Integrating stakeholder theory and sustainability accounting: A conceptual synthesis

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This paper aims at integrating the bodies of literature on stakeholder theory and sustainability accounting. Using the conceptual methodological approach of theory synthesis, stakeholder theory is employed as a method theory to advance sustainability accounting as a domain theory. On this basis the concept of ‘Accounting for Sustainability and Stakeholders’ is developed. This concept highlights which sustainability topics and which stakeholders to consider in accounting for a given organization and how the inclusion of additional stakeholders and topics can contribute to creating value for stakeholders. In conclusion, this paper highlights that an overly broad inclusion of stakeholder groups and sustainability topics can be replaced by a purposeful selection of stakeholders and topics of particular relevance for the specific organization. As an additional advantage, the concept prevents disconnecting sustainability accounting from conventional accounting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124097
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2020