Valuing universities’ heritage assets in light of the third mission of universities
Management, Participation and Entrepreneurship in the Cultural and Creative Sector
School of Business and Law
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. The chapter contributes to the current debate on universities’ heritage assets (UHA) value measurement by shedding light on the potential role that accounting, and reporting can play in this context. This study provides an in-depth discussion on the existing taxonomies of values for heritage assets and focuses on economic and monetary values. An original vision is used to critically observe the accounting for UHA in light of the third mission of universities. The chapter explores the measurement of such values, under an accrual accounting mandatory transition, recently adopted by Italian universities, demonstrating how values have been distorted to match the accounting practice. Several accounting behaviours are discussed in the light of Shapiro’s (Objectivity, relativism, and truth in external financial reporting: What’s really at stake in the disputes? Accounting, Organizations and Society, 22(2), 165-185, 1997) theory of social constructivism in financial reporting to offer a critique that can be useful to financial statement preparers to reflect on their decision.