cortese and Irvine, 2010). However, it is in the sustainability and corporate social responsibility literature where the extractive industries have been the subject of the greatest focus. These disciplines include but are not limited to: business ethics (see for example, Kapelus, 2002; Yakovleva and Vazquez-Brust, 2012); mineral policy (Gilberthorpe and Banks, 2012; Velásquez, 2012); development policy (Hamann, 2003; Hamann and Kapelus, 2004); and environmental management (Jenkins, 2004).

While research into the extractive industries is well established, it is really only in the last decade that stakeholders have increasingly focused on their reputation as a ‘dirty business’. Although many developing countries are blessed with a wealth of natural resources, there are numerous examples where unspeakable human suffering from conflict in the form of civil war, poverty, corruption, violence, worker exploitation, and environmental degradation resulting in biodiversity loss, stemming from weak governance (The World Bank, 2018). Mining companies are often complicit in this suffering. Examples include but are not limited to: a Canadian mining company facing charges of human rights abuses in Eretria (Kassam, 2017); the use of children in the mining of cobalt used in household brands such as Apple, Microsoft and Vodafone (Amnesty International, 2016; Kelly, 2016); sand mining which has been described as “the global environmental crisis you’ve probably never heard of” (Beiser, 2016) and which disrupts riparian ecosystems with fatal consequences for biodiversity (Peduzzi, 2014); and the destruction of intact tropical forests (Gaworecki, 2018). Finally, the use of deadly force by the police, military as well as the private security forces owned by multinational corporations that has occurred in a number of countries (see, for example, Aglionby, 2005; Bond and Mottiar, 2013) is worthy of critical examination (see also Dupont, Grabosky and Shearing, 2003).

Continued criticism, particularly by NGOs for example Amnesty International and the Center for Public Integrity, as well as increased scrutiny by the popular media has highlighted the increasing scrutiny that stakeholders are prepared to subject this industry to. This has led to increasing levels of corporate responsibility disclosures as international mining companies have recognised that this scrutiny may lead to increasing levels of regulation that may potentially threaten their viability. To address this, business associations and other organizations including The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have developed frameworks designed to improve sustainable development and transparency in the mining industry. For example the GRI has developed a framework that can be used by multinationals to report on their corporate governance as well as the economic, social, and environmental impacts that their activities may have on the areas they operate in (Hamann and Kapelus, 2004; Ranängen and Zobel, 2014).

The benefits of CSR reporting for mining companies particularly after “decades of environmental disasters and the trampling of indigenous rights” are twofold (Gilberthorpe and Banks 2012, p. 185). First, it provides a social license to operate, and second, a tool for managing risk in unstable social and political environments (see also, Benson and Kirsch, 2010; Frynas, 2005; Trebeck, 2008). However, while CSR has meant safer technologies, better stakeholder engagement (Kepore and Imbun, 2010) and a business model that improves shareholder and employee perceptions of multinational companies (Frynas, 2005, p. 582), Gilberthorpe and Banks, (2012) argue that little evidence of real socio-economic development and benefit to affected communities exists.

This special issue calls for papers that take a critical look at accounting in and by the extractive industries. Contributors can also focus on responsible management as well as implications for future policy. The special issue editors encourage contributors to actively move beyond the accounting literature when developing their papers. A wide range of research methods are encouraged.

Some of the potential subjects of investigation could include:

  • Accountability and fairness
  • Anti-corruption measures put in place by organisations
  • Child labour and modern day slavery
  • Compliance with CSR principles, standards and tools
  • Empowerment of communities, promotion of human rights, and social equity in developing countries
  • Governance
  • Human rights
  • Impact of operations on biodiversity
  • One hundred years in the future, environmental, health and social legacy issues resulting from the abandonment or closure of mines.
  • The use of paramilitary and private policing by international mining companies
  • Protection and restoration of the natural environment
  • Role of mining corporations in the development of extractive industry specific standards and guidelines
  • The role the popular media, civil action, activism by indigenous populations, social movements and NGOs has played in the monitoring and regulation of mining activities

Submissions and dates

  • The closing date for submissions for this special issue is 31 August 2021
    Manuscripts should be submitted via Scholar One Manuscripts: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/medar
  • ScholarOne will open for manuscripts 4 months before the 31 August 2021 deadline
  • Please choose the special issue from the list in step 5 of the online submission process when submitting your manuscript
  • All papers will be blind reviewed using Meditari Accountancy Research’s normal procedures
  • All papers must follow the Author guidelines
  • The Guest Editors welcome enquiries in advance of submission and declarations of interest.
  • Enquiries can be sent to the Guest Editors: Grant Samkin ([email protected]), Tesfaye Lemma ([email protected]), Dessalegn Mihret ([email protected])

Key dates:

  • 31 August 2021: Submission deadline
  • 30 November 2021: First reviews before this date
  • December 2021 – May 2022: Revisions and further review rounds
  • June 2022: Final decisions
  • July 2022: Final copy to Emerald

References

Aglionby, J. (2005), “Indonesian military admits being paid by US mining firm”, The Guardian, 30 December 2005, available at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/dec/30/indonesia.johnaglionby (accessed 8 November 2018)

Amnesty International (2016), This is what we die for’: Human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo power the global trade in Cobalt, Amnesty International Ltd, London, United Kingdom available at https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR6231832016ENGLISH.PDF (accessed 8 November 2018).

Beiser, V. (2017), “Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve probably never heard of”, The Guardian, 27 February 2017, available at https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/27/sand-mining-global-environmental-crisis-never-heard (accessed 8 November 2018).

Benson, P. and Kirsch, S. (2010), “Capitalism and the politics of resignation”, Current Anthropology, Vol. 51 No. 4, pp. 459–486.

Bond, P. and Mottiar, S. (2013), “Movements, protests and a massacre in South Africa”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 283-302.

Cortese, C., Irvine, H. J. and Kaidonis, M. (2007), “Standard setting for the extractive industries: a critical examination”, The Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 1-10.

Cortese, C.L., Irvine, H.J. and Kaidonis, M.A. (2009), “Extractive industries accounting and economic consequences: Past, present and future”, Accounting Forum, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 27-37.

Cortese, C.L., Irvine, H.J. and Kaidonis, M.A. (2010), “Powerful players: How constituents captured the setting of IFRS 6, an accounting standard for the extractive industries”, Accounting Forum, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 76-88.

Cortese, C. and Irvine, H. (2010) “Investigating international accounting standard setting: The black box of IFRS 6”, Research in Accounting Regulation, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 87-95.

Dupont, B., Grabosky, P. and Shearing, C. (2003), “The governance of security in weak and failing states”, Criminal Justice, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 331-349.

Frynas, J.G. (2005), “The false developmental promise of corporate social responsibility: evidence from multinational oil companies”, International Affairs, Vol. 81 No. 3, pp. 581-598.

Gaworecki, M. (2018), “Extractive industries threaten a million square kilometres of intact tropical forests around the globe”, Mongabay, 12 July 2018, available at https://news.mongabay.com/2018/07/extractive-industries-threaten-a-million-square-kilometers-of-intact-tropical-forests-around-the-globe/ (accessed 8 November 2018).

Gilberthorpe, E. and Banks, G. (2012), “Development on whose terms?: CSR discourse and social realities in Papua New Guinea's extractive industries sector”, Resources Policy, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 185-193.

Hamann, R. (2003), “Mining companies' role in sustainable development: The 'why' and 'how' of corporate social responsibility from a business perspective”, Development Southern Africa, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 237-254.

Hamann, R. and Kapelus, P. (2004), “Corporate social responsibility in mining in Southern Africa: Fair accountability or just greenwash”? Development, Vol. 47 No. 3, pp. 85-92.

Jenkins, H. (2004), “Corporate social responsibility and the mining industry: conflicts and constructs”, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 23-34.

Kapelus, P. (2002), “Mining, corporate social responsibility and the ‘community’: The case of Rio Tinto, Richards Bay Minerals and the Mbonambi, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 275-296.

Kassam, A. (2017), “Canadian firm to face historic legal case over alleged labour abuses in Eritrea”, The Guardian, 23 November 2017, available at https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/nov/23/canadian-mining-firm-historic-legal-case-alleged-labour-abuses-eritrea-nevsun-resources (accessed 8 November 2018).

Kelly, A. (2016), “Children as young as seven mining cobalt used in smartphones, says Amnesty”, The Guardian, 19 January 2016, available at https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jan/19/children-as-young-as-seven-mining-cobalt-for-use-in-smartphones-says-amnesty (accessed 8 November 2018).

Kepore, K.P. and Imbun, B.Y. (2010), “Mining and stakeholder engagement discourse in a Papua New Guinea Mine”, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 220-233.

Luther, R. (1996), “The development of accounting regulation in the extractive industries: An international review”, The International Journal of Accounting, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 67-93.

Peduzzi, P. (2014), Sand, rarer than one thinks, United Nations Environment Programme, Global Environmental Alert Service, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Sioux Falls, SD, available at http://www.grid.unep.ch/products/3_Reports/GEAS_Mar2014_Sand_Mining.pdf (accessed 8 November 2018).

Ranängen, H. and Zobel, T. (2014), “Revisiting the ‘how’ of corporate social responsibility in extractive industries and forestry”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 84, pp. 299-312.

The World Bank (2018), Extractive Industries Overview, Washington, DC available at http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/extractiveindustries/overview (accessed 8 November 2018).

Trebeck, K. (2008), “Corporate social responsibility and democratisation: opportunities and obstacles”, in O’Faircheallaigh, C., Ali, S. (Eds.), Earth Matters: Indigenous Peoples, the Extractive Industry and Corporate Social Responsibility, Greenleaf Publishing, London, pp. 8–23.

Velásquez, T.A. (2012), “The science of corporate social responsibility (CSR): Contamination and conflict in a mining project in the southern Ecuadorian Andes”, Resources Policy, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 233-240.

Yakovleva, N. and Vazquez-Brust, D. (2012), “Stakeholder perspectives on CSR of mining MNCs in Argentina” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 106 No. (2), pp. 191-211.