At first glance, it may appear that “Corporate Accountability” is the same as an earlier term, “Corporate Social Responsibility,” and, in fact, you can find websites that give them almost the same definition. Nevertheless, there is a difference between these terms. The difference lies, in simple terms, between action and reaction.
“Corporate Social Responsibility” means the ethical obligations that corporations should uphold when determining business practices. “Corporate Accountability,” on the other hand, is the obligation corporations have to let the public know what they are doing and to suffer consequences if they violate social responsibility standards.
In other words, CSR is anticipating the effect that a corporation will have on the world andacting responsibly; Corporate Accountability is reacting to a company’s practices where they fail to be transparent and righting the wrongs, if any, it caused.
Read another differentiation between the two terms from CorpWatch here.
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