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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Social Responsibility Journal, Volume 7, Issue 1
There is considerable evidence that the field of social responsibility is changing and maturing. This can be seen from the issues that are of concern to people currently researching in the field. Thus in this issue we can see that ecological issues are of concern and so too are ethical issues. This concern is reflected in the field as a whole. The main issues that concern people are with governance and with the supply chain. As far as the supply chain is concerned, this is reflected in a concern for the environment and for human rights; this concern is not concentrated in the organisation but permeates the whole supply chain. This extends from the sourcing of raw material s through to customers and what concerns them. Papers in this issue reflect these concerns.
As far as governance is concerned then there is a considerable increase in interest in governance in its broader interpretation. Probably this interest has been heightened not just by the corporate scandals that we have witnessed but also by the economic and financial crisis that we have experienced. And this concern for governance is broader that corporations; it also extends to the governance of markets and countries and to governance in a global economy. And governance itself has expanded its area of concern to more than just owners and investors. Now governance is – rightly – concerned with relationships between a firm and all of its stakeholders. This too is reflected in the papers in this issue.
Two other trends are also apparent. One perhaps results from the crisis mentioned earlier, and is a concern for what is taught and how it is taught. We are often re-examining this, and that is a healthy sign. As academics we affect the future by what we teach to our future business and societal leaders, and we want to teach the right information in the right way. We also want to equip these people with the right ethical concerns as well as with the tools to enact those concerns, and hence our need to investigate these issues continually. The other trend is the continually increasing global nature of all of these concerns, and the way that this is manifest in both developed and developing countries. This too is reflected in this issue of the journal with similar concerns being addressed in a variety of countries. This too is a healthy sign that the lead in the development of the discourse of social responsibility is no longer from a few developed countries in Europe and North America. Now every country has a contribution to make and we can all learn from each other. So we can readily observe the healthy state of the discourse Regarding social responsibility, and this is a cause of optimism for the future.
Social Responsibility Journal is, of course, the official journal of the Social Responsibility Research Network (SRRNet; see www.socialresponsibility.biz). Producing it is one of the main activities that the Network undertakes. All papers in this issue, as in all others, have in common that they investigate an aspect of social responsibility – and one feature of social responsibility is that it is a very wide and very interdisciplinary field. With that we leave you to read the papers, hoping that they will inspire you to contribute to a future edition.
Güler Aras, David Crowther