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Accountability in a Global Economy: The Emergence of International Accountability Standards

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2015


This article assesses the proliferation of international accountability standards (IAS) in the recent past. We provide a comprehensive overview about the different types of standards and discuss their role as part of a new institutional infrastructure for corporate responsibility. Based on this, it is argued that IAS can advance corporate responsibility on a global level because they contribute to the closure of some omnipresent governance gaps. IAS also improve the preparedness of an organization to give an explanation and a justification to relevant stakeholders for its judgments, intentions, acts and omissions when appropriately called upon to do so. However, IAS also face a variety of problems impeding their potential to help address social and environmental issues. The contribution of the four articles in this special section is discussed in the context of standards’ problems and opportunities. The article closes by outlining a research agenda to further develop and extend the scholarly debate around IAS.

Special Section Accountability in a Global Economy: The Emergence of International Accountability Standards to Advance Corporate Social Responsibility
Copyright © Society for Business Ethics 2011

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