Dr Leonardo Rinaldi

Personal profile



I am Senior Lecturer in Accounting at the School of Management. Before working at RHUL, I was a research fellow at the University of Florence (Italy) where I obtained a Laurea cum Laude in “Economia e Commercio” (equivalent to First Class Honours degree in BSc in Business and distinction MSc in Accounting) and a PhD in Business Administration. 

My interdisciplinary research uses qualitative methods to explore how accounting and accountability practices assist organizations to become more sustainable. My research focuses on (1) critical approaches to sustainability and (2) organizations’ accountability. I have contributed to these two areas in the following ways:

(1) - as a contribution to critical sustainability, I have analysed how accounting is implicated in the emergence and implementation of sustainability regimes of government. For example, building on prior work on governmentality I have shown how accounting has been used by organizations as a means to seek to govern social, economic and environmental issues relating to the supply chain (see Spence and Rinaldi, 2014). On this theme, I am currently conducting research at an Italian-based organization;

(2) - as a contribution to corporate accountability, I have studied the emerging practice of integrated reporting (see de Villiers, Rinaldi and Unerman, 2014). For example, I have mobilised the work of innovation and creativity scholars to show the evolution and impact of the integrated reporting idea since the IIRC’s Discussion Paper was published in late 2011 (see Rinaldi, Unerman, de Villiers, 2018).

I have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders for my research, which has been published in world-leading peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journals such as Accounting, Organizations and SocietyAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal and Business Strategy and the Environment. My work has also been published in books edited by leading academics. 

I have co-edited 2 Special Issues of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. The first published in 2014 (Vol. 27 Issue 7) titled "Integrated Reporting"; the second published in early 2018 (Vol. 31 Issue 5) titled "Case study insights from the implementation of Integrated Reporting. I am also developing research exploring the critical governance approaches to sustainability, and I am guest editing a special issue on this topic in Social Environmental Accountability Journal.

I have obtained numerous honours, awards and grants, and have experience in organising interdisciplinary international conferences and workshops.  

I am member of the editorial board of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal and Social Environmental Accountability JournalI have also acted as ad-hoc reviewer for several leading international peer-reviewed journals, including: Journal of Management Studies, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, European Accounting Review, Business & Society, Accounting and Business Research, Accounting Forum, and Business, Strategy and the Environment.

I also held Visiting Professorial positions overseas a the Free University of Bolzano/Bozen (Italy) and the University of Bergamo (Italy).



I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy from 2012. In 2014, I won the School of Management Teaching Prize for being a top performer in postgraduate teaching. In the same year, I was also awarded the Certificate of Commendation for the College Teaching Prize in recognition of his excellence in Teaching at College level, for the conscious embedding of engagement, belonging and employability for postgraduate students. In 2016 I was nominated within the top 3 finalists for the School of Management Excellence in Teaching Award 2016.

I was appointed as Guest Lecturer in a senior undergraduate management accounting course (AC310) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for the Academic Years 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, and I hold extensive experience in teaching at University level in the UK, Italy, Singapore and Hong Kong.



- Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR)
- Centre for Research Into Sustainability (CRIS)
- British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA)


Other leadership roles

At RHUL School of Management, I was co-director of the Centre for Research Into Sustainability (CRIS).

In my capacity of accounting expert, I was appointed as reviewer for the Italian REF, implemented by the Research and University Evaluation Agency (ANVUR) for the evaluation of the Italian research system for the period 2011-2014 (VQR 2011-2014).

I have served as a PhD internal and external examiner as well as a member of international assessment panels. I am also PhD co-supervisor and advisor at Royal Holloway.


PhD Supervision opportunities.

I welcome proposals from well-qualified prospective PhD students wishing to undertake theoretical or qualitative empirical research in the areas of Sustainability Reporting, Sustainability Governance and Accounting for Sustainability. 


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