A Communitarian Approach to Constructing Accountability and Strategies for Sustainable Abstract Development

Murugesh Arunachalam, Stewart Lawrence, Martin Kelly, Joanne Locke


This paper explores some ideas for expanding the scope of corporate accountability and thereby contemporary practices in corporate social reporting (CSR). Contemporary CSR practices have been criticized for acting as a legitimizing device for profit-seeking entities possibly at the expense of the community. A communitarian correction to CSR practices suggests that accountability to the community is necessary for any accounting aimed at sustainability. The interpretive methodology adopted
in this study starts with a set of ideas or “pre-understandings” drawn from extant literature on accountability and communitarian philosophy. These ideas provide a theoretical lens for examining and understanding the participation of the Taupo business, farming and general community in
formulating strategies for sustainable development of the Taupo District in New Zealand. Alternating between our pre-understanding and the empirical data, a process known as “fusion of horizons” (Gadamer, 1975) in philosophical hermeneutics, is a means by which theories can be developed. This interpretive study indicates that meaning of accountability can be extended beyond a narrow conventional sense portraying accountability as a process of providing an account. Accountability also involves other dimensions such as moral responsibility, cooperative enquiry, information sharing, transparency and joint responsibility. From a communitarian perspective these dimensions of accountability emphasise the centrality of community and communal values. Accountability for environmental and social issues extends beyond the domain of corporations, and involves community participation.


Community, communitarian, accountability, sustainable development and cooperative enquiry.

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22164/isea.v1i2.15


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Department of Accounting
Faculty of Economics and Business
Sebelas Maret University
Jl. Ir Sutami 36 A Solo Indonesia 57126
Telephone / Fax : +62 271 827003

email: hfauzi@icseard.uns.ac.id / isea.icseard@uns.ac.id