This book was supposed to be about social auditing—the practice of systematically recording, presenting, and interpreting a company’s nonfinancial or “social” accounts. While the book does address how companies measure the impact of their activities on their stakeholders—customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, communities—it focuses on what I see to be the bigger picture for social auditing—the kinds of relationships that a company develops with its stakeholders. Specifically, the book zeros in on how companies build long-term, mutually beneficial, collaborative stakeholder relationships.

This book actually began in late 1995 when I was asked to prepare a policy framework for a social audit being conducted by Vancouver City Savings ...

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