Fabricating management practices: “Responsible Care” and corporate social responsibility

Nicolas Berland (DRM – CREFIGE, Paris Dauphine University, Paris, France)
Marie‐Claire Loison (DRM – CREFIGE, Paris Dauphine University, Paris, France)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Publication date: 8 February 2008



The purpose of this study is to focus on the policy of corporate social responsibility (CSR) launched in the chemical industry in the 1980s and known as “Responsible Care” (RC). The debate surrounding this issue prompts us to question the ever‐changing nature of this policy and the way to measure the performance achieved.


The findings are drawn from analysis of a double set of data including a longitudinal survey and a current case study. Blending these two data sets allows a better understanding of the ongoing building process of “RC” and, more broadly, of CSR.


This paper asserts that, contrary to the common wisdom developed in research, companies do not simply react to stakeholder pressure. Companies autonomously develop ways to protect their environment and so contribute to changing society's expectations. Thus, performance cannot be read without a dynamic perspective in mind.

Research limitations/implications

The authors' findings lead them to reconsider the assessment of companies' sustainable performances by taking into account the fabricating process of sustainable activities. The main limitation of this research stems from the single unit of analysis considered. Broader studies will be necessary to enrich our understanding of corporate policies.


The paper stands apart from the traditional view of organizations as cynical actors and attempts to provide a more complex picture of the behaviours observed.



Berland, N. and Loison, M. (2008), "Fabricating management practices: “Responsible Care” and corporate social responsibility", Society and Business Review, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 41-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465680810852720

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