Accounting and the exploitation of the natural world: studies from a historical perspective

Lisa Jack, Christopher Napier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This article introduces the Special Issue of Accounting History on the topic of accounting and the exploitation of the natural world. After exploring the ambivalent nature of the word ‘exploitation’, with both positive and negative senses, the article reviews some earlier contributions to the historical accounting research literature relevant to the Special Issue. The four substantive research papers in the Special Issue are discussed and put into broader contexts, and the article identifies some potentially fruitful avenues for further research into how accounting has been implicated in the exploitation of the natural world in the past. The article concludes with brief tributes to two recently deceased accounting academics, Professor Tom Schneider and Professor Mike Jones, whose contributions to the Special Issue and to stimulating research into accounting for biodiversity, respectively, are acknowledged.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalAccounting History
Early online date19 Oct 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 19 Oct 2023


  • agriculture
  • mining
  • oil and gas
  • plantations
  • slavery
  • accounting records
  • cost accounts

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