A study of the UK social enterprises’ accountability: Could social enterprises and their accountability provide an avenue to an alternative capitalism?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Seminar date: 2nd June 2014 Purpose: The study's purpose is to investigate accountability in social enterprises. This is to answer the main thesis question of whether social enterprises and their accountability could provide the world with an alternative form of capitalism where humanitarian crises are better addressed. Methodology: The study applies a qualitative approach based on inductive process. It is based on interpretivist and constructionist considerations. The empirical investigations are illustrated in the form of case studies reflecting a convincing sample. Data and researcher triangulation methods are applied. Theoretical perspectives: To high extent the study depends on discussion of social enterprises, accountability, blended value accounting tools, legal reporting requirements for the UK social enterprises, and the system oriented theories. Empirical foundation: Empirical data was collected through formal and informal channels of accounting. The formal channel represents annual reports, and the informal channels include websites, social media and a SROI report. Conclusions: Social enterprises’ accountability creates a more comprehensive reality. This is through responding to environmental and social crises, ensuring that resources are used in ethical and wise manner, and accounting for social performance and impacts. The idea of accounting to empower disadvantaged parties has been raised. Social enterprises are seen to be opportunity owners that may facilitate the transition to an alternative capitalism where accounting can play the role of catalyst.

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