Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives: Volume 9

Cover of Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives

Table of contents

(17 chapters)

Part I: Issues of Governance


Demands from key stakeholder groups, some triggered by concerns about human rights and breaches of international guidance on safe and healthy workplaces, have led to an increase in the calls for transnational businesses to be held accountable. The raised expectations that companies will govern transparently and company officials will be held accountable for deviations has seen a steady increase in the number of transnational businesses taking action to improve their processes, create greater accountability in decision making that affects procurement and make informed choices to ensure value for money from companies at the end of the procurement process. This has led to the rethinking of how large global companies make decisions about procurement and the role played by local suppliers to benefit from the engagement of local companies.

In a steadily increasing number of countries, changes have been made also through amendments to companies legislation which require companies to go beyond reporting financial performance only, but to include also updates about social as well as environmental performance indicators. In the case of supply chains for natural resources such as oil and gas and agriculture, there is evidence of some companies taking action to expand and diversify their supply chain.

In a review of supply chain activities of transnational businesses operating in developing countries and emerging economies, this chapter identifies strategies used to shift to more innovative and socially conscious approaches to strengthening local supply chains. The author suggests approaches that can be taken by transnational businesses in creating a greater shareholder value, foster goodwill among key stakeholders as well as strengthen organisational governance and promote sustainable procurement.


The logic of the economic system under which the world operates is predicated on an assumption that development is possible and that the pricing system mediates the acquisition of the additional resources required for that development. The chapter investigates where those resources are and focuses particularly on the BRIC counties. These countries have access to a large proportion of the remaining natural resources of the world while also having large populations and therefore great scope for rapid economic growth. These four countries contain a significant proportion of the world’s reserves of raw materials, but they are also rapidly developing countries with that development fuelled by their raw materials. One consequence of this is that the resources available to other countries in the developed world are constrained by this rising demand, with a number of possible consequences. The discourse in the developed world is towards the conservation of resources and towards energy efficiency. This is reflected in both manufacturing resources and consumer purchasing decisions. So it is generally accepted that resource depletion will affect the economic environment. It is not yet fully recognised, however, that development in other parts of the world will exacerbate this pressure and lead to a greater need to compete for the available resources. This competition will be economic but could also become physical as the world adjusts to a new geopolitical environment. This is an important topic not being addressed elsewhere.


The purpose of this chapter is to map out the role of arts and the transfer values of the case of intensified music education as a governance tool for cultural sustainability. It takes the form of a literature review, which reveals that the role of arts in terms of governance of cultural sustainability includes the arts as issues of cultural heritage; symbolic translations of cultural values; transferring learning about emotions and life-quality, cooperation and linguistic-logical skills and potential transmitters of socio-economic enhancement of individuals performing it. The negative outcome is that the arts are predominated by the elite and wealthy, and that the potential of the role of the arts in the public education curriculum has not been utilised nor preferred in many countries as a result of low government expenditure. Other projects may exist in non-academic public media that may confirm or reject the findings. The chapter suggests academia and practitioners study, impact and initiate better ways of including the arts in the governance of cultural sustainability through public education. The inclusion of the arts in public education can improve the livelihood of children in all socio-economic areas. It connects two different literatures – that of cultural sustainability and that of traditional art studies in education, and raises questions about current governance practices underestimating the value of including cultural sustainability in governance and the role of the arts herein.


Ever since this area of scholarship has been developed in the West, what has generally been taught, researched and written about in the organisation/management field have been primarily English and North American theories about and practices in organisations. This focus has also been adopted by scholars and teachers all over the world, so that mainstream organisation/management scholarship is generally synonymous with western systems. However organisation and management, though not necessarily described in those terms, have existed in all societies through their economic, social and political arrangements, regardless of period, types of activity and stages of technological development.

It is here proposed to examine some African traditional societies in terms of their economic, social and political systems and compare them with mainstream Anglo-Saxon theories and practices. The main focus of this study will be on questions of accountability. Areas to be investigated are the assumptions underlying theories and practices in both types of societies; the systems in practice; their advantages and disadvantages and crucially whether western approaches have anything to learn from these traditional systems, now diminished in power and scope but still very much present in many parts of Africa. The converse question might also be put – can those traditional systems still extant benefit from Anglo-Saxon models of organisation and management?

There are difficulties with such a project. Differences in time, space, culture, size, economic activity and technology must make for problems for researchers. There are then the problems faced by any researcher in terms of their ‘habitus’ or ‘situatedness’ and the need for awareness of their own potential influences on their research. How much more problematic might this prove when examining very different cultures and attempting to make comparisons between their social systems in different time spans, different locations and in entirely different global political and economic contexts?

British social anthropologists, studying traditional societies during the colonial period, had the additional difficulties of being part of (or seen as part of) an occupying colonial administration. Normal difficulties concerning problems with information given to researchers by informants were compounded by this political context in which a great deal of scholarship about traditional societies was produced. This has been discussed over the decades by social anthropologists and sociologists, and will be addressed in this chapter, as at least some of the information used is from that period.

However, despite the difficulties, there is value in such comparisons and in heightening awareness of issues such as accountability in non-western systems as compared with questions of accountability in western institutions. This is relevant for those teaching organisation and management studies – not least to students from other parts of the world, and for practitioners who might gain some advantage from considering different systems and practices, and possibly also gain more insight into their own situations.


This chapter is a contribution to a recent restricted literature dealing with the return of microfinance investment in the financial markets. We study the performance of public microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). Microfinance is an asset class with a double bottom line: social and financial returns have to be generated. Despite a significant currency risk, we find that the integration of microfinance assets diversifies the investor’s risks and improves the efficient frontier. We conclude that microfinance institutions, via investment vehicles, are likely to attract capital from socially responsible investors seeking new investment opportunities.

Part II: Accountability in Action


This chapter explores the CSR conceptual framework, with a particular focus on the CSR policy diffusion and integration in the corporate banking in India. In a nutshell, the research has threefold objectives, it explores: the dynamics of the CSR conceptual development, sketching out the main contextual drivers leading to CSR policy importance in developed/developing countries; the CSR evolution in Indian scenario, pointing out India’s cultural and institutional contextual factors; and the context of banking sector regulations on CSR policy and guidelines. The analysis is supported by a comparative multiple case study analysis, on three leading public banks: State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank. The rationale for case selection is based on the social and environmental implications of banking financial decisions on the matter. The banking sector is still at the initial stage of integrating CSR policies in their regulations. The findings reveal increasing attention among the banks towards the adoption of social banking regulations. There is a substantial body of empirical evidence showing that the newly CSR core values and guidelines at international level have often had little effect on CSR practice in the banking sector at the country level. The research shows that it is important to look at the CSR evolution through an integrated model of analysis, based on conceptual and empirical evidence. It pointed out an integrated model of analysis of the banking sector through the lens of comparative case studies.


This chapter is about the reorganisation of the auditing firms in the Post-Sarbanes Oxley Era, in the light of quality concern. The chapter opens up with definitions of related concepts. The importance of audit quality is emphasised in the second section. Discussion on the factors associated with audit quality is the following part. The need for reorganisation of the audit firms follows and the chapter concludes with proposals section. The audit firms seem to be squeezed to catch up with both the national and international regulations. One of the ascertainments is that the audit firms all over the world need to cope with the standards; another is their obligation to provide high-quality audits. Globally speaking, the unwillingness of the profession to alter its habits and to sacrifice the profits historically earned is another obstacle to overcome. In the aftermath of the establishment of the Public Oversight Board in the late 2012, Turkish case follows with an almost 10-year gap.


The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the question of whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be used as a link of trust between business and society, and which role CSR plays in recovering distrust in businesses. It uses a mixed methods study of processes of moving businesses within the Danish water sector from a general trust-breakdown to trust recovery from 2003 to 2013.

Trust recovery is found to depend on stakeholders’ mutual engagement with each other and their willingness to share knowledge and learn from each other’s professional and institutional cultures and languages. An alignment of vocabularies of motives between regulation and voluntary CSR is found to be useful for building trust between conflicting parties. Furthermore the findings shows that the more stakeholders’ languages, motives and logics can coexist, the more trust can be recovered.

The research is limited by a study of one business sector in one country and the findings have implications greater than the local contexts of which it is researched, because it is usable in other sectors that suffer from severe trust-breakdowns such as government systems in both the public and private sectors.

This chapter suggests a theoretical extension of Bogenschneider and Corbett’s (2010) Community Dissonance Theory to embrace multiple stakeholders each having their own complex and unique culture and communication modus based on their institutional, professional or individual comprehensive language universes. This includes knowledge-sharing and educative diffusion of the stakeholders’ language universes’ vocabularies including its important nouns, verbs, terminologies, semantics, taxonomies and axioms as well as the stakeholders’ motives and logics implemented into these universes.


The communication of messages and initiatives still remains the missing piece in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice. Traditional media and corporate websites (ruled by a one-way communication process) have failed to promote an open and interactive CSR communication process with different groups of stakeholders.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, among other social media platforms, allow users to interact and collaborate with each other. For example, people are empowered through social media to demand more transparency regarding corporate operations that can impact society and environment. Therefore, with the popularisation of social media, companies must understand that today more than ever, they should effectively communicate sustainability practices with the purpose of building and improving stakeholder relationships. But are companies ready to engage in CSR communication through social media? In other words, are they ready to invest in relationships?

This chapter analyses how corporations use social media for CSR communication. A content analysis methodology was used to examine Twitter official corporate profiles of 50 Fortune companies over the course of a two-month period. The purpose of this investigation was to discover what type of CSR and Sustainability core subjects were communicated and the type of communication presented in the messages.


When the issues surrounding corporate social responsibilities (CSR) are discussed, who or what organisation should be considered as the key player in CSR? Is it the service provider or a consumer on the socio-economic market that qualifies as a key player? One might be quick to suggest that traditionally service providers are supposed to play CSR roles. To think of the topic critically not only is a service provider that is required to play CSR roles but that the consumer is equally deemed to play a commendable role. Others may argue that such a suggestion is conclusive to mean that a banana vendor is supposed to follow his customers/consumer in question so that they do not throw the banana peels hazardously and affect the environment negatively.

The consumer, just like the vendor/service provider, ought to have discipline and principles as to how he or she utilises products around rather than blame the opposite on wrongly providing a service from which many are benefiting from.

The debate above suggests that consumers of products have their roles to play as regards CSR so that those that provide them with a socio-economic service can continue to do so and that relations between a consumer and a service provider are mutual and sustainable.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) industries in developing Africa use manual power to produce the desired consumables and because no technology is involved their products are reasonable and affordable. However, the manual power is applied at a risk and at the expense of the service providers’ health. Is there any consciousness of the situation at hand by the consumer? The specific local SME industries to be discussed are quarry stone crashing, charcoal making and cement industry outlets leading to a debate on whether consumers just like service providers need to work together to ensure that the local SME industries cited are recognised for sustainable development purposes.

Cover of Accountability and Social Responsibility: International Perspectives
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Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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