A Critical Review of Relations between Corporate Responsibility Research and Practice

Haigh, Matthew and Jones, Marc T. (2007). A Critical Review of Relations between Corporate Responsibility Research and Practice. Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, 12(1) pp. 16–28.

URL: http://ejbo.jyu.fi/pdf/ejbo_vol12_no1_pages_16-28....


This essay identifies epistemological, theoretical and methodological problems in a potentially influential subset of the interdisciplinary corporate responsibility literature, that which appears in the management literature. The received conceptualization of stakeholder analysis is criticised by identifying six sets of factors conventionally considered as promoting social responsibilities in the firm: inter-organizational factors, economic competitors, institutional investors, end-consumers, government regulators and non-governmental organizations. Each is addressed on conceptual grounds, its empirical salience in terms of the latest relevant research and prospects to be a significant factor in promoting outcomes consistent with social welfare. Despite obvious antagonistic relations between organization-centred economic objectives and extra-organizational-directed social considerations, the huge body of research we address drifts in a disengaged Sargasso Sea. The essay argues for appropriate directions for continuing business ethics/responsibility/corporate citizenship research, suggesting certain sociological works on moral leadership, moral courage, and academic leadership.

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