Previous research provides mixed results on the relationship between corporate environmental performance and the level of voluntary environmental disclosure. We revisit this relation by testing competing predictions from defensive and accommodative approaches to voluntary disclosure with regard to climate change. In particular, we add to the prior literature by determining the extent to which environmental performance and company media visibility interact to prompt voluntary climate change disclosure. Using ordinal regression and Ceres, KLD, and Trucost ratings of S& P 500 companies, (...) we find a positive relationship between environmental performance and voluntary climate change disclosure. We extend the literature on environmental strategies and disclosure by establishing that company visibility and issue (climate change) visibility interact with environmental performance to influence the level of voluntary climate change disclosure. (shrink)
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 (...) pluralism that seeks to structure and utilize discord rather than reduce or eliminate it. I then propose arbitration as an agonistic mechanism to address power asymmetries in stakeholder engagement and explore its implications. (shrink)
Although stakeholder theory is concerned with stakeholder engagement, substantive operational barometers of engagement are lacking in the literature. This theoretical paper attempts to strengthen the accountability aspect of normative stakeholder theory with a more robust notion of stakeholder engagement derived from the concept of good faith. Specifically, it draws from the labor relations field to argue that altered power dynamics are essential underpinnings of a viable stakeholder engagement mechanism. After describing the tenets of substantive engagement, the paper draws from the (...) labor relations and commercial law literatures to describe the characteristics of good faith as dialogue, negotiation, transparency, and totality of conduct; explains how they can be adapted and applied to the stakeholder context; and suggests the use of mediation and non-binding arbitration. The paper concludes by addressing anticipated objections and shortcomings and discussing implications for theory and research. (shrink)
This article integrates theory and concepts from the business and society, business ethics, and labor relations literatures to offer a conceptualization of labor union social responsibility that includes activities geared toward three primary objectives: economic equity, workplace democracy, and social justice. Economic, workplace, and social labor union stakeholders are identified, likely issues are highlighted, and the implications of labor union social responsibility for labor union strategy are discussed. It is noted that, given the breadth of labor unions in a global (...) work environment, labor union social responsibility also has implications for NGOs, corporations, and how corporate social responsibility is viewed going forward. This article concludes by noting that the nexus of labor relations and corporate social responsibility warrants more attention in management and labor relations literatures. (shrink)
Globalization has brought increased attention to the notion that labor rights such as freedom of association—the right of workers to organize a union—are fundamental human rights. However, the vigorous opposition to freedom of association by US firms is largely ignored in the business ethics literature and exacerbated by compensatory corporate citizenship rating mechanisms that tend to mask labor rights deficiencies. I argue that because freedom of association is a hypernorm, instrumental to fully realizing basic human rights, labor rights and human (...) rights are largely inseparable. Thus, respect for labor rights is a non-substitutable requisite of corporate citizenship. I conclude by providing examples of corporate labor relations strategies that respect freedom of association and business firms that are leading the way. (shrink)
The paper argues that an ethical firm has cause to realize and to respect, in good faith, the decision of workers regarding labor unions, and proceeds along the following lines. First, the employer is due appropriate deference the bounds of which should be determined in conjunction with employees, as they are the most closely affected party. Second, employee preferences for defining the employment relation and appropriate deference are best reflected through autonomous voice. Third, autonomous voice is assured by the right (...) to free association and generally achieved through labor unions. Fourth, because employment is so important to a dignified existence, an economically just system of employment requires respect for workers’ choice regarding labor unions. And fifth, there are concerns and contradictions that arise from labor union operations, but they do not justify impeding a morally valid prerogative. (shrink)
Some researchers have argued that firms with favorable environmental performance are more likely to provide voluntary environmental disclosure, while others have argued that firms with poor environmental performance are most likely to disclose. The authors propose a curvilinear relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure that is moderated by visibility. Data were obtained from S&P 500 firms queried by Ceres' Climate Disclosure Project. Results show a U-shaped environmental performance—environmental disclosure relation and a main effect for visibility but no moderating effect (...) for visibility on the U-shaped environmental performance-environmental disclosure relation. The authors discussed the implications of these results for future research and practice. (shrink)
The divest movement has focused attention on strategic and ethical differences in the practice of socially responsible investing and highlighted an unnecessary bifurcation of best-of-class engagement and divestment. Although best-of-class engagement is favored as a contemporary and pragmatic approach, this paper calls for a more pronounced recognition of absolute dealbreakers and divestment as an underpinning for best-of-class engagement. After linking divestment and best-of-class engagement to their foundations of absolutism and relativism, respectively, I critique best-of-class engagement and argue that without a (...) distinct and explicit role for divestment, best-of-class strategies are ethically and strategically fraught. Following a discussion of which types of issues suggest divestment or best-of-class engagement, I identify the Norway Government Pension Fund as a noteworthy example, and posit that divestment and engagement are best presented and employed in tandem, particularly for issues that have yet to be addressed by law and convention. (shrink)
Some researchers have argued that firms with favorable environmental performance are more likely to provide voluntary environmental disclosure, while others have argued that firms with poor environmental performance are most likely to disclose. The authors propose a curvilinear relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure that is moderated by visibility. Data were obtained from S&P 500 firms queried by the Ceres’ Climate Disclosure Project. Results show a U-shaped environmental performance–environmental disclosure relation and a main effect for visibility, but no moderating (...) effect for visibility on the U-shaped environmental performance–environmental disclosure rela- tion. The authors discussed the implications of these results for future research and practice. (shrink)
This session used a news report framework to discuss emerging and perennial challenges and opportunities for business and society scholars in the classroom. For this innovative program session, we adopted a narrowcasting approach that transmitted information relevant to a small and focused audience of responsible management scholars who share an interest in best practices in our business and society classes across all disciplines. The metaphor of the newscast aimed to convey that responsible management education is a dynamic and newsworthy area. (...) We addressed two main conference questions: 1) What role has our field played in the way business managers and our students view business? and 2) What must we do as a community of scholars in our research, teaching, and service to strengthen the important institutions in our society? (shrink)
Social responsibility is addressed to corporations, but can also be applied to other powerful organizations. This study tests the impact of labor union social responsibility on key measures of labor union attachment. After developing a scale of labor union social responsibility, craft union apprentice workers were surveyed and their responses analyzed with structural equation modeling. Labor union social responsibility was directly and positively related to union commitment and job satisfaction. Union commitment and job satisfaction fully mediated the negative relationship between (...) labor union social responsibility and propensity to withdraw from the union, and the positive relationship between labor union social responsibility and union participation. The results suggest that labor union social responsibility can enhance union attachment and inform union strategy. (shrink)
A theory of planned behavior framework was employed to investigate the impact of corporate social responsibility perceptions on the job choice intentions of American, Chinese, and Lebanese college students. Attitudes toward CSR, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control explained moderate levels of the variance in job choice intention in all three countries. Attitudes toward CSR, which entailed individual evaluations of CSR, were positively related to job choice intentions among Lebanese and American respondents, but not Chinese respondents. Subjective norm, the importance (...) accorded the views of significant others, was most strongly related to job choice intentions among Chinese respondents. Perceived behavioral control, the perceived degree of control over one’s actions and outcomes, had the strongest relationship to job choice intentions among American respondents. The authors concluded that respondents in the three countries did not differ in the extent to which they intend to work for socially responsible firms but tended to derive their intentions in different ways. Implications for tailoring CSR and recruitment efforts across countries are derived based on the findings. (shrink)
The renowned biologist and thinker Richard Dawkins presents his most expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the latest developments in the field to his own provocative views. Loosely based on the form of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dawkins's Tale takes us modern humans back through four billion years of life on our planet. As the pilgrimage progresses, we join with other organisms at the forty "rendezvous points" where we find a common ancestor. The band of (...) pilgrims swells into a vast crowd as we join first with other primates, then with other mammals, and so on back to the first primordial organism. Dawkins's brilliant, inventive approach allows us to view the connections between ourselves and all other life in a bracingly novel way. It also lets him shed bright new light on the most compelling aspects of evolutionary history and theory: sexual selection, speciation, convergent evolution, extinction, genetics, plate tectonics, geographical dispersal, and more. The Ancestor's Tale is at once a far-reaching survey of the latest, best thinking on biology and a fascinating history of life on Earth. Here Dawkins shows us how remarkable we are, how astonishing our history, and how intimate our relationship with the rest of the living world. (shrink)
Did Newton "unweave the rainbow" by reducing it to its prismatic colors, as Keats contended? Did he, in other words, diminish beauty? Far from it, says Dawkins--Newton's unweaving is the key too much of modern astronomy and to the breathtaking poetry of modern cosmology. Mysteries don't lose their poetry because they are solved: the solution often is more beautiful than the puzzle, uncovering deeper mystery. (The Keats who spoke of "unweaving the rainbow" was a very young man, Dawkins (...) reminds us.) With the wit, insight, and spellbinding prose that have made his books worldwide bestsellers, Dawkins addresses the most important and compelling topics in modern science, from astronomy and genetics to language and virtual reality, and combines them in a landmark statement of the human appetite for wonder. This is the book that Richard Dawkins was meant to write: a brilliant assessment of what science is (and what it isn't), a tribute to science "not because it is useful (though it is), but but because it is uplifting, in the same way as the best poetry is uplifting.". (shrink)
Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back—earthquakes occurred each time it flipped its tail. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is (...) another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality—science. Packed with clever thought experiments, dazzling illustrations and jaw-dropping facts, The Magic of Reality explains a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena. What is stuff made of? How old is the universe? Why do the continents look like disconnected pieces of a puzzle? What causes tsunamis? Why are there so many kinds of plants and animals? Who was the first man, or woman? This is a page-turning, graphic detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist as well. Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist and one of science education’s most passionate advocates, has spent his career elucidating the wonders of science for adult readers. But now, in a dramatic departure, he has teamed up with acclaimed artist Dave McKean and used his unrivaled explanatory powers to share the magic of science with readers of all ages. This is a treasure trove for anyone who has ever wondered how the world works. Dawkins and McKean have created an illustrated guide to the secrets of our world—and the universe beyond—that will entertain and inform for years to come. (shrink)
In this review of Richard Swinburne's Is There a God? , Richard Dawkins admires Swinburne's clarity but is unconvinced by his arguments. Dawkins questions, in particular, Swinburne's suggestion that the hypothesis that God exists and sustains his creation is simpler than the hypothesis that there is no God.
Creationists believe that the Biblical account of the creation of the universe is literally true. God brought into existence the Earth and all its life forms in just six days. According to creationists, this event took place less than ten thousand years ago . Creationists have succeeded in persuading large swathes of the general public that their theory is at least as scientifically respectable as the Big Bang/evolution alternative. A recent Gallup poll indicated that about 45% of US citizens currently (...) believe that God created human beings ‘pretty much in [their] present form at one time or another within the last 10,000 years’. Two states, Arkansas and Louisiana, have even passed ‘balanced treatment’ laws requiring that creationism be taught alongside evolution in all state public schools. It was in Auburn, Alabama, shortly after that state required that a piece of paper be pasted into every biology school text book explaining why evolution is merely a ‘theory’ — and a highly questionable theory at that — that Richard Dawkins delivered the impromptu speech which forms the basis of the following. (shrink)
Every day I get letters, in capitals and obsessively underlined if not actually in green ink, from flat-earthers, young-earthers, Dawkins perpetual-motion merchants, astrologers and other harmless fruitcakes. The only difference here is that Richard Milton..
he theory o f natural selection provides a mechanistic, causal account of how living things came to look as if they had been designed for a purpose. So overwhelming is the appearance of purposeful design that, even in this Darwinian era when we know "better," we still find it difficult, indeed boringly pedantic, to refrain from teleological language when discussing adaptation. Birds' wings are obviously "for" flying, spider webs are for catching insects, chlorophyll molecules are for photosynthesis, DNA molecules are (...) for... What are DNA molecules for? The question takes us aback. In my case it touches off an almost audible alarm siren in the mind. If we accept the view of life that I wish to espouse, it is the forbidden question. DNA is not "for" anything. If we wish to speak teleologically, all adaptations are for the preservation of DNA; DNA itself just is. Following Williams, I have advocated this view at length, and I do not want to repeat myself here. Instead I shall try to clear up an important misunderstanding of the view, a misunderstanding that has constituted an unnecessary barrier to its acceptance. (shrink)
To study animal welfare empirically we need an objective basis for deciding when an animal is suffering. Suffering includes a wide range ofunpleasant emotional states such as fear, boredom, pain, and hunger. Suffering has evolved as a mechanism for avoiding sources ofdanger and threats to fitness. Captive animals often suffer in situations in which they are prevented from doing something that they are highly motivated to do. The an animal is prepared to pay to attain or to escape a situation (...) is an index ofhow the animal about that situation. Withholding conditions or commodities for which an animal shows (i.e., for which it continues to work despite increasing costs) is very likely to cause suffering. In designing environments for animals in zoos, farms, and laboratories, priority should be given to features for which animals show inelastic demand. The care ofanimals can thereby be based on an objective, animal-centered assessment of their needs. (shrink)
Recent years have seen dramatic changes in the attitudes and expectations brought to bear on companies. Over ten years of research at MORI has shown the increasing prominence of corporate responsibility for a wide range of stakeholders, from consumers and employees to legislators and investors.
Virtue words, such as justice, fairness, care, and integrity, frequently feature in organizational codes of conduct and theories of ethical leadership. And yet our modern organizations remain blemished by examples lacking virtue. The philosophy of virtue ethics and numerous extant theories of leadership cite virtues as essential to good leadership. But we seem to lack understanding of how to develop or embed these virtues and notions of good leadership in practice. In 2012, virtue ethicist Julia Annas pointed to a training (...) program which she touted as a practical application of virtue ethics. The program Annas identified is called The Virtues Project, and while promising, she warned that in its current state, it lacked theorizing. We address this by aligning its practical strategies to extant theory and evidence to understand what virtues it might develop and how it might facilitate good leadership. Doing so makes two key contributions. First, it lends credence to The Virtues Project’s potential as a leadership development program. Second, it provides a means of applying theories of good leadership in practice. Our overarching objective is to advance The Virtues Project as a means of incorporating virtues into workplace dynamics and embedding virtues in the practice of organizational leadership. (shrink)
This pleasantly written book has two related themes. The first is a statistical argument which Gould believes has great generality, uniting baseball, a moving personal response to the serious illness from which, thankfully, the author has now recovered, and his second theme: that of whether evolution is progressive.
You appeal for money to save the gorillas. Very laudable, no doubt. But it doesn't seem to have occurred to you that there are thousands of human children suffering on the very same continent of Africa. There'll be time enough to worry about gorillas when we've taken care of every last one of the kiddies. Let's get our priorities right, please!