David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Business Ethics 19 (4):379-392 (2010)
The ethical behaviour and social responsibility of private companies, and in particular large corporations, is an important area of enquiry in contemporary social, economic and political thinking. In the past, a company's behaviour would be considered responsible as long as it stayed within the law of the society in which it operated or existed. Although this may be necessary, it is no longer sufficient. In this paper, we examine an energy company's response to an ethical incident in New Zealand which prompted different responses across the country about the role of business in society. Thus, we argue that when a corporation is accused of unethical behaviour, executives of the company are usually compelled to offer responses to defend their actions and corporate image. Further, we use communicative response model, social issue life cycle theory, and organisational learning, to analyse the incident and how the company responded. Using social issues life cycle theory and organisational learning theory, we demonstrate that sustained pressure can potentially trigger a change of strategy that may serve to improve the ethical posture of a corporation and thereby improve the corporate image long term. We conclude that, although corporations may understand the significance of social issues to the performance and success of their business, this same understanding does not always translate into meaningful social action.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Donaldson (1995). [Book Review] the Ethics of International Business. [REVIEW] Business Ethics Quarterly 5:865-882.
Reggy Hooghiemstra (2000). Corporate Communication and Impression Management – New Perspectives Why Companies Engage in Corporate Social Reporting. Journal of Business Ethics 27 (1-2):55 - 68.
Dirk Matten, Andrew Crane & Wendy Chapple (2003). Behind the Mask: Revealing the True Face of Corporate Citizenship. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 45 (1-2):109 - 120.
Amy Klemm Verbos, Joseph A. Gerard, Paul R. Forshey, Charles S. Harding & Janice S. Miller (2007). The Positive Ethical Organization: Enacting a Living Code of Ethics and Ethical Organizational Identity. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 76 (1):17 - 33.
Tarja Ketola (2008). A Holistic Corporate Responsibility Model: Integrating Values, Discourses and Actions. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 80 (3):419 - 435.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Richard H. Guerrette (1988). Corporate Ethical Consulting: Developing Management Strategies for Corporate Ethics. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 7 (5):373 - 380.
Jeffrey L. Bradford & Dennis E. Garrett (1995). The Effectiveness of Corporate Communicative Responses to Accusations of Unethical Behavior. Journal of Business Ethics 14 (11):875 - 892.
Lutz Preuss (2009). Ethical Sourcing Codes of Large Uk-Based Corporations: Prevalence, Content, Limitations. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 88 (4):735 - 747.
Yves Fassin (2005). The Reasons Behind Non-Ethical Behaviour in Business and Entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Ethics 60 (3):265 - 279.
Geert Demuijnck (2009). From an Implicit Christian Corporate Culture to a Structured Conception of Corporate Ethical Responsibility in a Retail Company: A Case-Study in Hermeneutic Ethics. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 84 (3):387-404.
Enrique Bigné Alcañiz, Ruben Chumpitaz Cáceres & Rafael Currás Pérez (2010). Alliances Between Brands and Social Causes: The Influence of Company Credibility on Social Responsibility Image. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 96 (2):169-186.
Jan Tullberg (2004). Illusions of Corporate Power:Revisiting the Relative Powers of Corporations and Governments. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 52 (4):325 - 333.
Tuomo Takala & Jaana Urpilainen (1999). Managerial Work and Lying: A Conceptual Framework and an Explorative Case Study. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 20 (3):181 - 195.
Longinos Marin & Salvador Ruiz (2007). “I Need You Too!” Corporate Identity Attractiveness for Consumers and the Role of Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 71 (3):245 - 260.
Christopher S. Miller & Silvia M. King (2007). Southern Company: A Case Study in Corporate Responsibility Leadership. International Corporate Responsibility Series 3:101-128.
Jacquie L'Etang (1995). Ethical Corporate Social Responsibility: A Framework for Managers. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 14 (2):125 - 132.
John M. T. Balmer, Kyoko Fukukawa & Edmund R. Gray (2007). The Nature and Management of Ethical Corporate Identity: A Commentary on Corporate Identity, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 76 (1):7 - 15.
Reuben J. Stern (2008). Stakeholder Theory and Media Management: Ethical Framework for News Company Executives. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 23 (1):51 – 65.
Sandra Waddock (2005). Corporate Citizenship. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:184-189.
Added to index2010-09-27
Total downloads14 ( #180,314 of 1,725,465 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #349,436 of 1,725,465 )
How can I increase my downloads?