James has been actively involved in establishing several international professional and community bodies aligned with his academic interests, particularly as an inaugural Associate Director of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, St Andrews University, Scotland. Founding Member, Advisory Board and Associate Director, Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR), Glasgow University, Scotland, 1992–2010: Associate Director, The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR), Scotland, 1992–2000.
Also organised the first Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference at ANU in 1995 and has been involved in others such as the Australasian Centre on Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference (A-CSEAR) 2015, Macquarie University, Sydney, 10-11 December and the 6th Australasian Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (A-CSEAR) which was held at the University of Sydney in December 2007.
Was named as one of the grandfathers of SEA in Australia by Ball, A. & Milne, M. (2007). ‘Plenary Presentation’, 6th Australasian Conference, Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, Sydney, December 2 -4. Available at: http://csear.econ.usyd.edu.au .
Also, as an International Associate of the International Public Sector Accounting Research Centre, Edinburgh University, Scotland. He is also a founding member of the International Public Management Network (IPMN) and the International Government Accounting Research (CIGAR) networks. In addition, he has been appointed to the board of the Performance Management Association special interest group on intellectual capital, Centre for Business Performance, Cranfield School of Management, UK.
James organised the first Asian Pacific Interdisciplinary Research (APIRA) conference, held in association with AAAJ every three years since 1995. The APIRA conference provides an international forum and showcase for research on the social, political, and institutional aspects of accounting theory and practice. These conferences also conduct a highly successful Emerging Scholars' Colloquium that generally involves up to 100 doctoral and master's research students and approximately 15 professorial faculties from around the world. The 2013 APIRA conference attracted over 450 participants from around the world. APIRA conferences have been held in Sydney 1995; Osaka 1998; Adelaide 2001; Singapore 2004; Auckland 2007; Sydney 2010; Kobe 2013; Melbourne 2016; Auckland 2019; and will be held in Wuhan, PRC, in 2022.
James has been a visiting fellow at the following universities;
1987 Bath University, UK. June-December
1993 Dundee University, Scotland. June-December
1996 Stockholm University, Sweden. May-August
1998 Sienna University, Italy. June-December
2002 Ferrara University, Italy. June-December
2006 Stockholm University, Sweden. June-August
2006 Padua University, Italy. August-December
2009 Christchurch, New Zealand. June-August
2009 Edinburgh, Scotland. August-October
2009 Bologna University, Italy. October-December
2010-2017 Padua University, Italy. February-March
2010-2018 Bologna University, Italy. April-June
Recently James has been involved in the establishment of the Australian Association of University Professors (AAUP), which supports academics as pillars of the university, academic freedom and has branches in all public universities. James is the treasurer of this organisation.