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  • 1.
    Kallio, Tomi J.
    University of Turku, Finland.
    Taboos in corporate social responsibility discourse2007In: Journal of Business Ethics, ISSN 0167-4544, E-ISSN 1573-0697, Vol. 74, no 2, p. 165-175Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Corporations today have been engineered by CEOs and other business advocates to look increasingly green and responsible. However, alarming cases such as Enron, Parmalat and Worldcom bear witness that a belief in corporate goodness is still nothing other than naive. Although many scholars seemingly recognize this, they still avoid touching on the most sensitive and problematic issues, the taboos. As a consequence, discussion of important though problematic topics is often stifled. The article identifies three ‘grand’ taboos of CSR discourse and explicitly raises them for discussion. They are the taboos of amoral business, continuous economic growth, and the political nature of CSR. It is suggested that CSR can only be as advanced as its taboos. The critical potential of the field remains underdeveloped as a consequence of the taboos, and in many cases the CSR discourse merely produces alluring but empty rhetoric about sustainability and responsible business.

  • 2.
    Ohlsson, Claes
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg.
    Tengblad, Stefan
    University College of Skövde.
    The Framing of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Globalization of National Business Systems: A Longitudinal Case Study2010In: Journal of Business Ethics, ISSN 0167-4544, E-ISSN 1573-0697, Vol. 93, no 4, p. 653-669Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The globalization movement in recent decades has meant rapid growth in trade, financial transactions, and cross-country ownership of economic assets. In this article, we examine how the globalization of national business systems has influenced the framing of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is done using text analysis of CEO letters appearing in the annual reports of 15 major corporations in Sweden during a period of transformational change. The results show that the discourse about CSR in the annual reports has changed from a national and communitarian view of social responsibility (cf. a negotiated view of CSR) toward an international and individualistic view of social responsibility (cf. a self-regulating view of CSR). The article contributes theoretically (1) by adding a national–global dimension to previous conceptualizations of CSR and (2) by showing that the rise of CSR discourse and activities in the last 10 years does not have to imply an increased commitment and interest in corporate responsibility per se, only that there are increased societal expectations that corporations should develop the capability to act more independently as moral agents.

  • 3.
    Semenova, Natalia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    Hassel, Lars
    Umeå University, Sweden.
    On the Validity of Environmental Performance Metrics2015In: Journal of Business Ethics, ISSN 0167-4544, E-ISSN 1573-0697, Vol. 132, no 2, p. 249-258Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Different proprietary databases have been used extensively in research to assess the environmental performance and environmental risk of companies. This study explores the convergent validity of the environmental ratings of MSCI ESG STATS (formerly known as Kinder, Lydenberg, and Domini Research & Analytics; KLD), Thomson Reuters ASSET4 (ASSET4) and Global Engagement Services (GES). The study shows that the ratings have common dimensions, but on aggregate, they do not converge. On the environmental opportunity side, KLD environmental strengths, and ASSET4 and GES environmental performance metrics correlate highly and provide convergent scores for US companies from 2003–2011. On the environmental risk side, KLD environmental concerns converge with the GES environmental industry risk and company emissions from the ASSET4 database. Further analysis confirms that industry-related risks are drivers of company-specific environmental performance.

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