Damned if you do, damned if you don't: Conflicting perspectives on the virtues of accounting for people

Robin Roslender (Lead / Corresponding author), Abigail Marks, Joanna Stevenson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    It is no surprise to learn that to date accounting for people has attracted very little attention from critical accounting researchers. From their standpoint there is little in the history of accounting theory and practice that has served the interests of labour well. A worrying consequence of this lack of engagement with accounting for people is that potentially valuable insights may be disregarded by fiat. The recent emergence of human capital accounting as an element of the broader intellectual capital field is identified here as meriting closer scrutiny and debate. Informed by a wide ranging literature review, together with some of the findings of a study of the issues associated with accounting for employee health and wellbeing, viewed as a further key constituent of human capital, the paper argues that a virtuous accounting intervention, in the form of a critical accounting for people, might now be pursued to the benefit of both people and the broader society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-55
    Number of pages13
    JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


    • Human capital accounting
    • Intellectual capital
    • Public interest
    • Social accounting

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Accounting
    • Information Systems and Management
    • Finance
    • Sociology and Political Science


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