Corporate accountability is a foundation of corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibilities, at the most general level, include economic duties, legal and regulatory compliance, responsiveness to ethical norms, and discretionary social welfare contributions. In addition, one of the most basic of all corporate social responsibilities is corporate accountability. It is defined as the continuous, systematic, and public communication of information and reasons designed to justify an organization's decisions, actions, and outputs to various stakeholders. According to this definition, corporate accountability is primarily a form of ethical communication directed toward those parties who are affected by corporate activities and effects.

Source: Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society