Journal of Management & Governance

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 723–743 | Cite as

Social accounting as stakeholder knowledge appropriation



Heeding the call for socio-political explorations of the social accounting project, we use the analytical lens of knowledge appropriation to explore power and contest in social auditing. We develop a knowledge appropriation model comprising three stages: knowledge creation, knowledge generation and outcome distribution, which we then use to analyze an exemplar case. We argue that, despite asymmetries of power and managerial prerogative, deficient stakeholder involvement in the creation and distribution stages renders social auditing ineffective for governance as either a stakeholder account or a strategic management system. We conclude that embedded stakeholder involvement in knowledge creation processes is essential for social auditing to be effective as corporate governance.


Knowledge appropriation Stakeholders Social accounting Governance Management control The Body Shop 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business and EconomicsMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Nottingham Business SchoolNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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