David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Calls for greater accountability from managers and corporations are regularly voiced these days, both in the academic literature and in public discussions more generally. Specifically, it is often suggested that extant financial and management accounting practices embody a rather restricted form of accountability that falls short of our mutual responsibilities as more than economic subjects. Against this backdrop, this paper raises the question of whether more accountability is always and unambiguously desirable from an ethical point of view. It does so by inquiring into the limits that the accountable self faces when giving an account. Building upon the recent work of Judith Butler, the paper describes the accountable self as an opaque, exposed, and mediated self that is inherently limited in its ability to give an account of itself. Because of these limits, we cannot expect demands for accountability always to be fully met. The paper points to the ethical importance of recognizing this limited nature of accountability and outlines possible ramifications of this fact for practice.
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Citations of this work BETA
Miguel Rivera-Santos & Carlos Rufín (2010). Odd Couples: Understanding the Governance of Firm—NGO Alliances. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 94 (1):55 - 70.
Rae André (2012). Assessing the Accountability of the Benefit Corporation: Will This New Gray Sector Organization Enhance Corporate Social Responsibility? [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 110 (1):133-150.
Rae André (2010). Assessing the Accountability of Government-Sponsored Enterprises and Quangos. Journal of Business Ethics 97 (2):271 - 289.
Mia Kaspersen & Thomas Riise Johansen (forthcoming). Changing Social and Environmental Reporting Systems. Journal of Business Ethics.
Alpa Dhanani & Ciaran Connolly (2015). Non-Governmental Organizational Accountability: Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk? Journal of Business Ethics 129 (3):613-637.
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