Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain Management: The Possible Role of Auditing

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The last 25 years or so, two disciplines have become increasingly more prominent in business: Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Traditionally, SCM has been characterized by concerns of efficiency and effectiveness, illustrated by the 7 R's: the right product, in the right quantity and the right condition, at the right place, at the right time, for the right customer, at the right cost. CSR on the other hand has been characterized by finding a more ethical way of doing business. This paper argues that this has created the need for an eighth R in SCM: right ethics. Since a supply chain exists of legally independent entities, the need for right ethics creates the need for a ninth R: right monitoring. This paper investigates how the discipline of auditing can contribute to solve the problem of right monitoring of right ethics across a supply chain. In order to do this, the paper explores what traditional audit types like the financial, operational, compliance and forensic audit have to offer, together with other assurance services, like assurance on non-financial reports, on internal control, on key performance indicators, and on information systems. The paper concludes that the independent auditor's methods can contribute in many ways to develop a new form of auditing: Supply Chain Audits (SC-A). The paper ends with implications for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2008
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event30th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association - Lissabon, Portugal
Duration: 25. Apr 200727. Apr 2007
Conference number: 30


Conference30th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association


  • auditing
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • supply chain management


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