Ethical Guideliness for Compiling Corporate Social Reports

Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Vol. 27, pp. 71-90, 2007

32 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2009 Last revised: 20 Jan 2009

See all articles by Muel Kaptein

Muel Kaptein

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

In this paper guidelines for corporate social reporting are developed from a business ethics perspective. The guidelines are systematically applied in seven steps which are depicted in the form of a funnel. The guidelines are: 1. The social relevance of is-sues; 2. The social responsibility of the company with respect to each possible issue; 3. The (potential) gap between social expecta-tions and company performance; 4. The social effectiveness of in-formation on these issues; 5. The social accountability of informa-tion on these issues; 6. The social appropriateness of indicators on these issues; and 7. The social fairness of these indicators. Compa-nies can use the guidelines to determine and justify the content of their social report. Stakeholders can use the guidelines to call com-panies to account for the ethical quality of their reports. Auditors can use the guidelines to certify the ethical quality of social re-ports. Further empirical research can be conducted to establish the comprehensiveness, feasibility and effectiveness of the guidelines.

Keywords: Corporate social reporting, Business ethics, Transparency, Social accounting, Corporate social responsibility

JEL Classification: M14, M20

Suggested Citation

Kaptein, Muel, Ethical Guideliness for Compiling Corporate Social Reports (2007). Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Vol. 27, pp. 71-90, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1328233

Muel Kaptein (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T11-53
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1923 (Phone)

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