This study contributes to the debate on sustainability in higher education through a project conducted in a single Scottish university that incorporated sustainability into undergraduate accounting education through the application of a real-world problem in the form of a social and environmental report. Data from study participants were collected through questionnaires, which were analysed and interpreted through the lens of knowledge creation. The results demonstrate an increase in awareness and positive response to sustainability issues from all parties. It further indicates that opportunities to shape and develop further sustainability initiatives are possible through a dialogical approach. Such an approach is shown to provide an opportunity for knowledge creation and the transfer of sustainability issues in a democratic and emancipatory way. It highlights the importance of developing spaces/opportunities for sustainability dialogue that not only transcend the boundaries of a specific graduate discipline but also the borders of higher education institutions.
Bibliographical noteWe are very grateful for the comments received by the reviewers of this paper. We appreciate the support received by members of staff and external organizations (due to research procedures we are unable to disclose their names) that contributed to the project. We also would like to express our appreciation to Dr Bill Jackson and Dr Akira Yonekura for their useful comments and feedback. Thanks also go to the students who participated in the project. Without their engagement and passion to the subject this article would not exist. An early version of this paper was presented the 2013 International Enhancement Themes Conference organized by the Scottish Higher Education Academy. We very much appreciated the comments received during this event. We are also grateful for the comments we received at the BAFA 50th Annual conference. We also would like to give our thanks to the Edinburgh Centre for European Financial Studies (EDIFIS) and the QAA Enhancement Theme, who provided small grants to the University Enhancement Group to support this project.
- knowledge creation
- higher education
- social and environmental reporting