Call for Papers: Business & Society - Corporate Responsibility: Initiatives and Mechanisms
Jennifer J. Griffin
The George Washington University
University of Washington, Seattle
This special issue of Business & Society seeks to examine the following question: How do institutions and actors internal to the firm as well as external to the firm (at the sector, national, regional, and global levels) influence choices regarding corporate responsibility (CR) mechanisms and CR initiatives? We invite papers from all social science disciplines (business, economics, political science, sociology, and public policy) that explore these issues in the national, regional, comparative, or global contexts. We welcome all methodological approaches.
CR has emerged as an important source of innovation as well as a constraint on modern competitiveness. Deemed by some an altruistic giveaway beyond the economic interests of the firm (McWilliams & Siegel, 2001) CR is also considered a tangible investment toward “operating in tune with the way the world works” (Gates, 2008)—effective management reflecting investment commitments to what the organization values (Carroll, 1999; Graves & Waddock, 1994; Griffin, 2008).
CR, at a minimum, can be viewed as a cluster of a firm’s policies, programs, and outcomes that are beyond the requirements of extant law. These CR initiatives may include paying wages beyond the legal minimum, healthcare benefits if not provided by the state, retirement funds, philanthropic donations, community investments, pollution abatement technologies as well as products and services that surpass regulatory requirements. In different sectors, contexts, and geographies the bundle of initiatives and beneficiaries of a firm’s CR initiatives differs.
Arguably, only those beyond-compliance policies that explicitly seek to serve a broader social purpose should be classified as CR. A multinational corporation might find it economical to replicate the same technology across facilities, although the baseline legal standards may differ across jurisdictions. Hence, a technology barely meeting legal requirements in one jurisdiction might be considered beyond compliance elsewhere. Would this be classified as CR, although the intent of the corporation was to attain economies of scale in facility management? While it is important to know the actual (as opposed to declared) motivations behind an action, empirically, this is very difficult. Hence, we treat all beyond-compliance actions, irrespective of their motivations, as CR.
If one views CR initiatives as expressions of corporate strategy, identity, power, or dependency on specific actors and institutions, the managerial challenge becomes understanding why and how a corporation seeks to pursue CR. Organizations can choose from a menu of CR initiatives that focus on different issue areas or differentially benefit stakeholder groups. Given that resources devoted to CR are finite, how does a corporation decide which ones to pursue? These initiatives might be directed at internal actors, external stakeholders residing in the community where the corporation has a facility, investors, governments, consumers, suppliers, or citizens that are not directly impacted by the firm’s value creation processes.
The format of the papers must follow Business & Society contribution guidelines. Business & Society uses the American Psychological Association citation and reference system (please see any recent copy of the journal for a sample; visit http://www.sagepub.com/journalsProdManSub.nav?prodId=Journal200878).
Papers should include a 100- to 150-word abstract followed by 3 to 5 keywords. The paper itself should contain no indications of authorship. A title page containing full author contact information should be sent as a separate document to the coeditors.
Tentative Dates and Timetable
June 1, 2010 - Paper to be submitted electronically to the following coeditors:
Jennifer J. Griffin (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Aseem Prakash (e-mail: email@example.com)
September 1, 2010 - Authors invited to revise and resubmit papers.
November 30, 2010 - Revised papers are due.
April 30, 2011 - Delivery of full set of papers and guest editors’ introductory paper