Module 2: A model for explaining CSR/sustainability reporting

We will start this Module with an investigation of the relationship between perceptions of organisational responsibilities, accountabilities, and ‘accounting’. We will explain how a manager’s perceptions of organisational responsibilities impacts their perceptions of organisational accountabilities, which in turn influences the types of accounting they embrace (and therefore the types of ‘accounts’ they produce).

In our discussion, we will explore the meaning of ‘accountability’ (which is central to any discussion of accounting and reporting), and we will also describe how perceptions of organisational responsibilities have evolved over recent years as concerns for particular issues - such as climate change and treatment of workers in supply chains - has evolved.

We will then move the discussion to a four-step accounting model which provides the framework for the balance of the modules. What shall be emphasised is that the decisions managers make about ‘why they will/should report’ will in turn have direct implications about ‘to whom’ they shall report, which will in turn have implications in respect of ‘what’ will be reported, and ‘how’ it will be reported.