Background: Social Role of Companies and Success Indicators

  • José Luis RetolazaEmail author
  • Leire San-Jose
  • Maite Ruíz-Roqueñi
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Business book series (BRIEFSBUSINESS)


The basic function of any organization, i.e. that which legitimizes it socially, is to create value for society as a whole; however concern for the economic and financial factors involved in all trading activities has resulted in the development of accounting focused on these instrumental issues. The successful development of this accounting has led to results concerned with the actual purpose of organizations being relegated or overshadowed. This chapter analyses the different theories that make economic results a good indicator or social value: transaction cost theory, contract theory, agency theory, etc. These are contrasted with a system-based outlook taken from stakeholder theory, seen as a more suitable paradigm for understanding the inherent nature of organizations and their consequent function in society. Finally, the main indicators being developed are reviewed in an attempt to visualize the social value generated fundamentally by companies.


Social value Stakeholder theory Social accounting Monetizing social value Value for stakeholder Theory of the firm CSR Corporate social responsibility 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Luis Retolaza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leire San-Jose
    • 2
  • Maite Ruíz-Roqueñi
    • 2
  1. 1.Deusto Business School, ECRI Ethics in Finance & Social ValueBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), ECRI Ethics in Finance & Social ValueBilbaoSpain

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