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The social role of accounting: views and perceptions of the accounting community in Libya towards corporate social responsibility and accountability

Abdulhamid, Mashat A. and Ritchie, Robert and Lovatt, Christopher J. and Pratten, John D. (2005) The social role of accounting: views and perceptions of the accounting community in Libya towards corporate social responsibility and accountability. In: Corporate Responsibility Research Conference, 4-6 September 2005, Leeds, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The paper explores views and perceptions amongst members of the accounting community in Libya regarding the perceived basic features of the current corporate reporting and disclosure practices of the Libyan Business Organisations (LBOs). Extending these practices to embrace reporting and disclosure of social and environmental related information (CSR), and the extent to which notions of corporate social responsibility and accountability are acceptable in Libya are examined. Five groups of users of published accounts in Libya participated in the study, including academic accountants, financial managers (or accountants), government officials, bank credit officers and external auditors. A questionnaire survey of the 438 participants, drawing on the Al-khater and Naser (2003) study, was employed as the main data collection method. The findings demonstrate that currently most LBOs communicate limited information to a limited set of stakeholders. The disclosure of more social and environmental information was widely accepted and viewed as potentially leading to some beneficial socio-economic effects at the macro level. There was general agreement that the LBOs’ annual reports should reflect the interaction between their operations and the society in which they operate, recognizing the right of different stakeholders to information about the actions for which LBOs could be held responsible. The Law was viewed as the key source of establishing such responsibilities rather than professional guidelines.

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