Backlash hits business ethics: Finding effective strategies for communicating the importance of corporate social responsibility [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 78 (1-2):17 - 24 (2008)
Recently, several articles have asserted that corporate social responsibility programs have gone too far and need to be reigned in. These critics have charged that corporate social responsibility is to be regarded with skepticism and that any changes in corporate accountability should be superficial at best. I will examine a␣number of these objections; I conclude that these critiques are largely ill founded, but that their increasing frequency in popular media is a cause for concern. I argue that these purported objections are better understood as one part of a long-term cycle that generally accompanies positive moral change in institutions. Using the feminist movement as a touchstone, I examine the similarities between backlash against the movement for corporate accountability as compared to backlash against feminists. I␣also suggest ways in which successful strategies adopted by feminists could be used effectively to communicate the aims of those working to increase awareness of business accountability.
Keywords backlash  business ethics  corporate accountability  corporate social responsibility  media
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