This article reviews the development of corporate social reporting—its theoretical underpinnings, its conceptual frameworks, and its application in practice. Specifically, the usefulness and the actual use of the information contained in social reports are evaluated. In view of the experience to date and the current socio-economic conditions, a number of possible scenarios are discussed and policy options presented. The underlying challenge is to develop and institutionalize measures which ensure the usefulness and use of social reports. Doing this would make business more responsive to societal concerns by providing for the identification of information needs and for feedback processes, and by maximizing the reliability, credibility, and flexibility of reporting procedures.
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