Challenges in responsible investment research

Haigh, Matthew (2015). Challenges in responsible investment research. In: Hebb, Tessa; Hawley, James P.; Hoepner, Andreas G.F.; Neher, Agnes L. and Wood, David eds. The Routledge Handbook of Responsible Investment. Routledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 536–542.


As a field of practice, responsible investment has most ften been designated as a niche investment style or labelled as corporate social responsibility (CSR). Neither is completely incorrect. What is responsible investment? The research has stumbled on a definition. Descriptors such as sustainable,responsible, social and environmental that may preface finance and investment can, it seems, sideline finance and investment into areas that are ill-defined (and which may seem unhelpful to the career paths of scholars interested in the area!). It seems fair to state that the research on responsible investment – and those that would participate in the research – face problems of aim, scope and nomenclature. Whatever the researcher’s ‘home’ research field or teaching department, a researcher in responsible investment needs to recognize the existence of differing definitions of core concepts in the field, and differing relevancies accorded to those definitions.

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