Developing silent and shadow accounts

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    49 Citations (Scopus)


    The quantity of voluntary, unregulated social, environmental and sustainability reporting (SER hereafter) in the UK and elsewhere has risen substantially in recent years, particularly amongst multinational corporations. Yet such disclosures still fail to satisfy some critics who argue that they are selective and unreliable (see, for example, Adams, 2004; O’Dwyer and Owen, 2005). Contrary to the rhetorical claims which usually accompany modern SER, such disclosures may not augment organizational accountability, and may instead be viewed as managerialist attempts to resist meaningful organizational change and to control and manipulate stakeholder sentiment (see, for example, Owen et al., 2000). Whilst industry itself may promote ‘self-policing’ voluntary regimes (see, for example, BITC, 2003), some critics argue that much more direct intervention, in the form of mandatory regulation of corporate disclosure (and/or governance) processes, is necessary to improve the quality of modern SER (CORE Coalition, 2003). However, tangible progress in this area has been slow, and the last-ditch abandonment of the government’s (already weakened) measures in 2005 has ended any immediate prospect of improvements in mandatory SER in the UK at least.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSustainability Accounting and Accountability
    EditorsJeffrey Unerman, Jan Bebbington, Brendan O'Dwyer
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9780203815281
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2010


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