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date: 27 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

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

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