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As an emerging field of financing, impact investing is under-institutionalised and is in a legitimacy building phase. In an attempt to unpack how impact investing is…
As an emerging field of financing, impact investing is under-institutionalised and is in a legitimacy building phase. In an attempt to unpack how impact investing is deployed in global markets, the key elements of its definition (intentionality, returns and measurement) are examined through a review of academic and practitioner literature. A refined definition is developed which emphasises the key elements of intentionality and measurement as separating impact investment from the established field of socially responsible investment (SRI).
Funds and products from a publicly available database are systematically analysed against the refined definition to determine the rigour with which intentionality and measurement are applied by self-identified market participants. These elements are used as a proxy to determine “purpose-washing” – a process where funds are presented as impact investments but do not satisfy a tightly applied definition. Purpose-washing enables the possibility of “retrofitting”, where funds originally defined as other products (e.g. SRI) retrospectively claim to be impact investments.
Having found evidence of purpose-washing but not retrofitting, actions are identified to enhance impact investment’s integrity, focussing on intentionality, measurement and transparency. Clarity of definition and purpose are important for a field in the market-building phase, as a lack of clarity could have negative implications for integrity and growth. The authors postulate that purpose-washing may be attributed to twin but distinctive motivations by market participants: interest in fee-generation among fund managers and attempts to bolster field legitimacy by demonstrating sector growth among impact investing proponents.
This paper represents a unique analysis of impact investments against a robust and refined definition. By doing so, it offers a systematic appraisal of impact investments and an overall assessment of market integrity in its field-building phase.
This exploratory paper discusses the undemocratic agenda setting of elites in Britain and how it has changed politics within a form of capitalism where much is left…
This exploratory paper discusses the undemocratic agenda setting of elites in Britain and how it has changed politics within a form of capitalism where much is left undisclosed in terms of mechanism and methods. It argues for a more radical exploratory strategy using C. Wright Mills’ understanding that what is left undisclosed is crucially important to elite existence and power, while recognising the limits on democratic accountability when debate, decision and action in complex capitalist societies can be frustrated or hijacked by small groups. Have British business elites, through their relation with political elites, used their power to constrain democratic citizenship? Our hypothesis is that the power of business elites is most likely conjuncturally specific and geographically bounded with distinct national differences. In the United Kingdom, the outcomes are often contingent and unstable as business elites try to manage democracy; moreover, the composition and organisation of business elites have changed through successive conjunctures.
This paper discusses issues and developments that relate to the teaching of bank regulation in tertiary institutions. It looks at how course content, teaching texts and…
This paper discusses issues and developments that relate to the teaching of bank regulation in tertiary institutions. It looks at how course content, teaching texts and methodology can become subject to issues like specific historical, and jurisdictional, cultures and contexts for the discipline. It considered how economic and political approaches impact such teaching. How banking regulations are used, and how course structures are built, show that these are matters which impinge on the type of bank personnel who later eventually leave academia and end up working on regulatory or compliance matters.
Many developed countries have seen significant reforms of their health systems for the last few decades. Despite extensive investment in these changes, health systems…
Many developed countries have seen significant reforms of their health systems for the last few decades. Despite extensive investment in these changes, health systems still face a range of challenges which reform efforts do not seem to have overcome. The purpose of this paper is to argue that there are two particular reasons, which go beyond the standard explanations of changing demographics and disease profiles.
The paper is a commentary based on the literature.
The first explanation relates to the relationship between substantive health care reform and governance reform. These are intertwined processes and the pattern of interaction has distorted both types of reform. Second, reform has multiple meanings and may sometimes be more of an intra-organizational ritual and routine than a coherent plan aiming to bring about particular changes. As such, part of the reason why reform so frequently fails to bring about change is that it was not actually intended to bring about specific changes in the first place. The limited success of reform in recent years, the authors argue, has been a result of the fact that reform has focused too much on the substantive aspects of healthcare, while ignoring the governance aspect of the sector.
As a result, governance has often been obstructed by interest groups inside the system, resulting in paralysis. The authors conclude by arguing that substantive reform of public organizations without an accompanying reassessment of the governance of these organizations are more likely to fail, compared to more comprehensive reform efforts.