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Promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainability: a model of integrity

Nihel Chabrak (Accounting Department, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 12 October 2015




The purpose of the paper is to propose a model of integrity to help assess corporate responsiveness to this new wave of pressure in the backdrop of the prevailing Shareholder Value Maximization doctrine. In a context of ecological crisis, sustainability is considered in an intergenerational perspective on well-being. Nations are required to maintain the productive base, composed of manufactured, natural and human capitals, to continue producing future generations’ well-being. Such macroeconomic challenges require businesses to contribute to human and natural capitals’ conservation.


This paper applies the integrity model to the historical case of the New Lanark mills from Owen’s (1991/1813-1816) new view of society. Owen’s deeds are compared to his promises in light of community expectations in that time to assess Owen’s commitment to social responsibility through “his honoring his word”.


The findings show the importance of the concept of “workability” for a business to create an opportunity set for “performance”. Such workability is determined by the business being a person of integrity.

Research limitations/implications

Future researches are invited to use this model to build empirical evidence of corporate irresponsibility in dealing with the new challenges.

Practical implications

This paper’s contribution resides in the capacity to uncover any attempt by businesses to subsume their corporate social responsibility and sustainability commitment to the doxic shareholder value maximization (SVM) ideology.

Social implications

The findings recall the importance for corporate activities to be re-embedded in their social and ecological contexts. This requires an overhaul of the business logic.


The originality of the model of integrity resides in its simplicity and practicality.



Chabrak, N. (2015), "Promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainability: a model of integrity", Society and Business Review, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 280-305.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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