Stakeholder Reporting: The Spanish Tobacco Monopoly (1887-1986)
Stakeholder theory explains organizational responses to changing demands from constituents. Almost all accounting research drawing on stakeholder theory addresses social responsibility issues. In contrast, we examine how our focal firm, the Spanish tobacco monopoly, responded to stakeholders' demands through its annual reports over the century 1887-1986, that is, from the privatization of the firm's administration to the loss of monopolistic conditions as a consequence of Spain's entry into the European Economic Community. Our findings reveal how these reports reflected the changing importance of different categories of stakeholders as well as the alignment of financial reporting with organisational responses to stakeholders' demands. Throughout this period the firm's major strategic stakeholder was the state, and the dramatic changes in Spanish forms of government, as well as a change in the state's status vis-a-vis the firm (until 1945 as lessor of the monopoly, and thereafter also as a major shareholder) affected the amount and type of financial information in these reports; however, the strategy remained generally proactive until 1945 and accommodative thereafter. The other strategic stakeholder was the workers, and equally dramatic changes in Spanish labour activism affected the reporting of worker welfare programmes. After Spain's democratization, society in general became a more important stakeholder, and reports began to address tobacco-related health concerns.
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Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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