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The Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility

The Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility

Established in 1995, AccountAbility is the leading international non-profit institute that brings together members and partners from business, civil society and the public sector from across the world.

AccountAbility is dedicated to promoting accountability for sustainable development by:

  • The development of innovative and effective accountability tools and standards, most notably the AA1000 Series.
  • Undertaking cutting-edge research that explores best practice for practitioners and policy-makers in organisational accountability.
  • Promoting accountability competencies across the professions
  • Securing an enabling environment in markets and public policies
  • Research for change
    Accountability’s research asks the questions needed to continually advance the practice of organisational accountability towards the aspiration of sustainable development.

    The purpose of our research is not just to broaden and deepen knowledge and understanding in the field, but to create rigorously tested and readily applicable tools and approaches that can be used by individual practitioners, businesses, civil society groups, and governments around the world.

    Research areas
    Our research focuses on five thematic areas:
    Accountability standards and systems

  • How are current accountability standards and external assurance systems supporting the development of effective approaches to accountability?
  • How is the AA1000 series being used and how should it be developed?
  • How can small and medium sized enterprises apply accountability principles?
  • Economic development

  • How can the economic component of the ‘triple bottom line’ be understood and measured?
  • Responsible competitiveness

  • Can corporate social responsibility go far enough to really address major societal issues such as poverty?
  • How can corporate responsibility contribute to levels of national competitiveness beyond individual firms?
  • The business case

  • How good is the evidence that companies can create value from corporate responsibility?
  • What is the relationship between accountability processes and innovation?
  • How can we develop rigourous and useful tools to assess the impact of corporate responsibility practices to ensure that best practice is recognised, rewarded and replicated?
  • Emerging areas

  • What kind of processes will be able to secure the effectiveness and accountability of emerging forms of public-private partnerships internationally?
  • What do new communications technologies mean for the practice of organisational accountability?
  • What are the likely economic and social consequences to arise from the end of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (formerly the Multi-Fibre Arrangement – MFA) on January 1st 2005, and what are the possible courses of action to mitigate these consequences?




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