For much of the 1990s, the NGO community was largely a mystery to most businesses. It rarely spoke with one voice where a deal was being sought by one or other business. Yet it seemed to cohere across radically diff erent agendas when the potential for damage to business was greatest. It proved to have an almost unintelligible set of norms that tripped up even the most studious and diplomatic business person. Most signifi cant, perhaps, was that it had an entirely unclear patt ern of accountability.