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  1. Embracing Ambiguity – Lessons From the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility Throughout the Rise and Decline of the Modern Welfare State.Anselm Schneider - 2014 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 23 (3):293-308.
    In the work of Karl Polanyi, the negative effects of a self‐regulating market economy are described as being limited by societal forces such as the policies of the welfare state. With the decline of the modern welfare state since the late 1970s, social activities of business firms are increasingly regarded as an important complement to or even as a substitute for welfare state policies by a part of the literature. However, and controversially, another stream of argumentation regards these activities as (...)
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  • Industry Business Associations: Self-Interested or Socially Conscious?José Carlos Marques - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 143 (4):733-751.
    The number and scale of business associations focused on corporate responsibility and sustainability has grown dramatically in recent decades and they are becoming influential actors in both national and international governance. Yet surprisingly little research exists on such organizations and recognition of the organizational lineage they share with special interest groups is yet to be examined—are industry business associations merely lobbies for their members’ own interests or are they viable self-regulatory institutions capable of addressing contemporary social and sustainability issues? This (...)
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  • Ideology as Rationalization and as Self-Righteousness: Psychology and Law as Paths to Critical Business Ethics.Wayne Eastman - 2013 - Business Ethics Quarterly 23 (4):527-560.
    Research on political ideology in law and psychology can be fruitfully applied to the question of whether business ethics is ideological, and, if so, what response is warranted. I suggest that legal and psychological research streams can be drawn upon to create a new genre of critical business ethics that differs from normative and empirical business ethics. In psychology, Moral Foundations Theory suggests how the mainstream ideology within an academic field can be criticized as a reflection of a self-righteous, us-them (...)
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  • Global Justice and International Business.Denis G. Arnold - 2013 - Business Ethics Quarterly 23 (1):125-143.
    Little theoretical attention has been paid to the question of what obligations corporations and other business enterprises have to the four billion people living at the base of the global economic pyramid. This article makes several theoretical contributions to this topic. First, it is argued that corporations are properly understood as agents of global justice. Second, the legitimacy of global governance institutions and the legitimacy of corporations and other business enterprises are distinguished. Third, it is argued that a deliberative democracy (...)
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  • Foreign Aid and Discourses of National Social Responsibility: Evidence From South Korea.Juliette Schwak - forthcoming - Journal of Global Ethics:1-21.
    This article analyses a recent discourse of responsibility that accompanies states’ foreign aid provision. States adopt this discourse of National Social Responsibility to show their complian...
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  • Navigating Between the Plots: A Narratological and Ethical Analysis of Business-Related Conspiracy Theories.Mathieu Alemany Oliver - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-24.
    This paper introduces the concept of business-related conspiracy theories. Drawing on Aristotelian virtue ethics and undertaking a narratological and ethical analysis of 28 BrCTs found online, I emphasize that BrCTs are narratives with structures rooted in other latent macro- and meta-narratives, including centuries-old myths. In particular, I reconstruct the fictional world of BrCTs – one in which CSR and social contracts have failed – before identifying eight different types of actors as which people can morally situate themselves in their relationships (...)
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  • Synthesising Corporate Responsibility on Organisational and Societal Levels of Analysis: An Integrative Perspective.Pasi Heikkurinen & Jukka Mäkinen - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 149 (3):589-607.
    This article develops an integrative perspective on corporate responsibility by synthesising competing perspectives on the responsibility of the corporation at the organisational and societal levels of analysis. We review three major corporate responsibility perspectives, which we refer to as economic, critical, and politico-ethical. We analyse the major potential uses and pitfalls of the perspectives, and integrate the debate on these two levels. Our synthesis concludes that when a society has a robust division of moral labour in place, the responsibility of (...)
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  • Uncommitted Deliberation? Discussing Regulatory Gaps by Comparing GRI 3.1 to GRI 4.0 in a Political CSR Perspective.Rea Wagner & Peter Seele - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 146 (2):333-351.
    In this paper, we compare the two Global Reporting Initiative reporting standards, G3.1, and the most current version G4.0. We do this through the lens of political corporate social responsibility theory, which describes the broadened understanding of corporate responsibility in a globalized world building on Habermas’ notion of deliberative democracy and ethical discourse. As the regulatory power of nation states is fading, regulatory gaps occur as side effects of transnational business. As a result, corporations are also understood to play a (...)
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  • Instrumental and/or Deliberative? A Typology of CSR Communication Tools.Peter Seele & Irina Lock - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 131 (2):401-414.
    Addressing the critique that communication activities with regard to CSR are often merely instrumental marketing or public relation tools, this paper develops a toolbox of CSR communication that takes into account a deliberative notion. We derive this toolbox classification from the political approach of CSR that is based on Habermasian discourse ethics and show that it has a communicative core. Therefore, we embed CSR communication within political CSR theory and extend it by Habermasian communication theory, particularly the four validity claims (...)
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  • Exploring Political Corporate Social Responsibility in Global Supply Chains.Julia Patrizia Rotter, Peppi-Emilia Airike & Cecilia Mark-Herbert - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 125 (4):1-19.
    Businesses increasingly assume political roles, despite issues of legitimacy. The presented two case studies illustrate how businesses harness their political influence in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices through collaboration and dialog with stakeholders and civil society actors. These cases are set around issues arising in global supply chains in sourcing activities where the core problem is associated with businesses managing extended responsibilities under conflicting institutional conditions. The article seeks to provide empirical examples of Political CSR and illustrates the role of (...)
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  • An Agonistic Notion of Political CSR: Melding Activism and Deliberation.Cedric E. Dawkins - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics 170 (1):5-19.
    Flagging labor governance in far-flung supply networks has prompted greater scrutiny of instrumental CSR and calls for models that are tethered more closely to accountability, constraint, and oversight. Political CSR is an apt response, but this paper seeks to buttress its deliberative moorings by arguing that the agonist notion of ‘domesticated conflict’ provides a necessary foundation for substantive deliberation. Because deliberation is more viable and effective when coupled with some means of coercion, a concept of CSR solely premised on reciprocal (...)
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  • Progressive and Conservative Firms in Multistakeholder Initiatives: Tracing the Construction of Political CSR Identities Within the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.Maximilian J. L. Schormair & Kristin Huber - 2021 - Business and Society 60 (2):454-495.
    The proliferation of multistakeholder initiatives over the past years has sparked an intense debate on the political role of corporations in the governance of global business conduct. To gain a better understanding of corporate political behavior in multistakeholder governance, this article investigates how firms construct a political identity when participating in MSIs. Based on an in-depth case study of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh—an MSI established after the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex in (...)
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  • Dissent in Consensusland: An Agonistic Problematization of Multi-stakeholder Governance.Martin Fougère & Nikodemus Solitander - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 164 (4):683-699.
    Multi-stakeholder initiatives involve actors from several spheres of society in collaborative arrangements to reach objectives typically related to sustainable development. In political CSR literature, these arrangements have been framed as improvements to transnational governance and as being somehow democratic. We draw on Mouffe’s works on agonistic pluralism to problematize the notion that consensus-led multi-stakeholder initiatives bring more democratic control on corporate power. We examine two initiatives which address two very different issue areas: the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the (...)
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  • Conceptualizing Data‐Deliberation: The Starry Sky Beetle, Environmental System Risk, and Habermasian CSR in the Digital Age.Mario D. Schultz & Peter Seele - 2020 - Business Ethics: A European Review 29 (2):303-313.
    Business Ethics: A European Review, EarlyView.
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  • Contextualizing Corporate Political Responsibilities: Neoliberal CSR in Historical Perspective.Marie-Laure Djelic & Helen Etchanchu - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 142 (4):641-661.
    This article provides a historical contextualization of Corporate Social Responsibility and its political role. CSR, we propose, is one form of business–society interactions reflecting a unique ideological framing. To make that argument, we compare contemporary CSR with two historical ideal-types. We explore in turn paternalism in nineteenth century Europe and managerial trusteeship in early twentieth century US. We outline how the political responsibilities of business were constructed, negotiated, and practiced in both cases. This historical contextualization shows that the frontier between (...)
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  • The Micro-Level Foundations and Dynamics of Political Corporate Social Responsibility: Hegemony and Passive Revolution Through Civil Society.Arno Kourula & Guillaume Delalieux - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 135 (4):769-785.
    Exploration of the political roles firms play in society is a flourishing stream within corporate social responsibility research. However, few empirical studies have examined multiple levels of political CSR at the same time from a critical perspective. We explore both how the motivations of managers and internal organizational practices affect a company’s choice between competing CSR approaches, and how the different CSR programs of corporate and civil society actors compete with each other. We present a qualitative interpretative case study of (...)
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  • The Politics of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives: The Crisis of the Forest Stewardship Council.Steffen Böhm, André Spicer & Sandra Moog - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 128 (3):469-493.
    Multi-stakeholder initiatives have become a vital part of the organizational landscape for corporate social responsibility. Recent debates have explored whether these initiatives represent opportunities for the “democratization” of transnational corporations, facilitating civic participation in the extension of corporate responsibility, or whether they constitute new arenas for the expansion of corporate influence and the private capture of regulatory power. In this article, we explore the political dynamics of these new governance initiatives by presenting an in-depth case study of an organization often (...)
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  • Mandatory Non-Financial Disclosure and Its Influence on CSR: An International Comparison.Gregory Jackson, Julia Bartosch, Emma Avetisyan, Daniel Kinderman & Jette Steen Knudsen - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 162 (2):323-342.
    The article examines the effects of non-financial disclosure on corporate social responsibility. We conceptualise trade-offs between two ideal types in relation to CSR. Whereas self-regulation is associated with greater flexibility for businesses to develop best practices, it can also lead to complacency if firms feel no external pressure to engage with CSR. In contrast, government regulation is associated with greater stringency around minimum standards, but can also result in rigidity owing to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Given these potential trade-offs, we ask (...)
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  • When Is There a Sustainability Case for CSR? Pathways to Environmental and Social Performance Improvements.Mika Kuisma, Leena Lankoski, Jette Steen Knudsen, Jukka Rintamäki & Minna Halme - 2020 - Business and Society 59 (6):1181-1227.
    Little is known about when corporate social responsibility leads to a sustainability case. Building on various forms of decoupling, we develop a theoretical framework for examining pathways from institutional pressures through CSR management to sustainability performance. To empirically identify such pathways, we apply fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to an extensive dataset from 19 large companies. We discover that different pathways are associated with environmental and social performance improvements, and that pathways to success and failure are for the most part not (...)
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  • How to Assess the Democratic Qualities of a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative From a Habermasian Perspective? Deliberative Democracy and the Equator Principles Framework.Wil Martens, Bastiaan van der Linden & Manuel Wörsdörfer - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 155 (4):1115-1133.
    The paper presents a renewed Habermasian view on transnational multi-stakeholder initiatives and assesses the institutional characteristics of the Equator Principles Association from a deliberative democracy perspective. Habermas’ work has been widely adopted in the academic literature on the political responsibilities of corporations, and also in assessing the democratic qualities of MSIs. Commentators, however, have noted that Habermas’ approach relies very much on ‘nation-state democracy’ and may not be applicable to democracy in MSIs—in which nation-states are virtually absent. We argue that (...)
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  • Political Corporate Social Responsibility: Including High Politics?Oldrich Bures - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 129 (3):689-703.
    This article explores whether political corporate social responsibility may be better understood through its inclusion into the realm of high politics instead of its current characterization as belonging to low politics. The key argument is that the growing role of private companies in the provision of security is too widespread and its implications are too important to be ignored by the PCSR literature. By extending the scope of its inquiry into high politics, the insights from PCSR research could enrich the (...)
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  • Agonistic Pluralism and Stakeholder Engagement.Cedric Dawkins - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (1):1-28.
    ABSTRACT:This paper argues that, although stakeholder engagement occurs within the context of power, neither market-centered CSR nor the deliberative model of political CSR adequately addresses the specter of power asymmetries and the inevitability of conflict in stakeholder relations, particularly for powerless stakeholders. Noting that the objective of stakeholder engagement should not be benevolence toward stakeholders, but mechanisms that address power asymmetries such that stakeholders are able to protect their own interests, I present a framework of stakeholder engagement based on agonistic (...)
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  • Engaging Ethically: A Discourse Ethics Perspective on Social Shareholder Engagement.Jennifer Goodman & Daniel Arenas - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (2):163-189.
    ABSTRACT:The primacy of shareholder demands in the traditional theory of the firm has typically excluded marginalised stakeholder voices. However, shareholders involved in social shareholder engagement purport to bring these voices into corporate decision-making. In response to ethical concerns about the legitimacy of SSE, we use the lens of discourse ethics to provide a normative analysis at both action and constitutional levels. By specifying three normative questions, we extend the analysis of SSE to identify a political role for shareholders in pursuit (...)
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  • In Defense of a Regulated Market Economy.Jukka Mäkinen & Eero Kasanen - 2015 - Journal of Global Ethics 11 (1):99-109.
    The dominant understanding of political corporate social responsibility suggests new, broader political roles for businesses in the globalized economy, challenging the classical liberal social order. In this paper, we show how the major framing of the political CSR discussion not only challenges the classical liberal social order but also goes against the more general political economic perspective of the regulated market economy. We argue that this latter tendency of the political CSR discussion is its main weakness. We introduce a Rawlsian (...)
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  • Unearthing Sedimentation Dynamics in Political CSR: The Case of Colombia.Pilar Acosta & Mar Pérezts - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 155 (2):425-444.
    The stream on political corporate social responsibility argues that companies have recently assumed state-like roles to influence global governance. However, following emerging calls for greater contextualization of CSR, we trace the historic evolution of PCSR in the case of Colombia and argue that such political engagement by firms is not new. Looking beyond a linear chronological account, we reveal the sedimentation process behind PCSR by exploring the archetypical political roles businesses have taken on in providing public goods and acting as (...)
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  • Responsible Innovation and the Innovation of Responsibility: Governing Sustainable Development in a Globalized World.Christian Voegtlin & Andreas Georg Scherer - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 143 (2):227-243.
    Earth’s life-support system is facing megaproblems of sustainability. One important way of how these problems can be addressed is through innovation. This paper argues that responsible innovation that contributes to sustainable development consists of three dimensions: innovations avoid harming people and the planet, innovations ‘do good’ by offering new products, services, or technologies that foster SD, and global governance schemes are in place that facilitate innovations that avoid harm and ‘do good.’ The paper discusses global governance schemes based on deliberation (...)
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  • Egalitarianism and Executive Compensation: A Relational Argument.Pierre-Yves Néron - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 132 (1):171-184.
    What, if anything, is wrong with high executive compensation? Is the common “lay reaction” of indignation and moral outrage justified? In this paper, my main goal is to articulate in a more systematic and philosophical manner the egalitarian responses to these questions. In order to do so, I suggest that we take some insights from recent debates on two versions of egalitarianism: a distributive one, according to which no one should be worse off than others because of unfair distributions of (...)
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  • Rawls on Markets and Corporate Governance.Wayne Norman - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (1):29-64.
  • Boundaries Between Business and Politics: A Study on the Division of Moral Labor.Jukka Mäkinen & Eero Kasanen - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 134 (1):103-116.
    The dominant framing of the political corporate social responsibility discussion challenges the traditional economic conception of the firm and aims to produce a paradigm shift in CSR studies wherein the traditional, apolitical view of corporations’ roles in society is replaced by the political conception of CSR. In this paper, we show how the major framing of the political CSR discussion calls for a redirection to take international hard legal and moral regulations, as well as the need for the boundaries between (...)
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  • Conflict Minerals and Supply Chain Due Diligence: An Exploratory Study of Multi-Tier Supply Chains.Hannes Hofmann, Martin C. Schleper & Constantin Blome - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 147 (1):115-141.
    As recently stakeholders complain about the use of conflict minerals in consumer products that are often invisible to them in final products, firms across industries implement conflict mineral management practices. Conflict minerals are those, whose systemic exploitation and trade contribute to human right violations in the country of extraction and surrounding areas. Particularly, supply chain managers in the Western world are challenged taking reasonable steps to identify and prevent risks associated with these resources due to the globally dispersed nature of (...)
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