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Accountability can be defined as “being answerable”—that is, being able to give an account. In the corporate environment, it has been closely associated with financial auditing and reporting, as well as accountancy in general. Within the neoclassical conception of the corporation, it is described in terms of duties owed toward its shareholders. Recently, however, corporate social responsibility (CSR), or corporate citizenship (CC) as it is otherwise referred to, movements have led to an increased awareness of the duties associated with the various other relationships in which corporations typically participate. From this perspective, the corporation is compelled to acknowledge its accountability to a wider network of stakeholders.

AccountAbility, the organization responsible for the AA 1000 standard for “social and ethical accounting, auditing, and reporting,” defines accountability as ...

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