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date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Liberal societies have long been concerned about the effective control of the powerful governmental institutions that arise within them. Over the past decade and a half, governments have been reluctant to curb the power of private corporations, but the public has sought and found ways to call corporations to account without the mediation of government. In the “court of public opinion,” private “accountability agents” press their demands for accountability without legal backing. These accountability agents constitute the external accountability structure that all social organizations and enterprises face. The evolving processes are predicated on various legal structures and behavioral processes that help to endue organizations with social legitimacy by connecting external demands for accountability to the internal goals of the enterprise and its leadership.

Keywords: Accountability, Accountability Agents, Demand for/Supply of Accountability, Legal and Behavioral Accountability, Bases of Accountability: Legal, Practical, Moral, Legitimacy, Objective Legal and Subjective Perceptions of Legitimacy, Public Opinion, Court

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