- The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Editor Biographies
- Author Biographies
- The Corporate Social Responsibility Agenda
- A History of Corporate Social Responsibility: Concepts and Practices
- Corporate Social Responsibility Theories
- The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility
- Corporate Social Performance and Financial Performance: A Research Synthesis
- Principals and Agents: Further Thoughts on the Friedmanite Critique of Corporate Social Responsibility
- Rethinking Corporate Social Responsibility and the Role of the Firm—On the Denial of Politics
- Critical Theory and Corporate Social Responsibility : Can/Should We Get Beyond Cynical Reasoning?
- Much Ado about Nothing: A Conceptual Critique of Corporate Social Responsibility
- Top Managers as Drivers for Corporate Social Responsibility
- Socially Responsible Investment and Shareholder Activism
- Consumers as Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility
- Corporate Social Responsibility, Government, and Civil Society
- Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Stakeholder Theory: Managing Corporate Social Responsibility in a Multiple Actor Context
- Responsibility in the Supply Chain
- Corporate Social Responsibility: The Reporting and Assurance Dimension
- Globalization and Corporate Social Responsibility
- Corporate Social Responsibility and Theories of Global Governance: Strategic Contestation in Global Issue Arenas
- Corporate Social Responsibility in a Comparative Perspective
- Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries
- Educating for Responsible Management
- Corporate Social Responsibility: Deep Roots, Flourishing Growth, Promising Future
- Senior Management Preferences and Corporate Social Responsibility
- The Transatlantic Paradox: How Outdated Concepts Confuse the American/European Debate about Corporate Governance
- Spirituality as a Firm Basis for Corporate Social Responsibility
- Future Perspectives of Corporate Social Responsibility : Where we are Coming from? Where are we Heading?
Abstract and Keywords
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’).
N. Craig Smith is the INSEAD Chaired Professor in Ethics and Social Responsibility at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. He was previously on the faculties of London Business School, Georgetown University, and Harvard Business School. His current research projects examine ethical consumerism, deception in marketing, marketing ethics, and strategic drivers of corporate responsibility. His recent publications appear in the Journal of Marketing, Business Ehics Quarterly, Sloan Management Review, California Management Review, and the Journal of Business Ethics. He consults on business and marketing ethics and corporate responsibility, and serves on the Scientific Committee of Vigeo (a social responsibility rating agency) and the Advisory Board of Carbon Clear (a carbon offset company).Smith was the winner of the Beyond Grey Pinstripes' 2005 European Faculty Pioneer Award for his work on social and environmental issues in business.
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