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Organizing Transnational Accountability

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Organizing Transnational Accountability

Magnus Boström , Christina Garsten

Edited by Magnus Boström, Professorship in Sociology, Örebro University, Sweden and Christina Garsten, Professor in Social Anthropology, Department of Social Anthropology and Score (Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research), Stockholm University, Sweden

2008 296 pp Hardback 978 1 84542 901 0
ebook isbn 978 1 84844 272 6

Hardback £83.00 on-line price £74.70


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‘In the expanding academic literature on accountability, there remains significant ambiguity about the scope and content of this concept. Boström and Garsten have performed an invaluable service to scholars by providing a fresh focus on how accountability is actually organized in practice. Their intelligently edited collection pulls together a range of disciplinary perspectives on the new organizational settings and instruments engaged with accountability norms. This volume is an excellent contribution both to organizational theory and wider research on transnational governance.’
– Michael Mason, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Contributors: M. Boström, C. Garsten, L.H. Gulbrandsen, B. Holzer, D. Kerwer, R. Lidskog, J. Lindvert, S. Marton, J.W. Meyer, A.P.J. Mol, L. Pellizzoni, M. Power, L. Soneryd, K. Svedberg Nilsson, K. Tamm Hallström, R. Thedvall, S.W.K. van den Burg

Further information

This book adds a multi-disciplinary organizational perspective to the theoretical analysis of political accountability and argues for a broadening of the conventional understanding of the concepts of responsibility and accountability.

There is increasing pressure for accountability, driven by such factors as the globalization of markets, media reports of corporate misconduct, environmental destruction and the violation of human rights. In response, this book focuses on the development of accountability tools and techniques as well as on the organizational arrangements and political struggles behind such endeavours. This unique study theorizes the emerging accountability and corporate social responsibility movement at the transnational level. It focuses on an increasingly recognized aspect of transnational organizational life, which is often mentioned in recent literature, yet sparsely analysed.

Organizing Transnational Accountability will be an important and invaluable read for researchers, policymakers and students of social anthropology, sociology, organization theory, political science and critical accounting at graduate levels and above.

Full table of contents


Michael Power

1. Organizing for Accountability
Magnus Boström and Christina Garsten

2. The United Nations – Soft and Hard: Regulating Social Accountability for Global Business
Christina Garsten

3. ISO Expands its Business into Social Responsibility
Kristina Tamm Hallström

4. Organizing Accountability in Transnational Standards Organizations: The Forest Stewardship Council as a Good Governance Model
Lars H. Gulbrandsen

5. From Accounts to Accountability: Corporate Self-presentations in Response to Public Criticism
Boris Holzer

6. Watchdogs Beyond Control? The Accountability of Accounting Standards Organizations
Dieter Kerwer

7. Boundaries of Responsible Buying: Accountability for What and to Whom?
Karin Svedberg Nilsson

8. Rituals of Legitimation: Organizing Accountability in EU Employment Policy
Renita Thedvall

9. The Political Logics of Accountability: From ‘Doing the Right Thing’ to ‘Doing the Thing Right’
Jessica Lindvert

10. Agenda Setting for Accountability: The Swedish Code of Corporate Governance
Susan Marton

11. Making it all Publicly Available: Four Challenges to Environmental Disclosure
Sander W.K. van den Burg and Arthur P.J. Mol

12. Accountability, Public Involvement and (Ir)reversibility
Linda Soneryd and Rolf Lidskog

13. The Antinomy of Accountability
Luigi Pellizzoni

14. The Treadmill of Accountability
Magnus Boström and Christina Garsten

Afterwords: Organizing Transnational Accountability
John W. Meyer


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