Colin's critical research agenda focuses on the social and environmental impacts of organisations, and the means by which they account for and communicate those impacts. Over the past 20 years, he has worked on a number of high-profile and influential projects, including: helping to develop the first systematic social account produced by a UK plc; working in conjunction with the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability charity to explore the work of pioneers in integrated reporting, and exploring role of accounting in conflicts between corporations and activists in areas such as tobacco control and biodiversity.
Colin's research projects have explored accountability issues with a particular focus on social accounting and reporting. He has worked with the fair-trade organisation Traidcraft plc to develop new forms of social accounting and bookkeeping. He recently undertook research on behalf of Prince Charles's Accounting for Sustainability charity. This project is aimed at both practitioner and academic audiences, based around case studies of organisations participating in the project's Connected Reporting Framework initiative. Colin's other main interest is in the practice of external social accounting. External accounts are undertaken not by organisations themselves, but by others who are not part of the organisations whose conduct they consider to be unacceptable. External accounting processes and practices problematise organisational conduct from the perspective of oppressed social groups and/or ecological systems.
Dey C (2017) Ethnography, ethnomethodology and anthropology studies in accounting. In: Hoque Z, Parker LD, Covaleski MA, Haynes K (ed.). The Routledge Companion to Qualitative Accounting Research Methods. Routledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting, London: Routledge, pp. 147-162.
Collison D, Dey C, Hannah G & Stevenson L (2010) Not only economic, but also social hubris? Is child mortality in the wealthiest OECD nations a case to answer for 'Anglo-American' countries and their approach to accounting and business?. In: Tavidze A (ed.). Progress in Economics Research, Vol. 18. Progress in Economics Research, 18, New York: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 189-200.
Dey C, Russell S & Thomson I (2010) Exploring the potential of shadow accounts in problematising institutional conduct. In: Osbourne S, Ball A (ed.). Social Accounting and Public Management: Accountability for the Public Good. Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management, London: Routledge, pp. 64-75.
Gray R, Dey C, Owen D, Evans R & Zadek S (2008) Struggling with the Praxis of Social Accounting: Stakeholders, Accountability, Audits and Procedures. In: Crane A, Matten D, Spence LJ (ed.). Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context, First ed, Abingdon, UK: Routledge, pp. 358-400.