Critical Perspectives on Accounting in Italian – English version
Michele Bigoni, University of Kent (M.Bigoni@kent.ac.uk)
Laura Maran, RMIT University (email@example.com)
Giovanna Michelon, University of Bristol (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Massimo Sargiacomo, Università degli Studi “Gabriele D’Annunzio” di Chieti-Pescara (email@example.com)
Journal rankings and impact measures in the form of citation scores are now global and are increasingly used by universities, governments and funding bodies for purposes which range from staff retention and promotion to research quality assessment and funding allocation (Wilmott, 2011; Parker & Guthrie, 2013; Picard et al., 2019). Italy is no exception and different journal rankings have been developed with the purpose of providing academics with clear guidance on the outlets in which high-quality research should be published. The “List of Class A Journals” compiled by the Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del sistema Universitario e della Ricerca (ANVUR – Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes) has become particularly popular because it is used for awarding professorships and for Ministerial accreditation of Doctoral programmes (ANVUR, 2020). The List simply ranks journals on the basis of inclusion or not, and only journals which are in the List are seen as ‘top-quality’. Unsurprisingly in light of current English language hegemonic power over academia (Hagège, 2012; Andrew et al., 2020), all the journals rated as ‘top’ are published in English. This in turn further reinforces the process of ‘Englishization’ of academia whereby particular forms of knowledge from Anglophone contexts come to be seen as natural, whilst others are marginalised (Boussebaa & Tienari, 2021).
The diffusion of journal rankings has helped expose Italian accounting scholars to international debates, and to some extent, this has meant Italian academics are less isolated (Antonelli & D’Alessio, 2014). Nevertheless, in a relatively short period of time Italian scholars have had to adjust to new ways of doing research. This includes an increased focus on journal articles as opposed to books, which had been the traditional way of spreading knowledge in Italy, and the search for new epistemological avenues and objects of enquiry in order to target international journals (Humphrey & Gendron, 2015; Maran & Leoni, 2018). Crucially, the pressure to publish in ‘international’ journals has also created a new barrier to career advancement for those who are not yet able to write skillfully in English (Andrew et al., 2020). The use of the English language as the main means of communication may also impact on an author’s ability to convey their message in a nuanced and sophisticated manner, thereby ‘watering down’ their potential contribution. The possibility of an exact translation is little more than a myth (Evans, 2018).
Faithful to Critical Perspectives on Accounting’s commitment to research diversity, this special issue begins to address the aforementioned issues by offering Italian-speaking scholars the opportunity to bring their work to the attention of the international community and articulate their ‘critical perspectives’ in their own language.
Consistent with the journal’s goal, we recognise that accounting practices and corporate behaviour are inextricably connected with the many allocative, distributive, social, gender and ecological problems of our era. We welcome interdisciplinary submissions that investigate accounting issues in conjunction with understandings from other disciplines and/or employ methodological approaches that remain under-explored in accounting studies (Roslender & Dillard, 2003; Gendron & Rodrigue, 2019; Michelon, 2020). Submissions should adopt a critical perspective (Gendron, 2018) and, hence, offer interpretations and positions that challenge dominant functionalist forms of thinking and knowing (Parker & Thomas, 2011). Engaging in critical accounting research is a quintessential political endeavour for critical studies seek to expose the interested, partisan nature of current institutional and economic arrangements (Deegan, 2017; Haynes, 2017). Critical studies also aim to enhance social, economic and environmental justice through the promotion of more democratic institutions and processes (Dillard & Vinnari, 2017).
This special issue is open to a wide array of topics of interest to the critical community (Dillard & Vinnari, 2017), including (but not limited to) accounting and auditing standard setting/regulation, the accounting profession, new public management and public sector accounting, healthcare management, neoliberalism, power relations and exploitation, financial crises, national austerity budgets, social and environmental accounting and reporting, and corporate governance. Topics can be analysed by adopting a current or historical perspective.
The special issue promotes theoretical diversity. Authors are therefore welcome to use understandings from well-known thinkers such as Marx, Foucault, Latour and Bourdieu to name but a few (Catchpowle et al., 2004; Sargiacomo, 2008; Cooper et al., 2011; Bigoni & Funnell, 2015). Nevertheless, authors are encouraged to tap into the rich Italian intellectual tradition and draw insights from the work of Italian theorists who are yet to attract the attention of the international community in fields as diverse as sociology, psychology, philosophy, organization theory, linguistics, anthropology and political economy. This special issue also welcomes quantitative approaches that offer a critique of current accounting and accountability practices (see Gray & Milne, 2015; Richardson, 2015; Roberts & Wallace, 2015). We expect the critical contributions of Italian-speaking authors will significantly contribute to enriching the debate on accounting and its interrelations with the social context in which it operates (Hopwood, 1983).
It is intended that a workshop will be held in respect of the call on 16-17 May 2022 at the University “Gabriele D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara. More details will be provided closer to the date. Those wishing to present at the workshop should contact Michele Bigoni (M.Bigoni@kent.ac.uk) and provide a draft paper by 31 January 2022. Authors of selected papers from the workshop will be invited to submit their revised papers for this special issue, subject to the review processes detailed below. Attendance and/or presentation at the workshop is not a prerequisite for submission to the special issue.
Submission process to the special issue
The deadline for submissions to this special issue is 31 October 2022. The guest editors welcome enquiries from those who are interested in submitting to the special issue.
Manuscripts should be submitted electronically in Italian via https://www.journals.elsevier.com/critical-perspectives-on-accounting. The editorial process, including editorial letters, reviews and revisions required from the authors, will be carried out in Italian. Apart from the spoken language, all papers will be reviewed in accordance with the normal processes of Critical Perspectives on Accounting. The manuscripts that are selected for the special issue will have to be translated into English before final acceptance (at the authors’ expense). The quality of this translation needs to meet the standards required by the editors, and will be subject to a validation process. To mitigate the limitations of translation and to strengthen dissemination in Italian circles, the English version of the manuscript will be published in the special issue, with the Italian version published as supplementary online material.
It is anticipated that this special issue will be published in 2024 or 2025.
Any queries or enquiries about the special issue should be directed to all of the editors at the following addresses:
Michele Bigoni (M.Bigoni@kent.ac.uk)
Laura Maran (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Giovanna Michelon (email@example.com)
Massimo Sargiacomo (firstname.lastname@example.org)