Loughborough University
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Accounting standard-setting for an emission trading scheme: the Korean case

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-08, 15:34 authored by Tae Hee Kim, Sun Hye Lee, Petros VourvachisPetros Vourvachis

This study examines the participation and interaction of relevant individuals in the process of developing an accounting standard for South Korea’s emission trading scheme (ETS). Despite the enormous accounting implications of such schemes, there is a paucity of research on the development and application of ETS accounting. Ulrich Beck’s and Anthony Giddens’s risk society framework is utilised to scrutinise the process of setting accounting standards—from the agenda-setting stage all the way to the final publication of the standard. In this case study, we take an interpretive approach in analysing the rich data collected through face-to-face interviews with prominent standard-setters, accounting experts and representatives of industry and government. Participant observation and relevant documents were also considered. The findings highlight the political nature of accounting standard setting and identify the risks and responsibilities of the key agents in the process along with the means of sub-political action taken to influence decisions. We reveal that the agents involved in standard setting attempted to balance their anthropocentric priorities with ecocentric responsibilities and prioritised the production of a standard with minimal impact on economic, reputational, and operational risk. Having authority as a standard-setter, referring frequently to precedents and, perhaps most importantly, engaging actively with the stakeholders throughout the process seem to have contributed to a widely accepted standard, which can serve as a benchmark for future attempts to factor in ETSs.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

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Journal of Business Ethics










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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Dr Petros Vourvachis. Deposit date: 7 November 2022