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Corporate social responsibility as a participative process

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Corporate social responsibility is frequently defined primarily in terms of the social and environmental impact of systemic organisational activity. This misses the point. To be applicable, corporate responsibility should be understood as a process, through which individuals’ moral values and concerns are articulated. Moreover, there are important grounds for asserting that such a process should be participative, involving employees (and perhaps other stakeholders). It seems inconsistent not to respect such groups’ right to an opinion, while at the same time purporting to be ethical and responsible; also, a better alignment of organisational policy and employees’ values holds possibilities for enhanced motivation and work performance. Through such a participative process, matters of social responsibility may be identified in the expectations and moral claims of an organisation’s stakeholders. Such claims constitute prima facie obligations to which those responsible for corporate policy should attend, and where such demands conflict then dialogue is required in order to establish an appropriate course of action.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Management at the University of Hull

Publication date: 1999-01-01

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