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John Roberts


Professor

Rm 311
H69 - Economics and Business Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 9351 8611
Fax +61 2 9351 6638
john.roberts@sydney.edu.au


Bio

John Roberts obtained his doctorate in from the UMIST in 1984. He subsequently held Senior Research Fellowships at the Department of Accounting and Finance at Manchester University, the Centre For Business Strategy at London Business School, and St. Catherine's College Cambridge, before taking up a lectureship at the newly created Judge Business School in Cambridge in 1991. He has worked at the University of Sydney Business School since 2007.

His qualitative research work spans three main areas of interest; the uses of accounting information in processes of organisational accountability, corporate governance and, in particular, the impact of regulation on the dynamics of board roles and relationships, and the nature of ethics in business. His work on accountability began immediately after his doctorate and applied Giddens' structuration theory to explore the uses of accounting information in creating accountability within organisations. This work resulted in a series of early papers in Accounting, Organizations and Society which continue to be widely cited. It was this work that formed the basis of the second focus of his research - corporate governance and, in particular, qualitative studies of board roles and relationships, and company /fund manager meetings. This work has resulted in several empirical and theoretical publications in Long Range Planning, Human Relations, the British Journal of Management, and Accounting, Organizations and Society as well as a series of more practitioner oriented reports. It also influenced UK corporate governance reform by informing the 2003 Higgs review of the Role and Effectiveness of the Non-Executive Director. His third area of research has been into the nature of ethics in business. An early empirical piece drawing upon the work of Alasdair MacIntyre in the Journal of Management Studies was followed by a number of innovative papers. A special issue of Business Ethics Quarterly included one of the earliest papers to introduce the work of Levinas to the academic business ethics literature, and was followed by a widely cited paper in Organization on corporate social responsibility, and most recently in the Journal of Business Ethics. A related innovation has been theoretical work that draws upon psychoanalytic theory and, in particular, the work of Lacan, also published in Organization. His most recent work has combined these themes in analysing and exploring the global financial crisis including two papers, one on self interest and the other on the limits of transparency in Accounting, Organizations and Society, and a forthcoming paper in Culture and Organisation on the role of pay practices in the crisis.

Publications

2014

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 2014 'Testing the limits of structuration theory in accounting research', Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol.25:2, pp. 135-41 Link

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2014 'Inthinking strategy: fantastic corporation', 14th Annual European Academy of Management EURAM Conference, Valencia, Spain, 7th June 2014

2013

4
Journal Article/s

Seidl D, Sanderson P and Roberts J 2013 'Applying the "Comply or Explain" principle; Discursive legitimacy tactics with regard to codes of corporate governance', Journal of Management and Governance, vol.17:3, pp. 791–826 Link

Fleming P, Roberts J and Garsten C 2013 'In search of corporate social responsibility: Introduction to special issue', Organization, vol.20:3, pp. 337-48 Link

Birnberg JG, Bromwich M and Roberts J 2013 'Memorial – Anthony G. Hopwood: Academic Iconoclast and Entrepreneur 1944-2010', Accounting Horizons, vol.27:4, pp. 895–907 Link

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J and Young A 2013 'Making Environmental, Social and Governance Issues Calculable and Accountable?', Accounting, Organizations and Society workshop - "Performing Business and social innovation through accounting inscriptions", Gallway, Ireland, 24th September 2013

Roberts J 2013 'Experimenting with subjection; twenty years of UK corporate governance', Scottish Area Group Annual Conference 2013, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 2nd September 2013

6
Conference Proceeding/s

Young A and Roberts J 2013 'Materiality for whom? Responsible investment and the societal function of listed equities', 36th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association EAA 2013, Paris, France, 8th May 2013

2012

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 2012 'Between the Letter and the Spirit: Defensive and Extensive Modes of Compliance with the UK Code of Corporate Governance' in The Sage Handbook of Corporate Governance, ed. Thomas Clarke and Douglas Branson, Sage Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom, pp. 196-216

Roberts J 2012 'Agency without Agents: Exploring the Relationship between Identity and Ethics' in Belief and Organization, ed. Peter Case, Heather Höpfl and Hugo Letiche, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, United Kingdom, pp. 144-62

Roberts J 2012 'Trust and control in Anglo-American systems of corporate governance: the individualising and socialising effects of processes of accountability' in New Direction in Business Ethics, ed. A. Crane and D. Matten, Sage

Roberts J 2012 'Motivation and the Self' in Introducing Organization Behaviour and Management 2nd edition, ed. D. Knights and H. Willmott, Thompson

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J and Ng W 2012 'Against economic (mis)conceptions of the individual: Constructing financial agency in the credit crisis', Culture and Organization, vol.18:2, pp. 91-105 Link

Barker R, Hendry J, Roberts J and Sanderson P 2012 'Can company-fund manager meetings convey informational benefits? Exploring the rationalisation of equity investment decision making by UK fund managers', Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol.37:4, pp. 207-22 Link

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2012 'Experimenting with subjection; twenty years of UK corporate governance', 20th anniversary of Corporate Governance: An International Review CGIR Conference on National Governance Bundles, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 29th September 2012

2011

4
Journal Article/s

Baker M and Roberts J 2011 'All in the Mind? Ethical Identity and the Allure of Corporate Responsibility', Journal of Business Ethics, vol.101:Sup 1, pp. 5-15

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2011 'Experimenting with subjection: 20 years of UK corporate governance', 27th European Group for Organizational Studies EGOS Colloquium 2011 - "Reassembling Organizations", Gothenburg, Sweden, 9th July 2011

Young A, Roberts J and Boedker C 2011 'The art of valuation: Translating environment, social and governance information', United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and oikos Third Annual Young Scholars Finance Academy 2011:The Future of Responsible Investment, Gais, Switzerland, 28th January 2011

2010

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 2010 'The Power of the ‘Imaginary’ in disciplinary processes' in Structure and Agency- Volume 1, ed. Mike O’Donnel, Sage, London , United Kingdom

Roberts J 2010 'Corporate Governance and the Ethics of Narcissus' in Corporate Governance and Business Ethics, ed. J Moon, M Orlitsky & G Whelan, Edward Elgar, London, United Kingdom

9
Internal Working Paper/s

Sanderson P, Seidl D, Roberts J and Kreiger B 2010 'Flexible or not? The Comply or Explain Principle in the UK and German Corporate Governance', Working paper 407-Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge

2009

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 2009 'Book Review: Global accountabilities: participation, pluralism and public ethics', European Accounting Review, vol.18:2, pp. 408-12

Roberts J 2009 'Faith in the Numbers', Ephemera; theory and politics of organization, vol.9:4, pp. 335-43

Roberts J and Jones M 2009 'Accounting for self interest in the credit crisis', Accounting Organizations and Society, vol.34:6-7, pp. 856-67

Roberts J 2009 'No one is perfect: the limits of transparency and an ethics for ‘intelligent’ accountability', Accounting Organizations and Society, vol.34:8, pp. 957-70

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2009 'Strategic Value Accountability; The mediating role of the board', Critical Management Studies Conference 2009, Warwick, United Kingdom, 15th July 2009

Roberts J 2009 'Accounting for self interest in the credit crisis', 9th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting Conference 2009, Innsbruck University School of Management, Austria, 11th July 2009

Roberts J 2009 'No one is perfect: The limits of transparency and an ethic for intelligent accountability', 25th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium EGOS 2009 - "Passion for creativity and innovation - Energizing the study of organizations and organizing", ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain, 4th July 2009

Roberts J 2009 'Strategic value accountability? The mediating role of the board', Workshop on Strategizing and Accounting, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, 9th May 2009

9
Internal Working Paper/s

Seidl D, Sanderson P and Roberts J 2009 'Applying "Comply or Explain"; conformance with Codes of Corporate Governance', Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge

2008

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2008 'No one is perfect: some reflections of the limits of transparency and the ethics of accountability', Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, University of NSW, Sydney, Australia, 1st January 2008-31st December 2008

Roberts J 2008 'No one is perfect: some reflections of the limits of transparency and the ethics of accountability', The Shadow Line of Accountability, Venice, Italy, 1st January 2008-31st December 2008

2007

4
Journal Article/s

Hendry J, Sanderson P, Barker R and Roberts J 2007 'Responsible ownership, shareholder value and the new shareholder activism', Competition and Change, vol.11:3, pp. 223-240

Ng W and Roberts J 2007 'Helping the Family’: The mediating role of outside directors in ethnic Chinese family firms', Human Relations, vol.60:2, pp. 285-314

2006

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 2006 'Motivation and the self' in Management and Organisations: An introductory text, ed. D Knights and H Willmott, Thompson

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J, Sanderson P, Barker R and Hendry J 2006 'In the mirror of the market: The disciplinary effects of company/fund manager meetings', Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol.31:3, pp. 277-294

Hendry J, Sanderson P, Barker R and Roberts J 2006 'Owners or traders? Conceptualizations of institutional investors and their relationship with corporate managers', Human Relations, vol.59:8, pp. 1101-1132

Learmount S and Roberts J 2006 'Meanings of Ownership of the Firm', The Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, vol.17, pp. 139-162

10
Report/s

Roberts J 2006 'Board evaluation; some lessons from early experience', Saxton Bampfylde International plc

2005

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 2005 'Beyond Rhetoric: Making a Reality of Corporate Social Responsibility' in Corporate Social Responsibility - Volume 1: Concepts, Accountability and Reporting, ed. J Allouche, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd

Roberts J and Scapens R 2005 'Accounting Systems and Systems of Accountability' in Accounting, The Social and the Political: Classics, Contemporary and Beyond, ed. N Macintosh and T Hopper, Elsevier, London, United Kingdom

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 2005 'Agency theory, ethics and corporate governance', Advances in Public Interest Accounting, vol.11:249-269

Roberts J 2005 'The power of the ‘Imaginary’ in disciplinary processes', Organization, vol.12:5, pp. 619-642

Roberts J, McNulty T and Stiles P 2005 'Beyond Agency Conceptions of the Work of the Non-Executive Director: creating accountability in the boardroom', British Journal of Management, vol.16:1, pp. 5-16

McNulty T, Roberts J and Stiles P 2005 'Undertaking Governance Reform and Research: Further reflections on the Higgs review', British Journal of Management, vol.16:1, pp. 99-107

Sanderson P, Roberts J, Barker R and Hendry J 2005 'Regulating the Corporation: The Role of the Institutional Investor', Journal of Corporate Ownership & Control, vol.3:1, pp. 127-134

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2005 'Helping the extended family: The role of outside directors in ethnic Chinese, family-controlled firms', Critical Management Studies Conference, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1st - 31st July 2005

6
Conference Proceeding/s

Roberts J 2005 'Accounting and ethics', European Accounting Association (EAA) Annual Meeting, Goteborg, Sweden, 21st May 2005

10
Report/s

Roberts J 2005 'The Role of the Board in Creating a High Performance Business', Performance and Reward Centre (PARC) and Corporate Research Centre(CRF)

2004

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J, McNulty T and Stiles P 2004 'Creating effective boards through behaviour and relationships: Complementary developments in governance research', Symposium on Researching Board Practices and Relationships: Creating Actionable Research - Academy of Management Conference, New Orleans, United States, 1st January 2004-31st December 2004

Roberts J 2004 'Agency theory, ethics and corporate governance', Corporate Governance and Ethics Conference, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Sydney, Australia, 1st - 30th June 2004

10
Report/s

Roberts J 2004 'NGO Governance: the lessons of corporate governance reform’ in NGO’s, Democratisation and the Regulatory State', European Policy Forum

11
Seminar Paper/s

Roberts J 2004 'Between agency and stewardship conceptions of the role of the non-executive director, Department of Accounting Research Seminar, University of Sydney, Australia 2004

Roberts J 2004 'Against agency conceptions of the role of the non-executive director, Department of Accounting Research Seminar, London School of Economics, United Kingdom November 2004

Roberts J 2004 'Beyond agency conceptions of the work of the non-executive director: Creating accountability in the boardroom, ESRC Research Seminar on Accountability in the Public and Private Sectors, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom November 2004

Roberts J 2004 'Against agency conceptions of the role of the non-executive director, Department of Accounting Research Seminar, Flinders University, Adelaide SA, Australia April 2004

Roberts J 2004 'In the mirror of the market: The disciplinary effects of company/fund-manager meetings, Department of Accounting Research Seminar, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia March 2004

2003

4
Journal Article/s

Goodall K and Roberts J 2003 'Only connect: teamwork in the multinational', Journal of World Business, vol.38:2, pp. 150-164

Roberts J and Goodall K 2003 'Repairing Managerial Knowledge-ability over Distance', Organization Studies, vol.24:7, pp. 1153-1175

Roberts J 2003 'The Manufacture of Corporate Social Responsibility: constructing corporate sensibility', Organization, vol.10:2, pp. 249-265

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2003 'Skilful management practice? On the importance of knowing that we do not know', 19th EGOS Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1st January 2003-31st December 2003

Roberts J, Baker R, Hendry J and Sanderson P 2003 'In the mirror of the market: The disciplinary effects of company/fund manager meetings', Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting Conference, Madrid, Spain, 1st - 31st July 2003

Roberts J 2003 'Agency without agents', SCOS Conference, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1st - 31st July 2003

Roberts J 2003 'Creating accountability in the boardroom', Chairman's Symposium, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1st - 31st March 2003

10
Report/s

Stiles P, Roberts J and McNulty T 2003 'Creating accountability within the board: The work of the effective non-executive director', DTI/Treasury Review led by Derek Higgs of the Role and effectiveness of the non-executive Director

11
Seminar Paper/s

Roberts J 2003 'NGO governance: The lessons of corporate governance reform, European Policy Forum, EESC: Brussels September 2003

Roberts J 2003 'NGO's and corporate governance, European Policy Forum/Carr Seminar, London, United Kingdom April 2003

Roberts J 2003 'How boards work, UBS Warburg, London, United Kingdom April 2003

Roberts J 2003 'The power of the imaginary in disciplinary processes, Recontextualizing Control: The 'new control model' revisited, Cardiff Business School Cardiff, United Kingdom February 2003

2002

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 2002 'Leading collaboration' in CADISE Collaborative Management: Lessons Learnt, ed. P Goodwin and GL O'Neill, CADISE , Surrey, United Kingdom

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 2002 'Building the complementary board. The work of the Plc chairman', Long Range Planning, vol.35:5, pp. 493-520

Roberts J 2002 'Working with a normal paranoia: A response to Case and Sylvester's 'Watch your back: Reflections on trust and mistrust in management education'', Management Learning, vol.33:2, pp. 249-53

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J 2002 'Creating an effective board', SSRC Symposium, Suffolk, United Kingdom, 1st January 2002-31st December 2002

11
Seminar Paper/s

Roberts J 2002 'The chairman as a bridge between executives and non-executive directors, The Chairman's Forum, London, United Kingdom 2002

2001

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 2001 'The impact of codes of best practice on boardroom behaviour: Separating the roles of chairman and chief executive (translated into Japanese)' in Corporate Governance: Reform of UK Companies, ed. Corporate Governance Forum of Japan, Commercial Law Centre, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 139-55

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 2001 'Trust and control in Anglo-American systems of corporate governance: The individualizing and socializing effects of processes of accountability', Human Relations, vol.54:12, pp. 1547-72

Roberts J 2001 'Introduction: An ethic for corporate governance', Business Ethics Quarterly, vol.11:1, pp. 67-71

Roberts J 2001 'Corporate governance and the ethics of Narcissus', Business Ethics Quarterly, vol.11:1, pp. 109-28

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J and Learmount S 2001 'The meanings of ownership of the firm', Law Faculty Conference, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1st January 2001-31st December 2001

Roberts J and Goodall K 2001 'Distance: A neglected concept in multinational research', 17th EGOS Colloquium, Lyons, France, 1st January 2001-31st December 2001

Roberts J 2001 'The secrets of board effectiveness', Ernst and Young Energy Conference, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1st January 2001-31st December 2001

11
Seminar Paper/s

Roberts J 2001 'The manufacture of corporate social responsibility, ESRC Critical Management Studies Seminar on Ethics, Keele, United Kingdom 2001

Roberts J 2001 'Creating the complementary board, Ernst and Young - Insight Seminar, London, United Kingdom 2001

Roberts J 2001 'Creating the complementary board, Institute of Directors, Singapore 2001

2000

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J and Goodall K 2000 'Repairing managerial knowledge-ability in the transnational', Working Together? Knowledge and Management in the Information Society Conference, Keele, United Kingdom, 1st January 2000-31st December 2000

10
Report/s

Roberts J 2000 'On becoming company chairman: Building the complementary board', Saxton Bampfylde Hever plc

11
Seminar Paper/s

Roberts J 2000 'Unthinking strategy: Fantastic corporations, ESRC Critical Management Studies Seminar on Strategy, Warwick, United Kingdom 2000

1999

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J and Stiles P 1999 'The relationship between Chairmen and Chief Executives: Competitive or complementary roles', Long Range Planning, vol.32:1, pp. 36-48

1998

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 1998 'Strategy and accounting in a UK conglomerate' in Takeovers, ed. A Cosh and A Hughes, Aldershot, Dartsmouth, United Kingdom

1997

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 1997 'Problems of growth in a high technology company: Moving between conscious and unconscious accounts of organisational process', British Journal of Management, vol.8, pp. 107-18

5
Conference Paper/s

Roberts J and Morgan S 1997 'Making space, making time for the new high technology 'firm'', Accounting, Organizations and Society Conference, 1st January 1997-31st December 1997

1996

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 1996 'Management education and the limits of technical rationality: The conditions and consequences of management practice' in Re-Thinking Management Education, ed. C Gray and R French, Sage Publications

Roberts J 1996 'From discipline to dialogue: Individualising and socialising forms of accountability' in Accountability, Power and Ethos, ed. R Munro and J Mouritsen, Chapman Hall

10
Report/s

Roberts J and Garnsey E 1996 'Taking charge: What makes CEO succession work?', Saxton Bampfylde Hever plc

1993

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J and Scapens R 1993 'Accounting and control: A case study of resistance to change', Management Accounting Research, vol.4, pp. 1-32

Roberts J and Scapens R 1993 'Contrabilita E controllo: Uncaso di resistenza ai cambienta nei sistemi di controllo di gestione', Systems Impressa, vol.8, pp. 25-40

1992

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J and Garnsey E 1992 'Clashes of technology and culture: Enterprise acquisition and the integration of new ventures' in Reworking the World: Organisations, Technologies and Cultures in Comparative Perspective, ed. J Marceau and de Gruyter

1991

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 1991 'The possibilities of accountability', Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol.16:4, pp. 355-68

1990

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J and Scapens R 1990 'Accounting as discipline' in Critical Accounts: Reorientating Accounting Research, ed. D Cooper and T Hopper, MacMillan

Roberts J and Garnsey E 1990 'Acquisitions as joint ventures? Perspectives on growth in small high technology companies' in Building European Ventures, ed. S Birley, Elsevier

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 1990 'Strategy and accounting in a UK conglomerate', Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol.15:1/2, pp. 107-26

1989

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J 1989 'Authority or domination - Alternative possibilities for the practice of control' in Management Control, ed. W F Chua, T Lowe and T Puxty, MacMillan

Roberts J 1989 'Human resource strategies and the management of change' in Open University, Human Resource Strategy Course Reader, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom

1987

2
Book Section/s

Roberts J and Scapens R 1987 'Two case studies of accounting and control in divisionalised companies' in Management Accounting: British Case Studies, ed. D Cooper and J Arnold, CIMA, London, United Kingdom

1985

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J and Scapens R 1985 'Accounting systems and systems of accountability - Understanding accounting practices in their organisational contexts', Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol.10:4, pp. 443-56

1984

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J 1984 'The moral character of management practice', Journal of Management Studies, vol.21:3, pp. 287-302

Roberts J and Knights D 1984 'The theory and practice of control', Employee Relations, vol.5:4, pp. 3-43

1982

4
Journal Article/s

Roberts J and Knights D 1982 'The power of organisation or the organisation of power', Organization Studies, vol.3:1, pp. 47-63

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