Professor Ian Thomson

Professor Ian Thomson

Business School
Director, Lloyds Banking Group Cent´╗┐re for Responsible Business

Contact details

Address
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Qualifications

  • Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA)
  • BA Accounting and Finance, Heriot-Watt University

Biography

Prior to becoming Director of the Centre for Responsible Business, Ian Thomson was Professor of Accounting & Sustainability at Birmingham Business School and his research was concerned with how accounting and other forms of evidence impacts in organizational decision making and operations which have a social and/or environmental impact. This research has included interdisciplinary studies on implementation of cleaner technology, establishing industrial ecologies, effective stakeholder engagement, risk governance in water and salmon farming, sustainable development indicators, government policy making, the role of new digital media, participative geographic information systems, developments in data and analytical technologies, effective pedagogy, use of accounting by activists, human rights, international development programmes and football club ownership and governance. 

He has been called as an expert witness to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Infrastructure & Capital Investment Committees, Special Policy Advisor to the Scottish Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, Budget Advisor to the Scottish Parliaments’ Cities and Infrastructure Committee and was a member of the expert stakeholder panel for the Sustainable Development Commission (Scotland).

His current projects include responsible and ethical accountability and data use, citizen accounting and social media, accountability for food aid, carbon accountability and responsible business transformation and outcome measurement. Until recently Ian Thomson was Professor of Accountancy at Heriot-Watt University and prior to this position was Professor of Accounting at Strathclyde Business School. He is a Chartered Management Accountant and before becoming an academic held senior accounting positions in NHS Scotland and BBC Scotland.

Teaching

Ian Thomson currently teaches:

  • Social and Environmental Accounting (MSC optional module)
  • Financial Accounting Theory & Policy (MSC core module)
  • Financial Accounting Theory (2nd level undergraduate module)
  • Advanced Accounting Theory and Policy (3rd level undergraduate module)

Postgraduate supervision

Ian Thomson is interested in supervising research students in any aspects of social, environmental and sustainability accounting.

Research

Ian's research has included interdisciplinary studies on implementation of cleaner technology, establishing industrial ecologies, effective stakeholder engagement, risk governance in water and salmon farming, sustainable development indicators, government policy making, the role of new digital media, participative geographic information systems, developments in data and analytical technologies, effective pedagogy, use of accounting by activists, human rights, international development programmes and football club ownership and governance. He has been called as an expert witness to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Infrastructure & Capital Investment Committees, Special Policy Advisor to the Scottish Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, Budget Advisor to the Scottish Parliaments’ Cities and Infrastructure Committee, worked with The Princes Charity, Business in the Community and as an accountability expert to UN World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation and Sustainable Development Commission (Scotland). His current projects include responsible and ethical accountability and data use, citizen accounting and social media, accountability for food aid, carbon accountability and responsible business transformation and outcome measurement.

Other activities

Ian Thomson is chair of C-Change Scotland, a charity that provides individually tailored person centred support to enable individuals with complex learning needs to live independently and achieve their desires and aspirations (www.c-change.org.uk).

Ian Thomson is a board member for Scottish Council of Deafness, a charity that represents organisations working with and on behalf of Deaf Sign Language users, deafened, deafblind and, hard of hearing people, in order to  provides effective working partnerships between the Voluntary Sector, Social Work and Education Departments, NHS Trusts, Health Boards and the Government (www.scod.org.uk).

Publications

Denedo, M., Thomson, I and Yonekura, A (2018) ‘Accountability, Maps and Inter-Generational Equity: Evaluating the Nigerian Oil Spill Monitor’. Public Money and Management

Thomson, I., Grubnic, S. and Georgakopoulos, G. (2018) ‘Time Machines, Ethics and Sustainable Development: Accounting for Intergenerational Equity in Public Sector Organisation’  Public Money and Management

Bebbington, J, Russell, S and Thomson, I (2017) Accounting and sustainable development: reflections and propositions, Critical Perspectives on Accounting. 48 (21-34)

Denedo, M., Thomson, I and Yonekura, A (2017) ’International Advocacy NGOs, Counter Accounting, Accountability and Engagement,  Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, DOI (10.1108/AAAJ-03-2016-2468).

S Grubnic, I Thomson, G Georgakopoulos (2015) ‘New development: Managing and accounting for sustainable development across generations in public services—and call for papers’, Public Money & Management 35 (3), 245-250 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09540962.2015.1027502

M Contrafatto, I Thomson, E Monk (in press), ‘Peru, mountains and los niños: Dialogic action, accounting and sustainable transformation’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045235415000659

I Thomson, C Dey, S Russell (2015) ‘Activism, arenas and accounts in conflicts over tobacco control’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 28 (5), 809-845 http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/AAAJ-08-2013-1439

J Atkins, B Atkins, I Thomson, M Maroun (2015) “Good” news from nowhere: Imagining utopian sustainable accounting, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 28 (5), 651-670 http://emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/AAAJ-09-2013-1485

I Thomson (2015) 'But does sustainability need capitalism or an integrated report': a commentary on ‘The International Integrated Reporting Council: A story of failure’ , Critical Perspectives on Accounting 27 (March), 18-22 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045235414000756

I Thomson, G Georgakopoulos, S Grubnic (2014) Exploring Accounting-Sustainability Hybridisation in The UK Public Sector, Accounting, Organizations and Society 39 (2014), 453-476 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361368214000208

I Thomson (2014) ‘Responsible social accounting communities, symbolic activism and the reframing of social accounting. A commentary on new accounts: Towards a reframing of social accounting’, Accounting Forum 38 (4), 274-277. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S015599821400026X

Dyball, M. and Thomson, I. (2013) ‘Sustainability in Accounting Education’ Accounting Education: An International Journal, 22(2), 303-307. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09639284.2013.817787 

Bebbington, J. and Thomson, I. (2013) ‘Sustainable Development, management and accounting: Boundary Crossing’, Management Accounting Research, 24(4), 277-284. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1044500513000760