GLOBAL AND/OR LOCAL ACCOUNTING?
TRENDS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH
Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania
Emerging economies in general offer plenty of opportunities for research, given the pace and extent of
changes taking place. Accounting research looking at how global standards, norms, and tools meet local
contexts is valuable to enhance the understanding of the functioning of the current globalized world.
Conducting and publishing research on these contexts faces challenges as well, in terms of access to
data, adapting the Western theoretical approaches, and making the results of interest for a wider
international audience. I exemplify all of these challenges with one of my recent publications, i.e. Catalin
Albu, Nadia Albu, Oana Apostol and Charles Cho (2020) “The past is never dead: The role of imprints
in shaping social and environmental business responsibilities in a post-socialist context”, Accounting,
Auditing and Accountability Journal. We investigate in this paper how contextual factors and local
actors influence sustainability practice and reporting in a transition economy, i.e. Romania. The paper
mobilizes a local case, and particularly its historical context, to contribute to the wider international
research on sustainability reporting practices in non-Western settings. The paper shows how the practical
impediments for sustainability reporting identified in literature for settings such as Romania are not so
much an issue of ‘underdevelopment’ of institutions or ‘backwardness’, but of ideological differences.
With these results, I discuss again the dichotomy global vs. local accounting, to argue that despite a
significant level of acceptance of global models at national levels, responses are, and will continue to
be, shaped by the social, cultural, economic environment and by the agency of the local networks of