Corporate Social Performance Reporting with an Analysis of Business Social Responsibility

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Accounting




Anne Rich


Industries--Social aspects, Accounting--Social aspects

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 .N29 Acc. 1978 no.1


Although the notion of business social responsibility has been written about and discussed since at least the era of the Greeks, it has just been during the past twenty to twenty-five years that the institution of business has been seriously challenged to provide socially responsible conduct and public accountability for their actions. This emergence of social responsibility and the call for corporate accountability has produced a need for a way to identify, measure and report on a business's social impacts. In attempting to respond to this challenge, American business has encountered numerous obstacles. Since present knowledge concerning the complex interrelationship between business and society is sadly lacking, it is extremely difficult to ascertain the consequences of corporate action upon society. And, even in those areas where relevant information is available, there are few generally accepted methods for the measurement and communication of this information.

The purpose of this paper is to present a broad overview of business social responsibility and the resulting concepts and issues of social performance reporting which have emerged as a direct result of the growth in attention to social responsibility and the requirements for public accountability. In order to better appreciate the present status of business social responsibility, the initial chapters of this study lay a foundation by examining the social responsibility of individuals, the development of business as a social institution, the historical development of business social responsibility and current concepts and issues pertaining to business social responsibility. The last five chapters consider social performance reporting. Included among the topics covered are: social accounting, an overview of social performance reporting, the present status of social reporting, limitations of social reporting, and the future of social reporting. The most significant limitations affecting this study pertain to the lack of delineation as to what business social responsibility actually entails and to the fact that social performance reporting is still in its infancy in terms of development.