Crowdsourcing Corporate Transparency through Social Accounting: Conceptualising the ‘Spotlight Account’
This paper considers an alternative way of gathering and evaluating information on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the actions taken towards sustainable development. Social accounting theory is currently limited in conceptualising external accounts that sit outside the description of silent or shadow accounts. With the emergence of technological platforms that enable CSR information to be collectively located, new models of stakeholder engagement are growing using the wisdom of the crowd for information collation and analyses. This paper outlines a crowdsourced platform, WikiRate, which aims to both empower corporate transparency surrounding the Sustainable Development Goals and assist in multidimensional stakeholder participation and decision making. Existing theoretical characterisations of external accounts are used as a way of understanding the WikiRate engagement model and more broadly its relationship with social accounting. Through analysis and theoretical development, this research has implications for imagining and exploring new social accountings and social accountants that can lead to emancipatory change. ‘Spotlight accounting’ is introduced as a process that illuminates global organisational transparency and sustainability through crowdsourcing by independent stakeholders.