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Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Social Audit in Bangladesh

Sustainability Accounting

ISBN: 978-1-78754-889-3, eISBN: 978-1-78754-888-6

Publication date: 17 April 2018



This chapter investigates the perceptions of social audit within the context of the garment companies of Bangladesh. The chapter highlights two recent incidents that claimed the lives of about 1,300 garment workers in Bangladesh. Based on the fact that Western clothing brands use social audits before sourcing their products from Bangladesh, this chapter investigates if any real change happens as a result of the information provided in the social audit reports.


The insights were gathered through conducting personal interviews with managers of social audit firms, corporate managers and various stakeholders of the textile and garment companies of Bangladesh. This chapter used the accountability theory to understand the perceptions of social audit.


The chapter finds that different stakeholders have different perspectives regarding social audits. The high-profile catastrophes within the supply chain garment factories of Bangladesh provided evidence that social audits did not help prevent such catastrophes in a different socio-economic context. The results have revealed stakeholder dissatisfaction with the procedures and content of social audits. It also finds that there is an expectation gap between the preparers and users of social audit reports.

Practical implications

The insights provided in this chapter would benefit garment manufacturers of developing countries and relevant stakeholders to demonstrate more accountability while conducting a social audit.


This is the first known chapter investigating stakeholders’ perceptions of social audit within the context of a developing country. More importantly, it focuses on responsible corporate behaviour in a socially sensitive industry.



Kamal, Y. (2018), "Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Social Audit in Bangladesh", Sustainability Accounting (Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management, Vol. 7), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 5-29.



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