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Social Accounting for Sustainability: A Study in the Social Economy

ECRI Research Group, Financial Economic II Department, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 20018 Donostia, Spain
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Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6894; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246894
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 28 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
In order to understand an organization’s survival and growth, legitimacy plays a key role. This paper explains how social accounting can generate legitimacy for a social company and make companies more sustainable. The demand to know the value that different organizations generate or detract from society has increased since the global crisis of 2008. Sustainable organizations are those that positively impact all stakeholder groups. In this paper, an analysis of 20 Spanish social companies that have implemented or are going to implement social accounting is made. We analyzed, through interviews, the expectations and integration of social accounting, determining change-emerging factors occurring after the application of social accounting. For the qualitative analysis of the information collected, NVivo 12 was used, a software program adequate for qualitative and mixed-methods research. The main finding shows that most companies communicate results internally; thus, these companies expect a higher involvement in the implementation of social accounting. Social companies, since their value is fundamentally not centered on that which comes from commercial activity, need to evidence their effort on specific social values that do not go through the market, and so are not reflected in traditional financial statements. View Full-Text
Keywords: social value; social impact; social accounting; social sustainability; social economy; legitimacy; decision making; practice theory social value; social impact; social accounting; social sustainability; social economy; legitimacy; decision making; practice theory
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Lazkano, L.; Beraza, A. Social Accounting for Sustainability: A Study in the Social Economy. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6894.

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