Translation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Organisational Level

  • Wed 7 Dec 22

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Colchester Campus

    EBS 2.45

  • Event speaker

    Professor Ataur Belal, Birmingham Business School

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC)

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Chaoyuan She

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support our world-class research activities in five key areas: accounting and global development; capital Markets, audit, regulation & reporting; publicness and resilience, precarity, exclusion & social justice; and environment, climate change & vulnerability. The seminar series is also expected to promote inter-disciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with others both within the university and with external institutions.

Seminar abstract

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework addresses several global challenges including climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, poverty, health, inequalities etc., which requires urgent attention by 2030. How much progress has been made so far? How do we assess progress towards these goals? To address these questions, we need reports containing reliable and complete accounts of progress made so far at the global, national, and organisational level.

At the global level, the UN provides various periodic accounts charting progress against each goal. The national level progress is periodically measured and fed back to the UN through various Voluntary National Reviews (VNR). Successful national level translation of SDGs (TSDGs) is dependent on the TSDGs at various organisations in the relevant country including private sector organisations. TSDGs at the organisational level and accounts of progress thereof are being reported via organisational level sustainability/SDG reports. While there is a desirable and clear link between global and national level accounts of progress against SDGs it is less clear whether current organisational level translation and accounts of progress are linked to the national level translation and accounts. To address this missing link, we need to understand the organisational level translation process and the accounts thereof. Given that governmental action alone may not be enough to achieve SDGs and its targets; their successful translation will require concerted actions from organisations around the world.

Several previous studies have examined TSDGs at the national level. However, the organisational level examination received less attention in the SDG literature. Our aim is to fill this gap by examining to what extent and how organisations’ policies and practices engage with the SDGs and contribute to their achievements. We argue that this is critical for successful national level translation of SDGs, which ultimately will lead to the achievement of SDGs at the global level by 2030.
For this purpose, we will draw from the sociology of translation literature to provide a conceptual lens for the study of how a global framework like the SDGs is translated at the micro-organisational level. We will propose multi- methods research design comprising a variety of qualitative, case-based analyses as well as quantitative document analyses.


How to attend this seminar

This seminar will take place on Wednesday 7 December 2022 at 2pm and is free to attend with no need to register in advance.

We welcome you to join us in-person at the Essex Business School (Colchester campus) in room EBS.2.45

If you are unable to make it in-person this seminar is available to attend live online.


Speaker bio

Professor Ataur Belal

Ataur Belal is Professor of Accounting and Sustainability at Birmingham Business School, The University of Birmingham, UK.

Prior to that he was Professor of Accounting and Academic Research Development Director of Accounting Division at Sheffield University Management School, The University of Sheffield, UK (2018-2021). Before that, he was Professor and Head of the Accounting Department at Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK (2003-2017).

He was a joint editor of Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management and currently he is an Associate Editor of Accounting Forum.

He is a member of the editorial boards of the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Business Ethics, Environment and Responsibility Journal and Critical Perspectives on Accounting. He has guest edited special issues of Accounting Forum, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal and Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Ataur obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield, UK.

His current research focuses on sustainability accounting and accountability, NGO accountability and sustainable development goals (SDGs). His work has appeared in the Accounting and Business Research, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Accounting Forum, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Journal of Business Ethics, Financial Accountability and Management, Business Ethics, Environment and Responsibility Journal and Work, Employment and Society.

He has presented his research in many international conferences around the world and obtained funding from the British Academy, CIMA and the British Council. He held visiting positions at Kobe University, Japan, Toulouse Business School, France, Regensburg University, Germany, University de los Andes, Colombia and University of South Australia. He has nearly 4500 google scholar citations of his works.