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  • Employee Social Responsibility: A Missing Component in the ISI 26000 Social Responsibility Standard

    In this article, the focus is on developing a governance concept built on integrating the ISO 26000 Social Responsibility (SR) standard with an “employee social responsibility” (ESR) concept developed by the authors. To this end. The authors propose to compliment the voluntary, organizationally adaptable, ISO 26000 SR standard for the organization/firm with a seamlessly integrated—and equally adaptable—ESR concept for the individual/employee of that organization/firm. An SR/ESR governance concept emerges, with an emphasis on implementing a SR‐based business enterprise code of conduct and ESR‐related functional‐level codes of conduct, the latter firmly ensconced in an organization's ethical climate. The conclusion section discusses the strengths and weaknesses of our proposed SR/ESR governance concept.

  • Cross‐Sector Partnerships: An Examination of Success Factors

    In this paper, we examine the drivers involved in an alternative business model: cross‐sector social partnerships (CSSPs) between for‐profit, predominantly multinational corporations (MNCs) and nonprofit organizations (NPOs). We explore these cross‐sector social partnerships (CSSPs) from the perspective of these primary stakeholders, examining the questions of power differentials and the definitions and determinants of success. In order more deeply to understand these drivers, we review the evolution of the concept of “value” and the perception of the value that each stakeholder brings to the partnership. We then describe and offer the results of an empirical, qualitative study of 18 CSSPs, where we analyze each partner's representations of success, outcomes sought and distinctions in determinants of value within the partnerships.

  • Human Stakeholders and the Use of Animals in Drug Development

    Pharmaceutical firms seek to fulfill their responsibilities to stakeholders by developing drugs that treat diseases. We evaluate the social and financial costs of developing new drugs relative to the realized benefits and find the industry falls short of its potential. This is primarily due to legislation‐mandated reliance on animal test results in early stages of the drug development process, leading to a mere 10 percent success rate for new drugs entering human clinical trials. We cite hundreds of biomedical studies from journals including Nature, Science, and the Journal of the American Medical Association to show animal modeling is ineffective, misleading to scientists, unable to prevent the development of dangerous drugs, and prone to prevent the development of useful drugs. Legislation still requires animal testing prior to human testing even though the pharmaceutical sector has better options that were unavailable when animal modeling was first mandated. We propose that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Congress should work together to abolish regulations and policies that require animal use. Doing so will benefit pharmaceutical industry stakeholders, including patients whose health depends on drugs and the many people who rely on the financial well‐being of pharmaceutical firms.

  • A Case Study of Stakeholder Dialogue in Professional Sport: An Example of CSR Engagement

    Many businesses, including professional sport teams, are designing and engaging in socially responsible initiatives which benefit stakeholders as well as the businesses themselves. Gaining insight into stakeholders' expectations regarding corporations' corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives through dialogue is important as the way a business is viewed and evaluated by stakeholders underlies subsequent interactions. Based on semi‐structured interviews with 42 diverse stakeholders involved in a professional sport team's CSR initiative we found that stakeholders' expectations of the team's involvement in the community related to social and institutional norms, values, and benefits. The team also appeared to be meeting stakeholder expectations about being socially responsible in the community. This study provides new insights into a firm's CSR expectations through engaging in stakeholder management and interaction. Future research directions and practical suggestions are offered for organizations attempting to understand and meet stakeholders' expectations in the area of CSR.

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  • The Diamond Model of Authentic Green Marketing: Evidence from the Sustainable Architecture Industry

    While “green marketing” has emerged as powerful competitive force, many markets lack clear institutional standards or knowledgeable customers to allow firms committed to sustainable practices to differentiate themselves from opportunistic, green‐washing competitors. Within these contexts we propose a firm‐level lens based on authentic firm reputation as an important, yet poorly understood, competitive force. Drawing on interview data from the architectural design services context we identify the elements that firms use to communicate their own authenticity, as well as discourage green‐washing behavior of peers, and present these elements as the “Diamond” model of authentic green marketing, consisting of: (1) The ability to appear above commercial considerations; (2) The ability to frame production methods as craft; (3) The use of corporate visual identity; and (4) An organization's social network of stakeholders. We conclude by discussing the generalizability and implications of our framework for practitioners as well as opportunities for future research.

  • Institutional Determinants of Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility: Are Multinational Entities Taking Advantage of Weak Environmental Enforcement in Lower‐Income Nations?

    Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are often accused of taking advantage of lax environmental regulations in developing countries. However, no quantitative analysis of the impact of doing business in nations of different income levels on environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR) has been done prior to this study. Incorporating institutional factors in our approach, we argue that endoisomorphic and exoisomorphic pressures relating to ECSR impact MNEs differently according to the MNEs' level of activity in low‐, lower‐middle‐, upper‐middle‐, and high‐income nations. We predict and, using data from 113 companies, find that selling in poorer nations is positively associated with increased levels of ECSR. Our research suggests that MNEs may not be participating in a “race to the bottom” but may instead be responding to global institutional pressure by exceeding local norms for environmental stewardship. Alternative interpretations of our findings are discussed.

  • Domestic Violence Spillover into the Workplace: An Examination of the Difference between Legal and Ethical Requirements

    Domestic violence is a growing societal concern that often spills over into the workplace. However, employers are not recognizing the spillover of domestic violence as a workplace issue. This is problematic considering the serious financial, legal, and ethical consequences for organizations. We analyzed six cases involving domestic violence that were litigated under specific legal bases: Violence Against Women Act, discrimination laws including Title VII, Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security Disability, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and associated state and municipal ordinances. We chose cases that illustrate the problems of companies meeting the legal standards but not necessarily reaching ethical expectations. Our approach is congruent with the perspective that both legal and ethical analyses should be used in organizational decision making. We suggest for future research the analysis of additional litigated cases, other ethical perspectives, and additional sources of data. In addition, we suggest that companies who are striving for corporate social responsibility should integrate the ethical treatment of domestic violence victims.

  • The 2008 Wall Street Crash: A Failed Organizational Response to Complexity

    In the period since the 2008 Wall Street crash, little consensus has emerged on its causes or actions to prevent a recurrence. Our capability for rational decision making was overwhelmed. Viewing the entire financial system as a huge, richly interconnected organization suggests that its structure and associated management practices are suited for a far simpler environment. An organization that is large relative to its environment and sufficiently complex to require the coordination of specialized expertise cannot function by enabling decision makers to respond only to local demands. The resulting inability to recognize critical interdependencies and the nature of their risk makes periodic catastrophic failure likely. Specifically, compartmentalization of information, influence, and reward creates a myopic decision environment in which individual decision makers are unlikely to make effective or ethical decisions. Useful criteria for evaluating solutions can be suggested by considering the interaction of two factors: limited human information processing capability and the effect of motivation on information processing. Taken together, they suggest that human information processing is both limited and opportunistic. We cannot process all information available and the information selected for processing narrows to that needed to achieve salient rewards. Because of this, the organization's reward practices and their effect on motivation are a critical variable. Large financial rewards contingent upon short term, local, simplistic measures inevitably narrow the focus of decision maker's attention to a small part of the system. In contrast, dominant intrinsic motivation is rooted in awareness of, and responsibility for, broader outcomes. Each type of motivation differs in its requirements for sharing of information, influence, and reward. These, in turn, determine the adaptability of the organization to complexity and change. While this has significant ethical implications, its logic rests on the limitations of human information processing and motivation. Aligning human motivation and information flow to the demands of a complex, turbulent financial environment is the challenge we must meet to prevent further cataclysms.

  • Standard of Living as a Right, Not a Privilege: Is It Time to Change the Dialogue from Minimum Wage to Living Wage?

    Dating back to the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued that workers were entitled to a wage that allowed them to enjoy a decent standard of living—a conviction that led the president to propose the first federally‐mandated minimum wage. Mr. Roosevelt’s proposal was met with highly partisan resistance in congress and the courts—reactions not different in kind from the highly partisan resistance former President Obama experienced in his proposal to increase the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour. Reflecting President Roosevelt’s convictions, it is clear that many low wage workers today are not, and cannot, enjoying a decent standard of living at current minimum wage levels. Further, many of the economic arguments raised in opposition to increasing the minimum wage have been thoroughly discredited: empirical evidence suggests that increased minimum wages would not lead to dramatic spikes in unemployment, massive substitutions of capital for labor, business closings, and significantly increased consumer prices. However, as compelling as arguments for increasing the minimum wage may be, the reality is that this may not be sufficient to alleviate the plight of low income workers, particularly given the political nature of minimum wage adjustments. Indeed, it may be time to shift the national focus away from the minimum wage to an emphasis on viable living wage legislation, a proposition consistent with the social justice perspective of contemporary ethicists.

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