13 Pages, Grade: 1
3. History and Development of Social Reporting
The 1970s witnessed a revision of the relations between business and society, a new awareness of business impacts, and a reformulation of the concept of corporate interests and responsibilities. An outgrowth of this development was the search for means to expand business information systems to enable the business corporation to be more responsive to its socio-political environment. Reporting schemes, indicators of social performance, and assessment criteria were designed by the academic community and were experimented with by innovative companies. The intention was two-fold: to provide a means to communicate aspects of business’ social involvement to a wide range of constituencies and to develop an instrument for internal management information purposes (Dierkes and Antal, 1986). 4. The Social Reporting Framework
Mathews (1993, 1995) identifies four broad groups of arguments which may be used to justify further accounting disclosures. These are market-related, legitimacy related, social contract related and radically related arguments. Market-related arguments are used to advance the case for additional disclosures on the basis that shareholders and creditors could make better decisions and benefit economically in the long term from having additional information. Organisational legitimacy arguments are used where further disclosures would be made to legitimise corporate actions in the perceptions of a specific target group or the general public. Social contract arguments are “based upon the notion that business operates in society via a social contract where it agrees to perform various socially desired actions ... It therefore needs to disclosure enough social information for society to assess whether it is a
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