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Research

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Prof Carol Adams, BA MSc PhD FCCA CA FAICD

Professor of Accounting in the Business School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 45425
Room number: MHL347

Contact Prof Carol Adams (email at carol.adams@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Carol Adams is an internationally renowned author in integrated reporting, social and environmental accounting and sustainability reporting. A number of her articles in academic accounting journals of international standing are ranked in the top 20 most cited articles in the journal in which they are published. She is founding editor of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal and writes on her website at www.drcaroladams.net.

Carol has been involved in various global corporate reporting initiatives and is currently a member of the ACCA’s Global Forum on Sustainability, the ICAS Sustainability Committee, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board’s Technical Working Group and the Stakeholder Council of the Global Reporting Initiative. She was a member of the Capitals Technical Collaboration Group for the International Integrated Reporting Council. She has also served as a Director and Council Member of AccountAbility and was involved in the development of the first AA1000 Framework.

Carol has a financial audit background qualifying as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland with KPMG. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a recipient of an Australian Govt. scholarship for the Mastering the Boardroom course. She holds an MSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics and a PhD in international corporate reporting from the University of Glasgow. She has held senior management positions in Universities including as Head of School, Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability).

Carol is an experienced non-executive director and consults to multinational corporations and other organisations on corporate reporting and integrating sustainability into business practices. She has led the development of internationally award winning management and governance processes and sustainability reports.

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Mini Biography

Carol Adams’ work is concerned with the role of accounting and reporting in the relationships between business, society and the environment. She is founding editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.

Research Groups

Business School

Research Interests

  • Corporate reporting
  • Integrated reporting
  • Sustainability reporting
  • Integrating sustainability into corporate practices

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Adams, C.A. (2015). Understanding Integrated Reporting: A concise guide to integrated thinking and the future of corporate reporting. Do Sustainability.
  • Gray, R., Adams, C.A. & Owen, D. (2014). Accounting, Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Accounting for Society and the Planet. Pearson.
  • Boyce, G. & Adams, C.A. (2011). Incorporating climate change impacts and adaptation into capital investment decision making. Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research Think Tank Report.
  • Grosser, K., Adams, C.A. & Moon, J. (2008). Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace: A study of corporate disclosure. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Adams, C.A., Burritt, R. & Frost, G. (2008). Integrating Environmental Management Systems, Environmental Performance and Stakeholder Engagement. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Hoque, Z. & Adams, C.A. (2008). Measuring and Reporting Performance of Government Departments in Australia. CPA Australia: Melbourne.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2006). Accounting for ethical, social, environmental and economic issues: towards an integrated approach. CIMA Research Executive Summaries Series.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2004). The Development of Corporate Web-Sites and implications for Ethical, Social and Environmental Reporting through these Media. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).
  • Gray, R.H., Owen, D.L. & Adams, C.A. (2003). Accounting and Accountability: Changes and Challenges in Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting. Hakuto-shobo Publishing Company: Tokyo.
  • Adams, C.A. (1999). The Nature and Processes of Corporate Reporting on Ethical Issues. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA): London.
  • Adams, C.A. & Harte, G.F. (1999). Towards Corporate Accountability for Equal Opportunities Performance. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Gray, R.H., Owen, D.L & Adams, C.A. (1996). Accounting and Accountability: Changes and Challenges in Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting. Prentice Hall International: New Jersey.
  • Adams, C.A., Hill, W.Y. & Roberts, C.B. (1995). Environmental, Employee and Ethical Reporting in Europe. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P. & Gray, S.J. (1993). Issues in International Accounting Harmonisation: the Significance of UK/US Accounting Differences and Implications for the IASC's Comparability Project. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): London.

Book review

  • Adams, C.A., Hoque, Z. & McNicholas, P. (2006). Case studies and action research. 361-373.

Chapter in book

  • Rob, G, Adams, C & Owen D (Published). Social and Environmental Accounting and the Critical Accounting Project(s): In search of creative tension? In The Routledge Companion of Critical Accounting. Roslender, R. London: Routledge. 241-257.
  • Gray, R.H Owen, D. & Adams, C.A. (2010). Some theory for social accounting? A review essay and a tentative pedagogic categorisation of theorisations around social accounting. In Civil Economy, Democracy, Transparency and Social and Environmental Accounting Research Role. Baldarelli, M-G. McGraw-Hill: Rome.
  • Gray, R., Owen, D. & Adams, C. (2009). Some theories for social accounting?: A review essay and a tentative pedagogic categorisation of theorisations around social accounting. In Sustainability, Environmental Performance and Disclosures. Freedman, Martin & Jaggi, Bikki Bingley: Emerald. 4: 1-54.
  • Adams, C.A. & Narayaran, V.A. (2007). The standardisation of sustainability reporting. In Sustainability Accounting and Accountability. Unerman, J., O'Dwyer, B. & Bebbington, J. Routledge: Oxford.
  • Adams, C.A. & Zutshi, A. (2005). Corporate disclosure and auditing. In Ethical Consumer. Harrison, R., Newholm, T. & Shaw, D. Sage: Thousand Oaks. 207-217.
  • Guthrie, J. & Adams, C.A. (2005). Social and environmental reporting. In Environmental Management and Decision-Making for Business. Staib, R. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke. 159-165.
  • Weetman, P., Jones, E., Adams, C.A. & Gray, S.J. (2004). Measurement in UK accounting standards: a case of increasing disharmony in relation to US GAAP and IASs. In Developments in International Accounting: International Harmonization of Accounting. Nobes, C.W. Edward Elgar Publishing: Cheltenham.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P., Jones, E. & Fray, S.J. (2004). Reducing the burden of US GAAP reconciliations by foreign companies listed in the US: the key question of materiality. In Developments in International Accounting: General Issues and Classification. Nobes, C.W. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Adams, C.A., Frost, G. & Webber, W. (2004). Triple bottom line reporting: a review of the literature. In The Triple Bottom Line: Does it all Add Up?. Henriques, A. & Richardson, J. Earthscan. 17-25.
  • Adams, C.A., Frost, G. & Gray, S.J. (2003). Corporate environmental and social reporting. In International Finance and Accounting Handbook. Choi, F.D.S. John Wiley: Oxford. Chapter 23.
  • Gray, R.H., Owen, D.L. & Adams, C.A. (2001). What is social accounting? In Earthscan Reader in Business and Sustainable Development. Starkey, R. & Welford, R. Earthscan: London. 122-125.
  • Roberts, C.B., Gray, S.J. & Adams, C.A. (1997). Corporate social and non-financial disclosures. In Handbook of International Accounting and Finance. Choi, F.D.S. & Mueller, G. John Wiley: Oxford.
  • Adams, C.A. (1996). The IASC's comparability project: will it bridge the divide between UK and US GAAP? In Readings in International Accounting. Blake, J. & Hossain, M. International Thomson Business Press: London. 111-117.
  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1994). The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC): a role playing case to determine the possible future agenda for the IASC. In International Accounting: A Case Approach. Schweikart, J., Gray, S.J. & Roberts, C.B. McGraw Hill: London. 138-145.

Edited book

  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1996). Financial Reporting By Multinationals. Library o International Accounting Series (Series Editor CW Nobes). Edward Elgar Publishing: Cheltenham.

Journal Article

  • Adams, C. (2017). Conceptualising the contemporary corporate value creation processes. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 30(4): 906-931.
  • Adams, C. (2017). Editorial: Losses, tributes and carrying on. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
  • Narayanan, V. & Adams, C.A. (2017). Transformative change towards sustainability: the interaction between organisational discourses and organisational practices. Accounting and Business Research 47(3): 344-368.
  • McPhail, K.J. & Adams, C.A. (2016). Corporate respect for Human Rights: meaning, scope, and the shifting order of discourse. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 29(4): 650-678.
  • Adams, C.A., Potter, B., Singh, P.J. & York, J. (2016). Exploring the implications of integrated reporting for social investment (disclosures). The British Accounting Review 48(3): 283-296.
  • Young, S., Nagpal, S. & Adams, C. (2016). Sustainable Procurement in Australian and UK Universities. Public Management Review 18(7): 993-1016.
  • Coulson, A., Adams, C., Nugent, M. & Haynes, K. (2015). Exploring metaphors of capitals and the framing of multiple capitals: challenges and opportunities for IR. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 6(3): 290-314.
  • Adams, C.A. (2015). The International Integrated Reporting Council: a call to action. Critical Perspectives on Accounting 27(3): 23-28.
  • Adams, C.A. (2014). Changing the way business is done: A critical review of two South African integrated reports. The Sustainability and Integrated Reporting Handbook 1.
  • Adams, C.A., Muir, S. & Hoque, Z. (2014). Use of sustainability performance measures in Australian Government departments. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 5(1).
  • Williams, S. & Adams, C.A. (2013). Moral accounting? Employee disclosures from a stakeholder accountability perspective. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 26(3): 449-495.
  • Adams, C.A. (2013). Sustainability reporting and performance management in Universities: challenges and benefits. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 4(3): 384-391.
  • Yang Spencer, S., Adams, C.A. & Yapa, P. (2013). The mediating effects of the use of an environmental information system on top management's commitment and environmental performance. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 4(1).
  • Adams, C.A. (2013). The role of leadership and governance in transformational change towards sustainability. Global Responsibility September 2013(9).
  • Adams, C.A. (2011). Sustainability comes first. Mining Chronicle (August.).
  • Adams, C.A. (2011). Sustainability reporting key to long-term viability. Keeping Good Companies 63(9): 569-570.
  • Adams, C.A. , Heijltjes, M.H. Jack, G., Marjoribanks, T. & Powell, M. (2011). The development of leaders able to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges: the role of business schools. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 2(1): 165-171.
  • Hoque, Z. & Adams, C.A. (2011). The rise and use of balanced scorecard measures in Australian government departments. Financial Accountability and Management 27(3): 308-334.
  • Adams, C.A. (2011). The role of leadership and governance in transformational change towards sustainability. Global Responsibility (9, September 2013.).
  • Adams, C.A. & Petrella, L (2010). Collaboration, connections and change. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 1(2): 292-296.
  • Adams, C.A. (2010). Sustainability research in need of a multi-disciplinary approach and a practice and policy focus? Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal 1(1).
  • Adams, C.A. & Whelan, G. (2009). Conceptualising future change in corporate sustainability reporting. Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal 22(1): 118-143.
  • Adams, C.A. (2009). Why corporate disclosure on diversity issues matters. Finance 50-52.
  • Adams, C.A. (2008). A Commentary on: corporate social responsibility reporting and reputation risk management. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 21(3): 365-370.
  • Zutshi, A., Sohal, A. & Adams, C.A. (2008). Environmental management system adoption by government departments/agencies. International Journal of Public Sector Management 21(5): 525-539.
  • Adams, C.A., Burritt, R. & Frost, G. (2008). Environmental management. Financial Management (September.): 43-44.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2008). Integrating sustainability reporting into management practices. Accounting Forum 32(4): 288-302.
  • Adams, C. & Gonzalez, C. (2007). Engaging with organisations in pursuit of improved sustainability accountability and performance. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 20(3): 333-355.
  • Adams, C.A. & McNicholas, P. (2007). Making a difference: sustainability reporting, accountability and organisational change. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 20(3): 382-402.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2007). Managing social and environemntal performance: do companies have adequate information? Australian Accounting Review 17(3): 2-11.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G.R. (2006). Accessibility and functionality of the corporate web site: implications for sustainability reporting. Business Strategy and the Environment 15(4): 275-287.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2006). CSR Reporting. Financial Management (June.): 34-36.
  • Adams, C.A. & Frost, G. (2006). The internet and change in corporate stakeholder engagament and communication strategies on social and environmental performance. Journal of Accounting and Organisational Change 2(3): 281-303.
  • Adams, C.A. (2005). The ethical, social and environmental reporting portrayal gap. The Corporate Citizen 5(1): 13-16
  • Adams, C.A. & Evans, R. (2004). Accountability, completeness, credibility and the audit expectations gap. Journal of Corporate Citizenship 14: 97-115.
  • Adams, C.A. & McPhail, K. (2004). Reporting and the politics of difference: (non)disclosure on ethnic minorities. Abacus 40(3): 405-435.
  • Adams, C.A. (2004). The ethical, social and environmental reporting - performance portrayal gap. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 17(5): 731-757.
  • Adams, C.A. (2004). Triple bottom line reporting. The Big Picture: How the Environmental Influences Corporate Profit 47.
  • Zutshi, A. & Adams, C.A. (2004). Voluntary guidelines: are they enough to sustain the environment? Alternative Law Journal 29(1): 23-26.
  • Adams, C.A. (2002). Internal organisational factors influencing corporate social and ethical reporting: beyond current theorising. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 15(2): 223-250.
  • Adams, C.A. (2001). Better environmental reporting is the key. European Chemical News, Responsible Care Supplement (April): 24-25.
  • Adams, C.A. (2001). Green fingers. Financial Management (April): 42.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). [Opinion article on accountability] Help firms to open up. Times Higher Education 3rd(November): 18.
  • Adams, C.A. & Kuasirikun, N. (2000). A comparative analysis of corporate reporting on ethical issues by UK and German chemical and pharmaceutical companies. European Accounting Review 9(1): 53-80.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). Ethical Reporting: past and future. Management Accounting 78(2): 48-50.
  • Adams, C.A. & Laing, Y. (2000). How to research a company. Social and Environmental Accounting 20(2): 6-11.
  • Adams, C.A. & Harte, G.F. (2000). Making discrimination visible: the potential for social accounting. Accounting Forum 24(1): 56-79.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). Responsible Care in changing times. AccountAbility Quarterly 14: 24.
  • Adams, C.A. (2000). The extent of stakeholder engagement and AA1000. AccountAbility Quarterly 12: 24-25.
  • (2000). The ISEA professional qualification. AccountAbility Quarterly [training supplement] 12: 2-3.
  • Adams, C.A. (1999). Greater accountability: a role for AA1000. AccountAbility Quarterly 11: 5-6.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P., Jones, E. & Gray, S.J. (1999). Reducing the burden of US GAAP reconciliations by foreign companies listed in the US: the key question of materiality. European Accounting Review 8(1): 1-22.
  • Adams, C.A. (1999). Reporting on equal opportunities: could do better. Accounting and Business (members supplement) September: 14-15.
  • Adams, C.A., Hill, W.Y. & Roberts, C.B. (1998). Corporate social reporting practices in Western Europe: legitimating corporate behaviour? British Accounting Review 30(1): 1-21.
  • Weetman, P., Jones, E., Adams, C.A. & Gray, S.J. (1998). Profit measurement in UK accounting standards: a case of increasing disharmony in relation to US GAAP and IASs. Accounting and Business Research 28(3): 189-208.
  • Adams, C.A. (1998). Review of International. International Journal of Accounting 33(666-668).
  • Adams, C.A. (1998). Review of Twenty five years of social and environmental accounting research: Is there a silver jubilee to celebrate? Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 10(481-531).
  • Adams, C.A. & Harte, G.F. (1998). The Changing portrayal of the employment of women in British banks' and retail companies' corporate annual reports. Accounting, Organizations and Society 23(8): 781-812.
  • Adams, C.A. & McMillan, K. (1997). Internationalising financial reporting in a newly emerging market economy: the Polish example. Advances in International Accounting 10: 201-221.
  • Roberts, C.B., Adams, C.A., Woo, R.W.K. & Wu, X. (1995). Chinese accounting reform: the internationalisation of financial reporting. Advances in International Accounting 8: 201-221.
  • Adams, C.A., Coutts, A. & Harte, G.F. (1995). Corporate equal opportunities (non) disclosure. British Accounting Review 27(2): 87-108.
  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1995). Corporate ethics: an issue worthy of report? Accounting Forum 19(2/3): 128-142.
  • Adams, C.A., Hill, W.Y. & Roberts, C.B. (1995). Social and environmental reporting in Europe. Social and Environmental Accounting 15(1): 2-3.
  • Adams, C.A., Ironside, C. & Milner, M.M. (1994). Improving teaching and learning at the University of Glasgow through the use of computers. Account 6(3): 32-4.
  • Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1994). International accounting education in the UK. Accounting Education 3(2): 167-181.
  • Abayo, A.G., Adams, C.A. & Roberts, C.B. (1993). Measuring the quality of corporate disclosure in less developed countires with particular reference to Tanzania. Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation 2(2): 145-158.
  • Adams, C.A., Weetman, P. & Gray, S.J. (1993). Reconciling national with international accounting standards: lessons from a study of Finnish corporate reports. European Accounting Review 2(3): 471-494.
  • Adams, C.A. (1992). Too wide a GAAP. Certified Accountant (July): 39-41.

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