Prof. Markus Milne - People - Accounting and Information Systems - University of Canterbury

Prof. Markus J. Milne


• Professor in Accounting
• Visiting Professor at CSEAR and School of Management, University of St. Andrews
• Visiting International Academic Fellow, School of Business, University of Exeter


BA (Hons) (Middx), MA (Lancs), D.Com (Cant), FCPA


Business & Law Building
Room 414

Contact Details

Phone: +64 3 369 3964
Internal Phone: 93964

Postal Address

Department of Accounting and Information Systems
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800


In the late 1980s after postgraduate studies at the University of Lancaster, Markus emigrated to work at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Previously Professor of Accounting at Otago, he moved to Canterbury in 2006. Markus studied accounting and finance at both Middlesex and at Lancaster. Driven by a boyhood love of the outdoors, nature, and a sense of justice, over the past 25 years he has developed a critical research agenda investigating the social and environmental impacts of organisations, and the means by which they account for and communicate those impacts. Since his first publication in 1991 in a special issue on 'Green Accounting', Markus has sought to understand and critique modern organisations' relationships with the natural environment. He has published over 80 papers and book chapters, and his work is widely cited in the field. His work has appeared in Accounting, Organizations & Society; Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal; Critical Perspectives on Accounting; Business Strategy and the Environment; Management Accounting Research; Accounting and Business Research; Organization; Journal of Business Ethics; and Organization & Environment.

Markus currently serves as Associate Editor of the British Accounting Review, and as Co-editor on special issues of Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal, and Sustainability Accounting and Management Policy Journal.  He advises on a further 10 international editorial boards. He has previously served as Accounting Editor at the Journal of Business Ethics, and co-editor of the Pacific Accounting Review. Markus has also served as a panel member of the Economics and the Human and Behavioural Sciences Panel for the Royal Society of New Zealand's Marsden Fund, and as a specialist advisor to the 2006 and 2012 rounds of the New Zealand performance-based research exercise.

Markus’ research programmes have been funded by research awards from the Royal Society of New Zealand's Marsden Fund; the Certified Practising Accountants of Australia (CPA), and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

He has received a number of awards including: the Mary Parker Follet award (2009) for the outstanding manuscript in Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal (with Dr. Sara Walton and Dr. Helen Tregidga); an outstanding special issue editor award (2012) for Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Accounting (with Dr. Suzana Grubnic); and a citation of excellence award (2016) for W(h)ither Ecology? published in the Journal of Business Ethics (with Prof. Rob Gray).   

In 2016 Markus was conferred with a Doctor of Commerce (D.Com) by the University of Canterbury for significant original publications in the fields of Social and Environmental Accounting and Business & Sustainability. In 2016 he was also inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research.


Research Interests

Business, climate change and carbon neutrality
Sustainability: discourse and narratives of business and its antagonists
Social and environmental reporting and accounting
Student learning, active participation and reflection
Assessing academic labour

Postgraduate Study

I am happy to discuss student research projects (Doctorates and Masters by thesis) in any of the above research interests. Students may also undertake the taught ACIS MCom (12 months full time, 3 years part-time), and blend accounting with environmental and sustainability studies. I am happy to meet and discuss study options with interested students at any time.

Recent and ongoing student projects include:

• Smart, J., (2016) Social and environmental reports and the notion of stakeholder engagement, University of Canterbury.
• Scobie, M., (2015) Accountability for risk in the deep sea petroleum exploration arena, University of Canterbury.
• Wright, H.A., (2014) Social and Environmental Reporting in New Zealand: Analysing the (Non)-Institutionalisation of Practice, University of Canterbury.
• Birchall, S.J., (2013), Organizational Involvement in Carbon Mitigation: The New Zealand Public Sector University of Canterbury. 
• Allen, J., (2013) Power to the People: Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement in New Zealand Power Generators, Auckland University of Technology.
• Crombie, N., (2013) Institutional Logics of Corporate Governance and the Discourse on Executive Remuneration, University of Canterbury.
• Kuruppu, S.C., (2012) Sustainability, reputation and legitimacy: An in-depth case study of organisational systems and decision-making at a multi-national company, University of Canterbury.
• Robertson, B.C., (2012) Why is the assurance of social and environmental disclosures stalling within New Zealand, University of Canterbury.
• Phillips, L., (2010) The Drivers for Divergence: Exploring Variation in New Zealand Organisational Responses to Climate Change, University of Canterbury.
• Byrch, C., (2009) 'Knowing' Sustainable Development in the Business Arena, University of Otago.
• Walton, S., (2008) Contesting Natures: A Discourse Analysis of Natural Resource Conflicts, University of Otago.
• Tregidga, H.M., (2006) Power and Politics of Organisational Sustainable Development, University of Otago. Helen’s thesis was formally recognised with an outstanding award from Emerald Publishing.
• Stringer, C.P., (2006) Performance management : an empirical study, University of Otago.


Research and Publications

You can find out about my research interests, projects I’m presently involved in and items I’ve published by visiting my entry in the UC Research Profile. Once you’ve completed your visit there, you can return to this page and the ACIS web page are by clicking “Staff Web Page” under my photo on that page.

Selected Publications

Gray, R.H. and Milne, M.J., (2017) Perhaps the Dodo Should Have Accounted for Humanity? Accounts of Humanity and (Its) Extinction, forthcoming Accounting, Auditing & Accountability

Birchall, S.J, Murphy, M., and Milne, M.J., (2016) Mixed Methods Research: A Comprehensive Approach for Study into the New Zealand Voluntary Carbon Market, The Qualitative Report 21 (7), 1351-1365.

Higgins, C., Stubbs, W., and Milne, M.J., (2015) Is sustainability reporting becoming institutionalised? The role of an issues-based field, forthcoming Journal of Business Ethics.

Tregidga, H.M., Milne, M.J. and Kearins, K.N., (2015) Ramping up Resistance: Corporate Sustainable Development and Academic Research, forthcoming Business & Society.

Byrch, C., Milne, M.J., Morgan, R., and Kearins, K. N., (2015) Seeds of Hope? Exploring Business Actors’ Diverse Understandings of Sustainable Development, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 28(5): 671-705.

Gray, R. and Milne, M.J., (2015) It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it? Of Method and Madness, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 32: 51-66.

Birchall, S.J, Murphy, M., and Milne, M.J., (2015) Evolution of the Voluntary Carbon Market in New Zealand: Analysis of CarboNZero Client Disclosures, Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. 35(3): 142-156

Higgins, C., Milne, M.J and Van Gramberg, B., (2015) The Uptake of Sustainability Reporting in Australia, Journal of Business Ethics, 129 (2): 445-468. 

Tregidga, H., Milne, M.J and Kearins, K. (2014) (Re) Presenting Sustainable Organizations. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 39(6): 477-494. 

Buhr, N, Gray, R and Milne, M.J., (2014) Histories, rationales and future prospects for sustainability reporting, Chapter 4 in Sustainability Accounting and Accountability, Unerman, J, Bebbington, J. and O’Dwyer, B. (eds.), 2nd Edition, Routledge.

Tregidga, H., Kearins, K. and Milne, M.J. (2013) The Politics of Knowing “Organizational Sustainable Development”. Organization & Environment 26(1): 102–129.

Birchall, S.J., Ball, A., Mason, I. and Milne, M.J. (2013) Managing carbon in times of political change: the rise and fall of the New Zealand Carbon Neutral Public Service program. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 20(1): 63-78.  

Milne, M.J., and Gray, R.H., (2013) W(h)ither Ecology? The Triple Bottom Line, the Global Reporting Initiative, and Corporate Sustainability Reporting. Journal of Business Ethics, 118(1): 13-29. (Awarded Emerald Citation of Excellence in 2016).

Stubbs, W., Higgins, C., and Milne, M.J., (2013) Why Do Companies Not Produce Sustainability Reports? Business Strategy and the Environment, 22(7): 456-470.

Milne, M.J., (2013) Phantasmagoria, Sustain-a-Babbling and the Communication of Corporate Social and Environmental Accountability, Chapter 14 in The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication, Jack, L., Craig, R and Davison, J (eds.), Routledge.

Tregidga, H., Milne, M.J., and Lehman, G., (2012) Analyzing the quality, meaning and accountability of organizational reporting and communication: Directions for future research, Accounting Forum, 36(3): 223-230.

Milne, M.J., and Grubnic, S., (2011) Climate Change Accounting Research: Keeping it Interesting and Different, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 24(8): 948-977.

Kuruppu, S., and Milne, M.J., (2010) Dolphin Deaths, Organisational Legitimacy and Potential Employees’ Reactions to Audited Environmental Disclosures, Accounting Forum, 34 (1): 1-19.

Milne, M.J., Tregidga, H.M., & Walton, S., (2009) Words not Actions! The Ideological Role of Sustainable Development Reporting, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 22(8): 1211-1257. (Mary Parker Follett Award for outstanding manuscript; Best Paper in the ONE Division, Academy of Management).

Llewellyn, S. & Milne, M.J., (2007) Accounting as Codified Discourse, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 20(6): 805-824.

Milne, M.J., (2007) Downsizing Reg (Me and You)! Addressing the ‘real’ sustainability agenda at work and home, chapter 6 in Social Accounting, Mega Accounting and Beyond: Festschrift in Honour of Martin (Reg) Mathews, Gray. R.H. and Guthrie, J. (eds.), CSEAR: St. Andrews.

Tregidga, H.M. & Milne, M.J. (2006) From Sustainable Management to Sustainable Development: A Longitudinal Analysis of a Leading New Zealand Environmental Reporter, Business Strategy and the Environment, 15(4): 219-241.

Milne, M.J., Kearins, K., & Walton, S., (2006) Creating Adventures in Wonderland? The Journey Metaphor and Environmental Sustainability, Organization, 13(6): 801-839.

Gray, R.H. & Milne, M.J., (2004) Towards Reporting on the Triple Bottom Line: Mirages, Methods and Myths, chapter 7 (pp. 70-80) in The Triple Bottom Line: Does it All Add Up? A Henriques and J. Richardson (eds.), Earthscan: London.

Gray, R.H. & Milne, M.J. (2002) Sustainability Reporting: Who’s Kidding Whom? Chartered Accountants Journal of New Zealand, 81(6): 66-70.

Milne, M.J. & Patten, D., (2002) Securing Organisational Legitimacy: An Experimental Decision Case Examining the Impact of Environmental Disclosures, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 15(3): 372-405.

Milne, M.J., (2002) Positive Accounting Theory, Political Costs and Social Disclosure Analyses: A Critical Look, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 13(3): 369-395.

Chan, C.C.C. & Milne, M.J., (1999) Investor Reactions to Corporate Environmental Saints and Sinners: An Experimental Analysis, Accounting and Business Research, 29(4): 265-279.

Milne, M.J. & Adler, R.W. (1999) Exploring the Reliability of Social Disclosures Content Analysis, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 12(2): 237-256. (Awarded Anbar Citation of Excellence for research implications)

Milne, M.J., (1996) Capitalising and Appropriating Society's Rights to Clean Air: A Critical Commentary on The Problem with Reporting Pollution Allowances, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 7(6): 681-695.

Hackston, D. & Milne, M.J. (1996) Some Determinants of Social and Environmental Disclosures in New Zealand Companies, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 9(1):77-108. (Awarded two Anbar Citations of Excellence for research implications and for originality)

Milne, M.J. (1996) On Sustainability, the Environment and Management Accounting, Management Accounting Research, 7(1): 135-161

Milne, M.J. (1991) Accounting, Environmental Resource Values, and Non-Market Valuation Techniques for Environmental Resources: A Review, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 4(3): 81-109.


• Associate Editor The British Accounting Review
• Co-Guest Editor Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (Ecological Accounts)
• Co-Guest Editor Sustainability Accounting and Management Policy Journal (Critical Cases)

• Accounting Editor at Journal of Business Ethics
• Editor Pacific Accounting Review
• Co-Guest Editor Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (GHG) Accounting
• Co-Guest Editor Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (Codified Discourse)
• Co-Guest Editor Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (20 years of AAAJ)
• Co-Guest Editor Accounting Forum (Corporate Communication & Accountability)
• Co-Guest Editor Accounting Education (Using Case Studies in Teaching)

Curriculum Vitae

Markus’ C.V.