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Accounting Sustainability Education: Investigating the learning potential of a multi-criteria experiential decision-making on the Assabí Fruit commercialization.

Grant number: 16/25123-6
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2018 - April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Administration - Accounting
Principal Investigator:Solange Garcia dos Reis
Grantee:Solange Garcia dos Reis
Host Institution: Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto (FEARP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Adriana Maria Procópio de Araujo ; Luiz Antonio Titton ; Maria Lúcia Bahia Lopes
Associated scholarship(s):19/00162-7 - Teaching simulator: experiential activity in team, BP.TT


This project aims to analyze the didactic efficiency of an experiential learning activity in teams in Sustainability Accounting. The purpose of the research is to broaden the competences of the students on applying sustainable development concepts into decision-making in business, especially to enable them to deal with more comprehensive management information systems. The case concerns in the decision of a large brazilian supermarket chain about the commercialization of the Assabi pulp (ficticious name) from the Amazon Forest in Brazil as a fair trade product. In a previous research project (Report FAPESP 2015 / 09059-3) a similar fictitious case was built based on secondary information. In this project, it will be given greater likelihood to the brazilian context from information that will be validated by the main stakeholders involved in the decision. Primary information will be collected from a real community in the State of Pará who lives harvesting the açai berry; from large supermarket chain in Brazil and from development banks and Brazilian financial institutions. Business alternatives will be defined through the combination of forest management techniques and the application of different levels of technology. Several indicators related to the economic and financial performance and the social and environmental impact from each alternative will be defined. The multi-criteria decision aid (MCDA) methods will be applied, as a problem solving strategy, to assist in a simulated decision-making process. In order to elaborate the case, the methodology consists of interviews and data collection. For the decision-making simulation, it will be carried out a field trial with the participation of students in Accounting Graduate courses. Education is the essential process of transformation that can promote changes in knowledge, attitudes and skills towards sustainability. In this sense, groups of students will represent the preferences of each stakeholder and will be exposed to different levels of information in three iterations: a) general information; B) specific information and; C) shared information. Changes in the preference of groups will be analyzed at each iteration, seeking to evaluate the efficiency of the experiential learning in teams in approaching the preferences of the groups, as well as the contribution of the activity to generate learning for sustainable development. The project includes the production of a Simulator, which will be used to collect the preferences of the groups, and it will show the results of their decisions at each iteration, thus being a facilitating instrument for the application of the activity and to assess the learning in various environments. In addition, the didactic apparatus will enable in future developments, the replication of the trial with the participation of students in different levels; accounting professionals, as well as executives and employees of companies in general. (AU)

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