Alessandro Ghio

A timely debate

“Workplaces are complex and dynamic. Their decisions aren’t just profit-oriented; there are social implications,” says accounting educator, Dr Alessandro Ghio.

As an educator motivated by human connection, Dr Ghio always positions accounting within its social context. He sees it as deeply human.

“A traditional business education focuses on finance, capital markets and economics; so combining accounting with concepts from humanities exposes students to diversity – through art, design, sociology and philosophy – and gives accounting breadth and innovation,” says Dr Ghio, a lecturer in the Department of Accounting.

Like art, Dr Ghio says accounting is ‘reality, constructed’ with fictitious boundaries that define how we measure value.

“Moving these boundaries allows organisations to measure more than financial capital and enables society to assign value to sustainable business environments,” he says.

Awarded a Monash Business School 2020 Dean’s Award for Early Career Teaching Excellence, Dr Ghio uses film, visual collage, debate and artists as guest speakers to develop students’ skill for holistic and integrated thinking.

Socratic dialogue and a method called ‘business futuring’ encourages complex decision-making, creative brainstorming and sensemaking.

His units allow students to consider “the common good, social justice and equity, before profit,” which he says is important for “their critical use of business information.”

Accounting students are future business consumers, investors and managers who can take an active and positive role in contributing to society.

By integrating contemporary social issues affecting women, LGBTQI+ and Indigenous people, Dr Alessandro Ghio encourages students to be creative, rather than follow the rules.

What underlies these learning environments is a timely debate about diversity in business schools and education and research that is shaping business education worldwide.