Abstract: In this article we first review the development of the concept of global business citizenship and show how the libertarian political philosophy of free-market capitalism must give way to a communitarian view in order for the voluntaristic, local notion of “corporate citizenship” to take root. We then distinguish the concept of global business citizenship from “corporate citizenship” by showing how the former concept requires a transition from communitarian thinking to a position of universal human rights. In addition, we link (...) global business citizenship to global business strategy and to three analytical levels of ethical norms. Finally, we trace a process whereby global businesses can implement fundamental norms and learn to accommodate to legitimate cultural differences. (shrink)
This article begins with an explanation of how moral development for organizations has parallels to Kohlberg's categorization of the levels of individual moral development. Then the levels of organizational moral development are integrated into the literature on corporate social performance by relating them to different stakeholder orientations. Finally, the authors propose a model of organizational moral development that emphasizes the role of top management in creating organizational processes that shape the organizational and institutional components of corporate social performance. This article (...) represents one approach to linking the distinct streams of business ethics and business-and-society research into a more complete understanding of how managers and firms address complex ethical and social issues. (shrink)
In this article we first review the development of the concept of global business citizenship and show how the libertarian politicalphilosophy of free-market capitalism must give way to a communitarian view in order for the voluntaristic, local notion of “corporate citizenship” to take root. We then distinguish the concept of global business citizenship from “corporate citizenship” by showing how the former concept requires a transition from communitarian thinking to a position of universal human rights. In addition, we link global business (...) citizenship to global business strategy and to three analytical levels of ethical norms. Finally, we trace a process whereby global businesses can implement fundamental norms and learn to accommodate to legitimate cultural differences. (shrink)
This empirical study examines corporate responses to activist shareholder groups filing social-policy shareholder resolutions. Using resource dependency theory as our conceptual framing, we identify some of the drivers of corporate responses to shareholder activists. This study departs from previous studies by including a fourth possible corporate response, engaging in dialogue. Dialogue, an alternative to shareholder resolutions filed by activists, is a process in which corporations and activist shareholder groups mutually agree to engage in ongoing negotiations to deal with social issues. (...) Based on a unique dataset of resolutions filed by member organizations of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility from 2002 to 2005 and the outcomes of these resolutions, our analysis finds that corporate managers are more likely to engage in dialogue with shareholder activists when the firm is larger, is more responsive to stakeholders, the CEO is the board chair, and the firm has a relatively lower percentage of institutional investors. (shrink)
This article describes the theory and process of global business citizenship (GBC) and applies it in an analysis of characteristics of company codes of business conduct. GBC is distinguished from a commonly used term, “corporate citizenship,” which often denotes corporate community involvement and philanthropy. The GBC process requires (1) a set of fundamental values embedded in the corporate code of conduct and in corporate policies that reflect universal ethical standards; (2) implementation throughout the organization with thoughtful awareness of where the (...) code and policies fit well and where they might not fit with stakeholder expectations; (3) analysis and experimentation to deal with problem cases; and (4) systematic learning processes to communicate the results of implementation and experiments internally and externally. We then identify and illustrate the three attributes of a code of conduct that would reflect a GBC approach. The three attributes are orientation, implementation, and accountability. The various components of these attributes are specified and illustrated, using website examples from six global petroleum companies. (shrink)
We argue that Néron and Norman’s article stops short of the point where it would truly advance our understanding of corporate citizenship. Their article, in our view, fosters normative confusion and displays significant gaps in logic. In addition, the large and useful literature on business-government relations has for the most part been overlooked by Néron and Norman, even though their article ends with an enthusiastic call for scholarly attention to this subject.
The possible relationship between widespread unauthorized copying of microcomputer software (also known as software piracy) and level of moral judgment is examined through analysis of over 350 survey questionnaires that included the Defining Issues Test as a measure of moral development. It is hypothesized that the higher one''s level of moral judgment, the less likely that one will approve of or engage in unauthorized copying. Analysis of the data indicate a high level of tolerance toward unauthorized copying and limited support (...) for the hypothesis. The most plausible explanation for these findings is that software copying is perceived as an issue of low moral intensity. This study calls into question the software industry''s strategy of concentrating exclusively on institutional compliance with copyright rules, rather than working to raise the perceived moral intensity about software piracy at the individual level. As long as the issue remains low in moral intensity, the industry cannot expect significant shifts in copying behaviors. Individuals must become more aware of and concerned about the nature and magnitude of harm to society and to the rightful copyright owners from unauthorized copying before their attitudes and behaviors come to reflect higher levels of moral judgment. (shrink)
The prevailing pedagogical approach in business ethics generally underestimates or even ignores the powerful influences of situational factors on ethical analysis and decision-making. This is due largely to the predominance of philosophy-oriented teaching materials. Social psychology offers relevant concepts and experiments that can broaden pedagogy to help students understand more fully the influence of situational contexts and role expectations in ethical analysis. Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment is used to illustrate the relevance of social psychology experiments for business ethics instruction.
This article focuses on the question of whether Social Issues in Management is a “field” and, if so, what kind, emphasizing specifically the recent literature on corporate social responsibility and performance. Fields are defined in part by coherent bodies of knowledge that serve as guideposts for current research, and so the authors construct a simple model of CSR/csp scholarship, illustrating the relevant categories with representative publications. The authors conclude that SIM is a “low-paradigm” field but is not recognized or accepted (...) as a field by many scholars who write about CSR/csp from “outside” the field. This analysis points to the need for SIM scholars to continue to integrate useful ideas from other fields, and also to critique the work of scholars who address “failings” or “gaps” in SIM research without appropriately dealing with the existing SIM literature. The article concludes with some ideas for sustaining the institutional legitimacy of SIM and for challenging those who would “reinvent” a field with a long and fruitful history, including paying careful attention to journal review processes and the content of publications in prominent journals. (shrink)
The popular view of shareholder activism focuses on shareholder resolutions and the shareholder vote via proxy statements at the annual meeting, which is treated as a "David vs. Goliath" showdown between the small group of socially responsible investors and the powerful corporation. This article goes beyond the popular view to examine where the real action typically occurs-in the Dialogue process where corporations and shareholder activist groups mutually agree to ongoing communications to deal with a serious social issue. Use of the (...) capitalized word "Dialogue" is intended to distinguish this formal process between corporations and shareholders from all the other forms of dialogue or twoway communication exchanged between a corporation and its stakeholders. The phenomenon of Dialogue between a corporation and dissident shareholders has not been analyzed in the academic literature or in the popular press because it occurs behind the scenes and out of sight from media scrutiny. Yet this is where a great deal of social change initiated by shareholder activists is negotiated. This article contributes both theoretically and empirically to the study of Dialogues between shareholder activists and corporations. We explain how Dialogues occur in the context of the shareholder resolution process and examine two Dialogues that focus on international labor issues in two industries. Then data on Dialogues during the period, 1999-2005, from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are analyzed. This research contributes to knowledge about the Dialogue process and the emerging literature on corporation-stakeholder engagement. (shrink)
The popular view of shareholder activism focuses on shareholder resolutions and the shareholder vote via proxy statements at the annual meeting, which is treated as a “David vs. Goliath” showdown between the small group of socially responsible investors and the powerful corporation. This article goes beyond the popular view to examine where the real action typically occurs – in the Dialogue process where corporations and shareholder activist groups mutually agree to ongoing communications to deal with a serious social issue. Use (...) of the capitalized word “Dialogue” is intended to distinguish this formal process between corporations and shareholders from all the other forms of dialogue or two-way communication exchanged between a corporation and its stakeholders. The phenomenon of Dialogue between a corporation and dissident shareholders has not been analyzed in the academic literature or in the popular press because it occurs behind the scenes and out of sight from media scrutiny. Yet this is where a great deal of social change initiated by shareholder activists is negotiated. This article contributes both theoretically and empirically to the study of Dialogues between shareholder activists and corporations. We explain how Dialogues occur in the context of the shareholder resolution process and examine two Dialogues that focus on international labor issues in two industries. Then data on Dialogues during the period, 1999–2005, from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are analyzed. This research contributes to knowledge about the Dialogue process and the emerging literature on corporation–stakeholder engagement. (shrink)
This article synthesizes research presented in several models of unethical behavior to develop propositions about the factors that facilitate and mitigate deception in online business communications. The work expands the social network perspective to incorporate the medium of communication as a significant influence on deception. We go beyond existing models by developing seven propositions that identify how social network and issue moral intensity characteristics influence the probability of deception in online business communication in comparison to traditional communication channels. Remedies to (...) detect and discourage deception in online business networks are also offered, as well as limitations and future research directions. (shrink)
Issues management (IM) is becoming widely accepted in the business-and-society literature as a policy tool to enhance the social performance of corporations. Its acceptance is based on the presumption that firms have incorporated ethical norms into their decision-making process. This paper argues that IM is simply a technique to identify, analyze, and respond to social issues. It can be used either to improve or forestall corporate social performance. Different values will steer IM practitioners in different policy directions.If IM is to (...) be more than a social gadget, designed to promote the firm's narrow economic objectives, it must be self-consciously grounded in ethics. Stakeholder analysis and the comprehensive corporate ethic are concepts that can help forge links between ethics and the administrative process, between values and decision-making in IM. (shrink)
While it is generally assumed that large corporations today give rhetorical support for basic human rights in public relations documents, skepticism continues toarise about the behavior of these firms. Do company actions support their rhetoric? This paper provides the initial analysis of our study of both rhetoric and practice regarding human rights in a small sample of large U.S. firms. At this point in the analysis, UNGC membership does not appear to have much influence on corporate rhetoric, but may be (...) partially correlated with several measures of corporate performance on human rights issues. (shrink)
Personality-disordered individuals of certain types tend to exhibit behaviors that cause particular problems for the Ethics and Compliance (E&C) function inorganizations. This paper defines personality-disordered individuals and focuses on three types that might create such problems: the psychopath, the narcissist, and the obsessivecompulsive personality. We provide a working hypothesis about the problems that they may cause in organizations and then report the results of an exploratory study of E&C personnel. The paper concludes with recommendations for managers and for future research.
Bullying in organizations is receiving more attention by managers, public policy makers, and scholars. This paper adds to the literature by examining how the culture of an organization may influence the frequency and types of bullying behavior that are predicted to occur. We develop propositions and examine measurement instruments in preparation for an empirical study.
This paper begins to explore how corporate social responsibility has evolved in Mexico. It looks at Mexico's social and political history to see the values that shaped expectations about how Mexican firms should address the needs and desires of their stakeholders in various periods in the 20th century. Particular attention is given to firms in Monterrey because they pioneered a form of company paternalism that reflected early CSR initiatives. Finally the paper briefly examines some contemporary CSR practices by large Mexican (...) firms. The paper begins to fill a gap in the business-andsociety literature about CSR practices outside the U.S. and Western European countries, which have received most attention by business-and-society scholars. (shrink)
This study extends prior research on the impact of the 2013 G4 disclosure requirements, issued by the Global Reporting Initiative, in the mining and metals sector. Content analysis is used to longitudinally analyze the sustainability reports of mining companies in diverse geographical locations to determine the extent to which the content of reporting has changed over time, and we begin to analyze how each company is adhering to G4 Guidelines by its second reporting iteration. We also identify challenges for researchers (...) who use sustainability reports as a source for data. (shrink)
This paper examines the incremental value added to sustainability reporting by changes in disclosure requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative G4 guidelines in the Metals and Mining industry. Three companies’ most recent G4 sustainability reports are critically compared to their previous G3 reports, and the some results of content analysis are reported.
Workplace bullying is defined as repeated, malicious, and health-endangering mistreatment of an employee by one or more other employees. Workplace bullying has been associated with negative outcomes for the individual being bullied and for the organization in which such actions take place. This paper explains the nature, frequency, and costs of workplace bullying in the context of organizational culture, ethical culture, and organizational moral development. We also propose ways that organizations can and should deal with this increasingly common behavior.
This workshop introduced the concept of global business citizenship and explored several ways to use the model, its underlying theory, and cases representing it in classroom teaching. Links to peace studies, organizational change exercises, accountability resources, and the use of United Nations Global Compact case studies all received attention.
Both positive and negative consequences typically result from business activities for all types of stakeholders. How these consequences are judged is at the heart of economics and ethics, sociology and political economy. For example, the poorly run supermarket in a low-income community that charges exorbitantly high prices rarely gets our sympathy, and we often call for more competition to bring down prices and improve customer service. At the same time, small businesses that serve their customers well and provide a modest (...) living to the owners may well be threatened by the entry of a large efficient competitor, and we often call for less competition in order to preserve small firms. Such paradoxes are worth pondering and sorting out. We offer our assessment of the paradox by examining morally mature management and socially efficient political economies through the lens of global business citizenship. (shrink)
While the literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) suggests that its form and content differ at least somewhat from country to country, it has not begun to address whether CSR practices converge or diverge over time as countries benefit from higher levels of economic development, or whether these practices relate to specific cultural values and institutional structures. This paper proposes an initial conceptual model and propositions to begin to assess whether and how the different levels of economic development, cultural values, (...) and institutional structures influence CSR behaviors. Mediating variables related to industry sector and executive moral development are also included in the model. The paper begins to lay the groundwork for empirical country and regional studies that cancontribute to a greater understanding of the factors that influence CSR behaviors. (shrink)
The conventional view of the relationship between ratings of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and responses to activist shareholder resolutions is that firms with low CSR ratings are likely to resist activist’s pressures to change corporate policies and behavior. By contrast, firms with high CSR ratings are more likely to support such activist shareholder efforts. In the IABS discussionsession and this paper, we argue that the conventional view of corporate responses to shareholder resolutions is inadequate to explain the motivations, strategies, and (...) tactics of firms when they respond to activist shareholders. (shrink)
This paper develops a two-part model of the crucial roles that episodic memory and perceptual filters play in responses to organizational crisis. We examine thecascading impacts of episodic memory, the types of filters that shape stakeholder responses to crisis, and subsequent impacts on reputation. A sound wave analogy is developed to understand the complexity of organizational crisis. The model is partially applied to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster.