Case Study

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A critical review on:

Corporate social reporting and stakeholder accountability: The missing link
By Stuart M. Cooper, David L. Owen (2007),

Accounting, Organizations and Society Journal,

Vol. 32 (2007) 649–667

1. Introduction

This paper critically discusses “Corporate social reporting and stakeholder accountability:
The missing link” by Cooper & Owen (2007). Firstly, a brief summary is provided of the paper, focussing on the research questions, the methodology used, the findings and finally on the claimed academic contribution by the authors. Subsequently, the paper is critically reviewed focussing on consistency, the rigor of the paper, the research methods applied and the development of the conclusions. Finally, several concluding remarks are provided.

Summary of the research paper

This essay is a critical review of the paper “Corporate social reporting and stakeholder accountability: The missing link”, written by Stuart M. Cooper and David L. Owen and published in the Accounting, Organizations and Society Journal, Volume 32 (2007). This paper aims to undertake a critical evaluation of the extent of institutional reform accompanying current ‘leading edge’ reporting initiatives, together with that potentially ensuing from the proposed OFR regulations. To this end, they draw upon a number of reports short-listed for the Social and Sustainability categories of the 2003 ACCA UK Sustainability Reporting Awards Scheme, together with an analysis of the somewhat long drawn out processes which led to the publication of the DTI’s OFR draft regulations. They are particularly concerned with assessing their potential for enhancing stakeholder accountability. Cooper & Owen investigate what progress has been made towards improved stakeholder accountability through an analysis of a number of reports short-listed for the Social and Sustainability categories of the 2003 ACCA UK Sustainability Reporting



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