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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Kathleen Wilburn and Ralph Wilburn

The purpose of this paper is to propose that the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI ) reporting guidelines, specifically its performance indicators, can be used to help a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose that the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI ) reporting guidelines, specifically its performance indicators, can be used to help a company create ethical corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies and to also help stakeholder groups evaluate how much of a company's CSR initiative truly means the stakeholder definition CSR and how much is merely philanthropy or marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the GRI reporting guidelines for applicability to CSR principles, and explains the key elements of the economic, environmental, social, society, and product responsibility performance indicators.

Findings

Examples of how companies have used the indicators to report data on GRI's website are provided as evidence that the distinctions made by the performance indicators indicate levels of adherence to CSR principles.

Originality/value

Given the increased demand for accountability for the actions of companies toward their stakeholders, particularly the environment, using the GRI's performance indicators can continue dialogue on how CSR programs are evaluated by the ethics community, the public, and business.

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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Abe Zakhem and Daniel E. Palmer

Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the…

Abstract

Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the normative reasons for adopting a stakeholder theory of management and for rejecting the once, and perhaps still, “dominant” shareholder-centric approach. This chapter then surveys some of the prominent “normative cores” that are used to ground stakeholder theory, that is, Kantian, contractarian, feminist ethics, and ethical pragmatism, and the moral obligations that each normative approach generates. Some pressing questions are raised with respect to each normative approach. To what extent ought we to recognize imperfect obligations to shareholders? Are contractarian hypernorms morally substantive? How exactly should we care about stakeholders, and is care even an appropriate attitudinal response? Without some commitment to objective ethical standards, how can pragmatists resolve stakeholder conflict?

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Ilke Oruc and Muammer Sarikaya

This study aims at presenting a normative approach in adaptation of the ethics of care approach and stakeholder theory. Therefore, it seeks to present a point‐of‐view…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at presenting a normative approach in adaptation of the ethics of care approach and stakeholder theory. Therefore, it seeks to present a point‐of‐view regarding the related issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on a theory‐based integration process, since it is designed on a normative basis and the current studies dealing with “ethic of care theory” still have some problems in practical terms.

Findings

It is observed that ethics of care and stakeholder theory are getting more and more interrelated due to established networks and available common points. As a subfield of feminist ethic, ethics of care can be used to clarify moral principles lying behind these relationships. From another point of view, the discussion regarding the feminization of business enterprises focuses on the idea that such discussions involving the principles lying behind feminist ethics can provide an advantage for the companies in terms of competition. In addition, ethics of care is expected to contribute to stakeholder theory to a great extent.

Research limitations/implications

The related literature includes a rather limited number of studies conducted on this research topic. The available research explains some relationships on a normative basis. Therefore, the current study is expected to contribute to the expansion of such research in the field.

Practical implications

Despite the presence of studies in the field, there is still a limitation in putting the findings of studies into practice. Since the country where the current study is conducted still suffers from ambiguities regarding the definitions of concepts and it is very difficult to find business enterprises appreciating feminist values, although they are taught to adopt philanthropy applications, the study is limited to a normative point‐of‐view regarding the issues.

Originality/value

The scope of the study is expected to contribute to a great extent to the integration of feminist ethic and stakeholder theory. Similarly, it will encourage further studies on the issue.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Donald Lange and Jonathan Bundy

One way of looking at the association between ethics and stakeholder theoryof examining the idea that stakeholder theory has a strong moral foundation – is to consider…

Abstract

One way of looking at the association between ethics and stakeholder theoryof examining the idea that stakeholder theory has a strong moral foundation – is to consider how the stakeholder approach might in fact be directly driven by and guided by the moral obligations of business. An alternative perspective we offer is that stakeholder theory only indirectly derives from the moral obligations of business, with business purpose serving as a mediating factor. We work through the fairly straightforward logic behind that alternative perspective in this chapter. We argue that it is a better way to think about the association between ethics and stakeholder theory, particularly because it allows for a theoretical and practical distinction between corporate social responsibility and stakeholder theory. Stakeholder theory can thereby continue developing as a theory of strategic management, even as it brings morals to the fore in ways that other approaches to strategic management do not.

Details

Sustainability, Stakeholder Governance, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-316-2

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 December 2021

Oyindamola Abiola Ajayi and Tsietsi Mmutle

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the communication of corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributes towards a favourable corporate reputation. It explores…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the communication of corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributes towards a favourable corporate reputation. It explores the communication strategies and channels organisations deemed reputable by stakeholders use to achieve an effective CSR communication.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this, a qualitative content analysis using the directed approach was conducted on the textual CSR communication materials of ten reputable organisations in South Africa based on the 2018 South Africa Reptrak survey.

Findings

Result showed that seven out of ten organisations use both self-serving and society-serving motive in their CSR communication, while the other 3 use only the society serving motive. The informing strategy was also more evident in the CSR communication materials than the interactive strategy. In terms of the communication channels, the study found that organisations mainly utilise controlled channels for CSR communication.

Originality/value

The literature reviewed and the findings of this study reveal a gap between the theory and practice of CSR communication. This drives the need for organisations to research and tailor CSR communication based on stakeholders' unique characteristics and preferences. The paper also contributes to improving the knowledge on the role different CSR communication strategies and channels play in CSR communication.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Samantha Miles

Stakeholder theory has been accused of being an umbrella concept rather than a distinct theory per se. Recognizing the stakeholder concept as an essentially contested…

Abstract

Stakeholder theory has been accused of being an umbrella concept rather than a distinct theory per se. Recognizing the stakeholder concept as an essentially contested concept subject to multiple competing interpretations, this chapter presents a systematic meta-level conceptual analysis. This chapter aims to contribute to the optimal development of stakeholder theory by clarifying the conceptual confusion surrounding its central construct to help prevent stakeholder theory from developing into an accumulation of disparate ideas. Multi-contextual contributions to stakeholder theory are analysed via an unparalleled bounded systematic review of 593 stakeholder definitions. Determinants of the stakeholder concept have been deconstructed and analysed to establish how definitional variables relate to variants of stakeholder theory. These determinants have been sorted, filtered and ordered to produce a comprehensive, multi-dimensional classification of stakeholder theory based on four hyponyms which relate to 16 definitional categories. The classification was then subjected to empirical testing with positive results. This evaluation of the stakeholder concept illustrates how contributions are aligned and interrelated, thereby prescribing what is acceptable (unacceptable) as inclusion within stakeholder theory. An invaluable overview of what we know about stakeholder theory is presented within a single model, drawing the conclusion that stakeholder theory is indeed a single theory.

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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Abstract

Details

Stakeholder Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-407-1

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

David Chandler

This paper investigates the substance of institutions in the context of business ethics. In particular, I test a theory of stakeholder attention to resource commitments by…

Abstract

This paper investigates the substance of institutions in the context of business ethics. In particular, I test a theory of stakeholder attention to resource commitments by firms that implement the Ethics and Compliance Officer (ECO) position, from 1990 to 2008. Results support the hypothesized curvilinear relationship between resource commitments and stakeholder attention – while both high and low levels of ECO implementation generate low levels of reported ethics transgressions (the former due to good firm behavior and the latter due to stakeholder disengagement), moderate ECO implementation produces elevated transgression reports (due to raised expectations and increased engagement). Contrary to extant theory, results are consistent across both internal and external firm stakeholder groups.

Details

Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-726-0

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

David Katamba, Cedric Marvin Nkiko and Consolate Ademson

This paper aims to avail a soft approach to embracing the process of creating a business code of conduct and ethics and make it work for a pharmaceutical company [player…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to avail a soft approach to embracing the process of creating a business code of conduct and ethics and make it work for a pharmaceutical company [player] which wants to remain relevant before stakeholders and society, amidst escalating inducements to go against the acceptable pharmaceutical behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection was guided by qualitative methodologies. A four stepwise process was followed: data collection at the case company – Kampala Pharmaceutical Industries (KPI), Uganda; validation of data collected at KPI; data collection from external stakeholders of KPI; and re-validation of KPI data based on data collected from external stakeholders. In all this, combination of semi-structured and informal interviews with CEOs, senior staff managers, non-participant observation of ethical related activities plus organizing a stakeholder engagement workshop on business code of conduct and ethics was achieved. This workshop helped document what ought to be an ideal design process to secure stakeholder buy-in of the code of business ethics. A local pharmaceutical company in Uganda, KPI was used, which, for continuous five years since its adoption of the business code of conduct and ethics, registered commercial viability without any record of unethical practices. Triangulation was used to ensure credibility and validity of the results. For data analysis, a three-stepwise process was followed, which helped develop a framework within which the collected data revealed themes which were later analyzed. For generalization of the findings, the “adaptive theory approach” was used.

Findings

When poorly introduced in an organization, the business code of conduct and ethics can work against the company simply because it will be received with “intentional rebellion” from stakeholders, notably staff. However, when a soft stakeholder engagement and consultative approach is used and followed during the business code of ethics and conduct’s design process, multiple stakeholders feel proud and are much willing to live by the promise spelt out in it. Cited notable benefits of living by the code include reputational enhancement, strategic competitiveness and increased possibilities of wining cross-border cooperation among like-minded pharmaceutical players. In the efforts to reap from the code of ethics, communication was observed as an indispensable activity. Refresher trainings to remind the stakeholders about the promises in the code are also needed as time passes by, otherwise they forget. Needless to say, rewarding those who live an exemplary life in embracing and living by the code was cited as key in sustaining the ethical agenda. Lastly, managing multiple stakeholders influences is a curvilinear fashion and involves back and forth consultations.

Practical implications

The lessons learnt from KPI can be borrowed and used by both global pharmaceutical players and national/local players, especially those that face challenges living by the promise of their existing codes or those without business code of conduct and ethics. That is, both players can use the suggested process to help participants in their medicine supply chain to come up with working business codes of conduct, as well as guide the stakeholder consultative process which results in stakeholder buy-in.

Originality/value

For many years, issues surrounding bioethics have dominated priorities of World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO and many international and national development allies. However, there is an escalating violation of medical codes of conduct and ethics. Hence, this publication is a step toward the implementation of the principles and objectives of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights which is currently challenged with a difficult question posed by life sciences – How far can we go given the dented medical relationship between ethics, medical science and freedom?

Details

Review of International Business and Strategy, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-6014

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2013

Kévin André

The aim of the paper is to show that, among business students, care ethics is a determinant for CSR perception and stakeholder inclusion.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to show that, among business students, care ethics is a determinant for CSR perception and stakeholder inclusion.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was conducted utilising a quantitative approach. The population for this study consisted of students from a leading French business school.

Findings

Stakeholder inclusion is related to care ethics among students. CSR perception is related to stakeholder perception. CSR perception is related to care ethics.

Research limitations/implications

Population sampled has cultural and curricula specificities. Further research should extend the findings to other populations.

Practical implications

If business schools want their students to implement CSR when they later become managers, they should build a bridge in the curriculum between business ethics education based on care theory (“educare”) and CSR teaching.

Originality/value

Empirical exploration of the relationship between teaching CSR and teaching care ethics has not been undertaken. Relationship between care ethics and stakeholder theory has been addressed in the literature but only from a theoretical perspective and not from an empirical perspective.

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