Article

Sustainability and Social Responsibility Reporting and the Emergence of the External Social Audits: The Struggle for Accountability?

Rob Gray and Irene Herremans

in The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199584451
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199584451.003.0022

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Sustainability and Social Responsibility Reporting and the Emergence of the External Social Audits: The Struggle for Accountability?

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This article describes the current state of social accountability and how it is evolving to embrace environmental, social, and sustainability accountability, reporting, and disclosure. Some of the ways in which the relationships between civil society, the market, and the state might be better mediated in the interests of democracy are suggested. The stand-alone reports say a lot about what an organization would like the reader to see as its responsibility. A priori reasoning would suggest that it is much more likely to be the case that all commercial organizations are actually un-sustainable. The possibility of providing a report only once can always challenge a business' strategy, reputation, and perception. The role of the researcher is critical: not least because so much research seems content to ignore the wider data, ignore the wider context, and accept a business-as-usual scenario as beyond consideration.

Keywords: social accountability; sustainability; accountability; civil society; market; state; stand-alone reports; responsibility

Article.  8231 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Business Strategy

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