Corporate Social responsibility and Accounting -A Literature Review
Background and problem: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an area which has gained much attention the last 10-15 years. To satisfy various stakeholders, corporate social responsibility has increased its importance and often constitutes a substantial part of the firms´ financial reports, in spite of the fact that there are no legal requirements. However, to perform strategic CSR-reporting has become more or less compulsory for firms. The research question is: What research has been performed in the area of corporate social responsibility and accounting? Aim: The aim is to provide a structured overview of the literature in the area of corporate social responsibility and accounting regarding the years 2002-2012. The overview will provide a basis for future research and constitute a framework for focused research question. Delimitation: The focus of this study is on research published in scientific journals from 2002 until 2012. Method: A literature review was performed including peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals. Database search were performed in Business Source Premier (BSP) with the keywords “Corporate social responsibility” and “accounting”, and the time limit was set to 2002-2012. Results and conclusions: The main result is shown in Table A1, which presents the structured overview and the categorization. All papers treated stakeholder theory showing that this theory has gained large acceptance in the area. The categories were based on which stakeholders were identified and were the following: Shareholder theory, Business students, Management, Employer/Human resource, Men and Women, and General. The shareholder perspective, emphasizing the role of investors, tends to have little support. The gender perspective was pronounced and Men and women was the first category to be identified. Awareness of ethical aspects is needed among firms when dealing with CSR and accounting. Future research: New media channels, like facebook and twitter, have emerged recently and one question is how firms handle stakeholders via these new channels. To investigate how the area gender, CSR and accounting is shaped and if there are differences in adherents to stakeholder theory and shareholder theory in relation to gender is a question. To extend the literature review to more years would permit to see if there has been a change in dominance of theories. Finally, more student groups but business students are relevant to examine in how they meet CSR related issues in their education, and also how to educate today managers.