I am Professor and Chair of Accounting, Governance and Social innovation at the University of Edinburgh Business School at the University of Edinburgh where I also was Dean of Special Projects at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences until April 2018. At the Business School, I co-direct the Centre for Accounting and Society. I also am Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford, where I am still Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Italian Studies at Oxford, which I co-founded while being there as Reader in Accounting at the Saïd Business School (in association with an Official Studentship, i.e. fellowship, at Christ Church). I was elected a member of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSE) in 2017 and participate to the British Academy project on the Future of the Corporation.
My academic journey begun at the University of Palermo, where I graduated in Economics and Management before pursuing my doctoral studies at the University of Catania. After my doctorate, I was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship by the European Commission to pursue studies on management control system in large multinational organisations at the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Manchester. I then moved to the University Carlos III of Madrid, as assistant professor, and to Oxford as Lecturer and then Reader in Accounting. Before joining Edinburgh, I was Professor of Accounting and Management Control at IE Business School, Madrid.
I have also had visiting and research positions at the Universities of Catania, HEC-Paris, Kyoto, Madrid Carlos III, Manchester, Oxford, Palermo, Siena, Luigi Bocconi of Milan and, as a Fulbright New Century Scholar, at the University of Stanford, where I pursued research on the contours of business education.
My research interests are quite diverse but they all relate to how knowledge, and business knowledge in particular, emerges, engages, establish itself as ‘truth’ and informs and relates to decision-making processes. Studying accounting is perfect for this purpose as it is nowadays an ubiquitous practice that informs and relates to many aspects of the life of individuals, and the functioning of organisations, economies and societies.
I tend to do a substantial amount of historical work as, for me, studying accounting in different times (and spaces) is a way to defamiliarise ourselves from what accounting is nowadays supposed to be (i.e. a practice related exclusively to economic and financial calculations) and to explore alternatives which enable more equal, I would say more balanced, organisations and society (see my Research page).
I currently also research and consult in the area of Major Programme Management, especially in relation to issues of reporting design and visualisation for managing risk and uncertainty, of governance and leadership, and I collaborate with the Infrastructure and Project Authority of the UK Cabinet in the area of Major Programme Management, thanks to an ESRC impact grant.
I also sit on the Thought Leadership and Business Ethics Committee of the Association of International Certified Public Accountants-Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (AICPA-CIMA) and hope to make a difference in how the profession deals with issues of representation of financial data, transparency and users’ engagement.
In my capacity of Dean of Special Projects, I lead the efforts for the developmet of the Edinburgh Futures Institute, a new interdisciplinary Institute at the University of Edinburgh which aims to redefine the way in which we understand and manage organizations, economies, and public policies by rethinking higher education.