John R. Ehrenfeld
This article concentrates on creating sustainability that is already becoming central to business strategy formation and implementation. It is believed that business will be shaped by a different sense of the term “sustainability”. The most important sustainability beliefs are that the world operates as a complex, not mechanistic, system, and human beings operate out of a bundle of care, not needs. The institution called “business” has a very special role in modern societies with respect to sustainability and to the culture change needed to create it. Sustainability exists in a new paradigm, where the fundamental beliefs that underlie the place, role, and practices of business are no longer capable of producing what is wanted without unintended consequences that more than negate the positive outcomes. As business has become more powerful, changing its ways becomes equivalently more problematic.
James E. Post
This article addresses how the relationship between business, society and the environment has evolved, with each system affecting the others. It reviews the effort to shift from a traditional “dominion of nature” paradigm toward a radically different “sustainability” paradigm. Effecting this change requires a new definition and understanding of the role of the corporation in society. The features of this new model are proposed. The interplay of science, markets, public policy, and ethical reasoning helps in the understanding on the way business and society interpenetrate and influence one another in relation to the environment. The Millennium Development Goals Project placed vital environmental goals in a framework of other human goals. The number of signatories to the Global Compact or other codes remains small relative to the total number of economic enterprises. Environmental issues are prominent in the economic marketplace, public policy arena, and the marketplace of ideas.
Pier Angelo Mori
The community co-operatives that are spreading today in many parts of the world are the arrival point of an evolutionary process that has seen the progressive shift of co-operatives’ focus from specific social and professional groups to society as a whole. Since the term ‘community co-operative’ is relatively new and similar institutions are named differently at different times, the first task is to elucidate the concept. Its basic elements are community goods, territory, and citizenship, which are discussed with reference to factual cases. We then discuss differences between new community co-operatives and old ones. In the second part we review some data about them, with a special focus on customer-owned providers of public services. The chapter closes with a discussion of the economic reasons why citizen participation through consumer ownership this organizational mode is more likely to expand today in response to privatization failures than it did in the past.
N. Craig Smith
This article surveys the potential and limits of consumers in demanding socially responsible behavior through their decisions at the checkout. Corporate responsibility (CR) has never been more prominent on the corporate agenda and primarily because the business case is perceived to be much stronger. This article takes a critical look at the role of consumers in corporate attention to CR. It gives illustrative examples of ‘ethical consumerism’, survey data, and a theoretical rationale that supports the general idea that consumers care about issues of corporate responsibility. It also examines various marketer initiatives that reflect a belief in ethical consumerism, from cause-related marketing to ethical branding. It then turns to more theoretical treatments and empirical research findings on, first, consumer support for pro-social corporate conduct (‘positive ethical consumerism’) and, second, consumer punishment of CR failings, most notably in consumer boycotts (‘negative ethical consumerism’).
William C. Frederick
This article argues that prospects for corporate social responsibility (CSR) are anchored in its early beginnings, in its ever-expanding acceptance as a legitimate business practice, and in the looming necessities and crises spawned by unprecedented global expansion of economic enterprise. CSR is an idea whose time has arrived, not just in the United States but wherever markets and corporate enterprise comprise the foundation of a society's economic endeavors. Unevenly developed and experienced across the grand arc of 21st century societies, CSR is infiltrating into corporate consciousness and corporate culture, finds expression in the workplace, sparks stakeholder involvement, molds company strategy, enriches the quality of community life, broadens business vision, and seeks to humanize economic enterprise wherever it is found. A cardinal principle of CSR's spread throughout the globe is that each society and each business firm shall find its own unique way of expressing and realizing CSR's core meaning.
Timothy R. Kuhn and Stanley Deetz
This article examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) from the angle of critical theory. It begins by arguing that values shape corporate decisions in three general ways: managerial choices, routines, and reasoning processes; governmental regulation, incentives, tax structures, and oversight; and consumption choices within market systems. It shows that, alone and jointly, these ‘sites’ are fundamentally weak in their capacity to produce greater CSR in the sense of more diverse values and reasoning processes. Institutionalized power relations, various forms of systematically distorted communication, and ideology provide insight into different weaknesses and pitfalls. This article treats ideology as the presence of values embedded in language, routines, practices, and positions that privilege dominant groups which are difficult to identify, discuss, and assess owing to various covering mechanisms. Following this, it turns to exploring communication systems and practices that can provide for a more sustainable, and democratic, CSR.
This article reviews theories of management education and current coverage of corporate social responsibility (CSR) concepts in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. It then examines prospects for responsible management education in the 21st century. It proceeds in four main sections. First, it addresses management education theories. Second, it assesses the state of knowledge concerning responsible management. Third, it examines the state of knowledge concerning education for responsible management. Views range from the impossibility of changing the moral character of adults and the uselessness of responsibility education through the identification of profit incentives for responsibility activities to demands for business schools and corporations to try harder in the wake of recent corporate scandals. Fourth, this article discusses the effect of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business international accreditation standards on responsibility education. A concluding section summarizes the chief points.
This chapter demonstrates the significance of the emerging field of Internet governance, highlighting issues over standards, names and numbers, and net neutrality, which are unfolding in a variety of contexts around the world, including the Internet Governance Forum. It describes how technology could bias outcomes across policy arenas, such as privacy or freedom of expression. Internet governance generally refers to policy and technical coordination issues related to the exchange of information over the Internet. Governance has had immediate implications for freedom of expression online. Despite the significant public interest implications, Internet governance is largely hidden from public view. A crucial role of Internet governance research is to evaluate the implications of the tension between forces of openness and forces of enclosure, examine the implications of the privatisation of governance, and bring to public light the key issues at stake at the intersection of technical expediency and the public interest.
Future Perspectives of Corporate Social Responsibility: Where we are Coming from? Where are we Heading?
This contribution not only tries to place the current debate in the context of developments over the last twenty-five years, but also exhorts academics to design less ‘holistic’ concepts (which easily degenerate into propaganda used in political debate), to contribute to transparency by providing sober empirical evidence, and to express more appreciation for marginal yet continuous incremental improvements in the business world. The public rhetoric about corporate social responsibility has not had any significant effect on everyday life in the corporate sector, nor has the wealth of currently available academic research and suggestions. To put it in a nutshell: even for the most risk-exposed companies or industries, everything beyond the (hard-) core business is of secondary importance. Any empirical evidence is only a snapshot of the status quo. Identifying drivers for change and emerging trends is a more compelling challenge than simply describing the current state of affairs.
This article examines evidence about contemporary work and workers and then moves on to examine worker attitudes and responses towards management and trade unions. Evidence is drawn from as wide a range of countries as possible, but survey data on worker attitudes tends to come from the United Kingdom and the United States. In the light of this material, the initial arguments about the decline of unions and collective action can be reexamined. Many of the points in this article reflect an observation made long ago by two of the most acute observers of the capitalist mode of production: ‘In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e. capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed’.
This article characterizes two distinct perspectives in the field of business and environment—weak and strong sustainability. It specifically investigates the distinction between corporate environmental management or “weak sustainability” and the business contribution to sustainable development or “strong sustainability”. It first explains the different ways of framing the two concepts. It then explores what it means for a business to build capacity for weak and for strong sustainability. A brief statement on the implications for future research and education that stem from these distinctions is presented. Weak and strong sustainability are differentiated by their approach to integration, the ambition of the vision of change, the complexity of the innovation and the extent of collaboration among social, political, and economic actors. Weak sustainability is not sufficient to bring about the transition to a sustainable future.
Hugo Priemus and Bert van Wee
This chapter focuses on ethical and political aspects of megaproject decision making and management. More specifically, it focuses on ethical aspects of the impacts of megaprojects on society, the ethics of doing research into the pros and cons of megaprojects, the quality of estimates of the costs and benefits of megaprojects, and the democratic quality of the decision-making process. Avenues for future research are then suggested. An overall conclusion is that ethical aspects of megaprojects are very important for society, but the topic has not received a great deal of attention from researchers yet.
J. (Hans) van Oosterhout and Pursey P. M. A. R. Heugens
This article refutes the underlying conceptual need for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the first place. All told, these critiques offer some serious challenges to the CSR field, although the conclusions reached by each of the contributors differ as to their degree of optimism or pessimism regarding its potential. The conceptual critique of the CSR concept is structured as follows. First, this article introduces some distinctions for evaluating CSR as an academic concept. It then sketches a short history of CSR concept formation, and elaborates on definitions and operationalizations of the CSR concept. Finding that CSR is problematic both theoretically and empirically, it proceeds to explore what—if any—role remains for the notion of CSR in business and society research. It concludes that it would be prudent for the field to dispense with the notion of CSR altogether.
Given the current strength of media concern with climate change, it is perhaps surprising that this issue has remained somewhat tangential to writers within critical and mainstream management studies. This article considers why greater attention must be paid to the natural environment as well as to the tensions that are raised by such study. The relative inattention to the natural environment within management and organization studies (MOS) is in marked contrast to that apparent in Western media. Barely a day goes by without some media report concerning climate change, and the subject has moved increasingly center stage within mainstream political agendas. In part, this reflects the perception of a growing ‘scientific consensus’ that climate change and environmental degradation are proceeding apace.
Paul Osterman and M. Diane Burton
Many believe that the nature of careers has changed dramatically in the past twenty years. One scholar writes that internal labor markets have been ‘demolished’, while a human resources manager at Intel comments that, in contrast to the past, today, ‘You own your own employability. You are responsible’ (Knoke 2001: 31). The idea of the ‘boundaryless career’ seems increasingly popular (Arthur and Rousseau 1996). If it is in fact true that the old rules for organizing work have disappeared, this would represent a fundamental change for employees. It would also have major implications for how scholars think about the labor market. Not surprisingly, the reality is more complicated, with evidence of both change and stability in the nature of the employment relationship. This article discusses the nature of these developments and their implications for the internal labor market literature.
Principals and Agents: Further Thoughts on the Friedmanite Critique of Corporate Social Responsibility
José Salazar and Bryan W. Husted
Friedman's original critique of corporate social responsibility (CSR) remains one of the most important in the CSR literature. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Friedman provides an outline of a critique as he does not fully develop his arguments. In any case this article defines the requirements for a CSR, which is ethical because it does not renounce obligations to shareholding principals, as well as specifying the challenges of CSR given the nature of the principal-agent relationship. By following the logic inherent in Friedman's argument, this article highlights some of the very practical problems that need to be resolved in order to move the CSR agenda forward. This article identifies many of the challenges that CSR faces if it is to move beyond symbol to substance.
This article contends that regulation in certain fields should incorporate and give emphasis to values beyond those of market economics. It is argued here that the frame of reference of the market is too narrow to encompass properly a range of social and political values which are established in liberal democracies and can be seen as constitutional in nature. Examples from fields such as environmental regulation and regulation of the media are used here to illustrate a range of non-economic values which have been, are, or should be reflected in regulatory theory and practice as a means of recognising and reflecting principles related to social justice. Such principles extend beyond, and may be antithetical to the practices, values, and outcomes of market-driven decision-making.
Krista Bondy and Dirk Matten
This article covers different theoretical strands in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature that is particularly relevant in investigating the relationship between business and the natural environment (B&NE). A brief overview over some core areas of empirical CSR research is presented, emphasizing specific links to the environment. Instrumental theories justify CSR by demonstrating the link to traditional business imperatives. CSR is enacted at the micro level of society where agents within organizations identify and engage in specific social and environmental initiatives that support financial performance. Economic theories maintain the existing logic of business and the theory of the firm, but extend the range of legitimate inputs. Network theories challenge the narrow focus of instrumental and economic theories on economic activities of the firm as separate from, and largely ignorant of, their impact on social and natural systems. The core areas of overlap between CSR issues and environmental issues are dealt with.
This article argues that corporate social responsibility (CSR) does not represent a challenge to business. On the contrary, it suggests that CSR represents a further embedding of capitalist social relations and a deeper opening up of social life to the dictates of the marketplace. Furthermore, it protests that CSR is not a driving force of change but rather an outcome of changes brought on by other forces. Most particularly, it is the result of a shift from a fordist to a post-fordist regime of accumulation at the heart of which is both an expansion and a deepening of wage relations. This article somewhat conveniently traces the (re)emergence of CSR as an issue beyond the academy from the 1990s whilst acknowledging the academic work on CSR carried out earlier (Carroll, 1979 or Owen, 2003 on the democratic push in CSR during the 1970s).
Klaus Weber and Sara B. Soderstrom
This article reviews the historical significance of the environmental movement for corporate environmental practices. It investigates the basic processes and mechanisms that lead from the identification of grievances and collective mobilization to the response and internalization of such challenges in businesses. The success of social movements in affecting environmentally relevant practices of businesses is evaluated. The globalization of the environmental movement itself has often taken the form of participating in international policy-making and targeting multinational companies headquartered in developed countries, and less successfully of planting local movements across the globe. The environmental movements can direct technological and social innovation aligned with movement goals, create consumer demand for these products, and develop legitimacy and positive reputations for organizations that address their concerns. Finally, the implications and emergent directions of research in studies on the environmental movement and businesses are explained.