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Governance, Accountability and Purpose (GAP) Research Group

The BBS Governance, Accountability and Purpose (GAP) Research Group is populated by a community of scholars focusing their scholarship into the impact and efficacy of forward-thinking business practices that centralise stakeholders in decision-making and organisational activities. Research by the group is multidisciplinary and multi-level focused in that projects relate to individuals, organisations, markets and society.  Our central focus builds on the concept of triple bottom line reporting, resulting in three themes within the groups research of ‘purposeful profit’, ‘people’ and ‘planet’.


Businesses have a significant role in society. At times they drive significant change, at other times they respond to it. We are aware that recent corporate and organizational behaviour is falling well short of expectations. Recent company activity and organisation behaviour is characterised by limited stakeholder engagement, limited public trust, traditional measures of accounting and performance, short-termism, and usually a bare minimum investment in corporate social responsibility. However, more recently, companies and organisations have started to become transformational entities, embracing non-traditional stakeholders and performance metrics, taking a more long-term view, and allowing societally beneficial missions to drive their business value.

Exploring and understanding the multi-faceted nature of business transformation is the GAP groups’ primary focus. We employ a vertical framework of society, markets, organisations and individuals to structure our research around the themes of ‘purposeful profit’, ‘people’ and ‘planet’. The GAP group applies a multi-disciplinary lenses to utilise our faculty strengths.

The purposeful profit theme encompasses studies focused on performance related to positive or significant shifts in company activity or strategy. Current examples of this are the project on corporate disclosures during crises, family enterprise, and offshoring of accounting and audit services.

The people theme encompasses studies focus on the individual as the primary unit of analysis. Behavioural theory, ethical decision-making, business education and training, and work practice are examples of current research.

The planet theme encompasses studies focuses on environmental or global issues. The stream of research on carbon sequestration, solidarity tourism, and MNE internationalisation are examples of current research projects and contributions.

Research Outputs

Rafi ChowdhuryAssociate Professor2017Journal of Business EthicsThe Moral Foundations of Consumer Ethics
Keith DuncanProfessor2017Auditing: A Journal of Practice and TheoryInternal Audit Quality: Insights from Audit Committee Members, Senior Management and Internal Auditors
Jan HollindaleAssistant Professor2018Accounting and FinanceFemale audit committee members and their influence on audit fees
Jan HollindaleAssistant Professor2017Accounting and FinanceWomen on boards and greenhouse gas emission disclosures
Amy KenworthyProfessor2017Academy of Management Learning and EducationSustainability Management Teaching Resources and the Challenge of Balancing Planet, People and Profits
Joel MalenAdjunct Senior Teaching Fellow2017Journal of World BusinessSlack, Institutions and Innovation Effort Around the World
Robert NashAssociate Professor2018Regional StudiesThe motivations and experiences of community garden participants in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Daniel O'BrienAssociate Professor2018Sport Management ReviewAccumulating subcultural capital through sport event participation: The AFL International Cup.
Rajat RoyAssociate Professor2017Journal of Business ResearchCustomer Engagement behaviour in Individualistic and Collectivistic Markets