Dr Cornelia Beck
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Dr Cornelia Beck

PhD MAIBA Northumbria
+61 2 9036 6312
Dr Cornelia Beck

Cornelia Beck is a Senior Lecturer and the Postgraduate Coordinator for Accounting at The University of Sydney Business School. She studied Business Administration in Germany and England and received her PhD in Accounting from Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

With her strong interest in the role accounting plays in expressing corporate environmental responsibilities, her research investigates the use of social and environmental corporate disclosures as a vehicle to discharge responsibility. She has successfully co-investigated on two industry grants in this area. Her work on accounting as a social discourse has been published in Business Ethics – A European Review, The British Accounting Review, The Australian Journal of Management and the Journal of Business Ethics. In addition, Cornelia is interested in the role accounting plays in constructing social realities, and the role of linguistics in accounting.

Cornelia is an International Associate of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) in St Andrews, Scotland, of which she has been a member since 2004. She is a Chartered Accountant and member of CPA Australia, the Pacioli Society and the Women and Work Research Group.

Since her appointment at The University of Sydney Business School, Cornelia has been teaching financial accounting at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She also teaches an elective masters unit on sustainability and extended performance reporting, which is informed by her research interests, questioning students about their perceptions of the way sustainability will play in their future roles as accountants.

Cornelia's work is informed by two interest streams: sustainability and the interface between accounting and language.

Stemming from a keen interest in social justice and environmental protection, her work on voluntary disclosures of organisations on their environmental and social impacts has explored trends, changes over time, and across countries. She has worked on two industry-funded grants, one as a leading co-investigator, which compared sustainability reporting practices across three countries.

The second interest stream is the role of accounting in constructing realities. The work in this field explores the social construction of realities through language. This work is influenced by her interest in linguistics and her undergraduate education in business translation and languages.

Whilst Cornelia is a qualitative researcher and most of her work is based on archival and documentary analysis and interview studies, she has collaborated successfully with colleagues on quantitative content analysis studies. She is interested in sociological lenses to accounting questions and has drawn on the work of Pierre Bourdieu and Ulrich Beck among others.

Recent research projects include work on the (non)emerging carbon economy in Australia (with Professor Stewart Jones and Associate Professor Geoff Frost), an ethnographic study on the time budgeting practices within knowledge intensive consulting firms (with Dr Puja Ladva and Associate Professor Jane Andrew), and reporting standards for reporting for volunteers in public sector organisations (with Yiqing Fei and Professor Sue Newberry). Internationally, she is also working withProfessor Carlos Larrinaga-Gonzales (Universidad de Burgos, Spain) and Dr Carla Antonini (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain) on a project exploring accounting boundaries.


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Selected Grants


  • Developing a Draft set of Guidelines for Evaluating and Reporting Occupational Injury and Disease, O'Neill S, Beck C, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia/Research Support
  • Pilot Study for developing guidelines for measuring and reporting on occupational health and safety risk and performance, Beck C, O'Neill S, Safe Work Australia/Research Support