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Abstract

This article is a synopsis of and set of recommendations emerging from a research project commissioned in 2009 and culminating in a working paper published in May 2010 by the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Mossavar–Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The project was undertaken in the early days of social media and online interaction. Authors Bill Baue and Marcy Murninghan were designated as research fellows to take an in-depth look at implications produced by the interface between newly emerging interactive technology—at that time called “Web 2.0”—and corporate accountability. The report maps the landscape of these applications, which were being used to advance interactive corporate accountability (that is, forms of accountability that engage both companies and their stakeholders). From that emerged a typology of the degrees of stakeholder engagement, which they call the Accountability Web Matrix. The matrix maps the progression in corporate accountability on one axis and the progression of Web 2.0 tools on the other and provides examples within the resultant cells.

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