Blogs, articles,
connections, resources

Handbook of Business Ethics/Corporate Responsibility Theories


The debate between marketplace ethics (the corporate ethical responsibility is to increase profits) and the main versions of corporate citizenship ethics (corporate social responsibility, the triple bottom line/sustainability, stakeholder theory).


Pocket reference of traditional ethical theories


Pocket reference of post-Nietzschean ethical theories


Rutgers Guide to Ethical Principles in Business


BFSCapital: Ethics in Small Businesses


Redbeam Ethics Statement


Stakeholders Ford, America, Germany


Business and religious values


ROI employee volunteer program


McKinsey: How Comapnies Manage Sustainability


Accenture Global Survey (UN, CSR)


Business of Sustainability: Boston Consulting Group


Values Branding...


RoI and (dubious) CSR rankings...


Libertarian Corporate Responsibility


Resentment (Nietzsche) and social marketplace ethics


The famous Aaron Feuerstein CSR case, with postscript...


Cut-throat car dealer



Bridging the academic/corporate divide


CR Ethics Branding


IBM Research: What kind of citizen is your company?



Some ethics branding research


Free market assumptions


Free markets as CSR


Case ethics branding Eileen Fisher (clothes)


CR Branding + Authenticity


Ethics and brand value: strategic differentiation


CR as MBA trend


US Chamber of Commerce on CR


The state of CR


Debate 2011 CR Conference:
"When companies expend resources on corporate responsibility and sustainability they destroy economic value?"

(Original, long version)


CSR Groupon


Foxconn and Apple pressure


As prices drop, the importance of marginal incentives (affinity, ethics) increases


HBR: Shared ValueTheory


SXSW notes on content


Do you need an ethics officer?


Woman Claims Neighbor’s Energy Efficient Windows Are Melting Her Toyota Prius


An article noting that working conditions at a Chinese factory are so maddening that the company added a clause to the hiring contract requiring that workers not commit suicide. Nets were also stretched around the factory to catch those who decided to hurl themselves from the roof anyway.


An article nicely capturing the narcissism occasionally surrounding corporate social responsibility advocates in the US and Europe. The author can barely contain his excitement at concluding that his thirst for gadgets is so powerful that he's causing factory workers half-way around the world to commit suicide.


Chapstick and the perils of inauthenticity


CSR branding Fail


Business ethics and impact on brand value


CSR proponent/fast company


The business case for CSR...


Water and jeans (and the bottom line). Making Levis prewashed w/o water


Personal Eco-Concierges Ease Transition to Green


Cold water washing detergents...


CSR Branding Survey 2010 (PSB, Landor: Consumers say they favor CSR companies)


3 Approaches to Ethics Branding
(The importance of defining an authentic ethical framework before initiating branding. Market Leader)


6 Models for Brand CSR Integration (extreme CSR)


What gets measured gets funded


CSR and Brand Management (Rudimentary power point, Ogilvy Advertising)



Doing poorly by doing good (CSR and luxury brands)


Brands as publishers


Ethical profiles and communication targeting


PR study on ethics and branding



2010 Consumer ethical snapshot: Cone



Social Media facts as foundation for ethical branding (loyalty online expressed rarely and stubbornly)


Branding and Causes - Cone research



Cone Millennial Cause Study
(Uses of CSR in ethical profiling and branding.)



Ethics of advertising


Branding ethics: market research in England

Radio interview >


The ROI of CSR
Interview >


Not so much ROI in CSR
Article >


CSR is ROI (The Singe Bottom Line as today's marketplace ethics)
NYTimes >
Original doc >


study >


compliance >


Starbucks early ethical history
case study >
today's mission
statement >


Mission statements
reaction >


webpage >
statement >


Ethics and Brand Value: Strategic Differentiation
presentation pdf >
presentation ppt >


Markkula Center
page >


page >


gmd studios
page >


Documentary branding


MS documentary branding
videos >


Brand value and ethics
debate >

The blindness of conflict of interest
more >

Ethical value, monetary value
NY Times article >

What’s Your Ethical Brand Value?
one answer >

Transparency, ethics, brand communications
article >

Social media, ethics, ROI
article >

Some points about being ethical
last >

Ethical values, money value (UK version)
report >

Ethical values, money value
chart >

Dilemma: utilitarian v. duty theory
dilemma >

The case of New Belgium Brewing
case >

Not that kind of bimbo: Mexico in the US
webpage >

Fair trade adding to brand value
presentation >

Ethics and brand value
presentation >

What's wrong with pro bono?
arguments >

Rand Conference: Perspectives of Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers on the Detection and Prevention of Corporate Misdeeds
more >

Chief Ethics Officers: Who Needs Them?
more >

Do you need an ethics officer?
more >

Kathleen Edmond Chief Ethics Officer at Best Buy
Blog >


What is ethics branding and how does it work?


An ethics platform and Apple's lost opportunity


A Meta-Ethical Perspective on Organizational Identity


Habermas, discourse, organizations


Shareholders v stakeholders


What do consumers remember about CSR campaigns?


Consumer reactions to CSR


In favor of the single bottom line


Study of the gap between consumer speech and action in area of CSR



Federal Sentencing guidelines and organizational ethics


Articles on the gap between consumer speech and action in the area of CSR

  • Auger, P., & Devinney, T. (2007). Do what consumers say matter? The misalignment of preferences with unconstrained ethical intentions. Journal of Business Ethics, 76(4), 361–383.
  • Becker-Olsen, K. L., Cudmore, B. A., & Hill, R. P. (2006). The impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 59(1), 46–53.
  • Beckmann, S. C., Christensen, A. S., & Christensen, A. G. (2001). Myths of nature and environmentally responsible behaviours: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the EMAC, Bergen.
  • Bhattacharya, C. B., & Sen, S. (2004). Doing better at doing good: When, why, and how consumers respond to corporate social initiatives. California Management Review, 47(1), 9–24.
  • Bray, J., Johns, N., & Kilburn, D. (2011). An exploratory study into the factors impeding ethical consumption. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(4), 597–608.
  • Bronn, P. S., & Vrioni, A. B. (2001). Corporate social responsibility and cause-related marketing: An overview. International Journal of Advertising, 20(2), 207–222.
  • Brunk, K. H. (2010a). Exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions—A consumer perspective of corporate ethics. Journal of Business Research, 63(3), 255–262.
  • Brunk, K. H. (2010b). Reputation building: Beyond our control? Inferences in consumers’ ethical perception formation. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 9(4), 275–292.
  • Carrigan, M., & Attalla, A. (2001). The myth of the ethical consumer—Do ethics matter in purchase behaviour? Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 560–577.
  • Devinney, T. M., Auger, P., Eckhardt, G., & Birtchnell, T. (2006). The other CSR: Consumer social responsibility. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2006. Available at SSRN:
  • Devinney, T. M., Auger, P., & Eckhardt, G. M. (2010). The myth of the ethical consumer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ellen, P. S., Webb, D. J., & Mohr, L. A. (2006). Building corporate associations: Consumer attributions for corporate socially responsible programs. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 34(2), 147–157.
  • Geoffrey, P. L. (2001). The boundaries of strategic corporate social responsibility. The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 595.
  • Marin, L., & Ruiz, S. (2007). “I need you too!” corporate identity attractiveness for consumers and the role of social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 71(3), 245–260.
  • Mohr, L. A., & Webb, D. J. (2005). The effects of corporate social responsibility and price on consumer responses. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 39(1), 121–147.
  • Mohr, L. A., Webb, D. J., & Harris, K. E. (2001). Do consumers expect companies to be socially responsible? The impact of corporate social responsibility on buying behavior. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 35(1), 45–72.
  • Öberseder, M., & Schlegelmilch, B., & Gruber, V. (2011). “Why Don’t Consumers Care About CSR?”: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Role of CSR in Consumption Decisions. Journal of Business Ethics, 104 (4), 449-460.
  • Pomering, A., & Dolnicar, S. (2009). Assessing the prerequisite of successful CSR implementation: Are consumers aware of CSR initiatives? Journal of Business Ethics, 85, 285–301.
  • Sen, S., & Bhattacharya, C. B. (2001). Does doing good always lead to doing better? Consumer reactions to corporate social responsibility. Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), 38(2), 225–243.
  • Siegle, L. (2009). Is buying fair trade a waste of money? The Observer Magazine, p. 59.
  • Smith, V., & Langford, P. (2009). Evaluating the impact of corporate social responsibility programs on consumers. Journal of Management and Organization, 15(1), 97–109.
  • Snider, J., Paul, R. H., & Martin, D. (2003). Corporate social responsibility in the 21st century: A view from the world’s most successful firms. Journal of Business Ethics, 48(2), 175–187.
  • Vlachos, P. A., Tsamakos, A., Vrechopoulos, A. P., & Avramidis, P. K. (2009). Corporate social responsibility: Attributions, loyalty, and the mediating role of trust. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 37(2), 170–180.


Ethics branding


Doing poorly by doing good


Investing in Corporate Social Responsibility to Enhance Customer Value
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation


Much to tell to consumers about CSR, but who should talk or not talk about it?
Béatrice Parguel


Ethical Profile and Consumers

A Meta-Ethical Perspective on Organizational Identity
David Oliver, Matthew Statler and Johan Roos
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 94, Number 3, 427-440, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0274-y
Although much of the growing literature on organizational identity implicitly recognizes the normative nature of identity, the ethical implications of organizational identity work and talk have not yet been explored in depth. Working from a meta-ethical perspective, we claim that the dynamic, processual, and temporal activities recently associated with organizational identity always have an ethical dimension, whether “good” or “bad.” In order to describe the ethical dimensions of organizational identity, we introduce the balance theory of practical wisdom as a theoretical framework, and connect this theory to existing organizational identity concepts. We present an empirical case focused on an international paint company to illustrate the relevance of this theory for empirical organizational identity research. Our intention is to expand existing theory by bringing an aspect of organizational identity that has been tangentially acknowledged to the forefront, and by identifying it as a fruitful avenue for future theory development as well as empirical research.


Why Ethical Consumers Don’t Walk Their Talk: Towards a Framework for Understanding the Gap Between the Ethical Purchase Intentions and Actual Buying Behavior of Ethically Minded Consumers
Michal J. Carrington, Benjamin A. Neville and Gregory J. Whitwell
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 97, Number 1, 139-158, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0501-6
Despite their ethical intentions, ethically minded consumers rarely purchase ethical products (Auger and Devinney: 2007, Journal of Business Ethics 76, 361–383). This intentions–behavior gap is important to researchers and industry, yet poorly understood (Belk et al.: 2005, Consumption, Markets and Culture 8(3), 275–289). In order to push the understanding of ethical consumption forward, we draw on what is known about the intention–behavior gap from the social psychology and consumer behavior literatures and apply these insights to ethical consumerism. We bring together three separate insights – implementation intentions (Gollwitzer: 1999, American Psychologist 54(7), 493–503), actual behavioural control (ABC) (Ajzen and Madden: 1986, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 22, 453–474; Sheeran et al.: 2003, Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 393–410) and situational context (SC) (Belk: 1975, Journal of Consumer Research 2, 157–164) – to construct an integrated, holistic conceptual model of the intention–behaviour gap of ethically minded consumers. This holistic conceptual model addresses significant limitations within the ethical consumerism literature, and moves the understanding of ethical consumer behaviour forward. Further, the operationalisation of this model offers insight and strategic direction for marketing managers attempting to bridge the intention–behaviour gap of the ethically minded consumer.


Two Lighthouses to Navigate: Effects of Ideal and Counter-Ideal Values on Follower Identification and Satisfaction with Their Leaders
Niels van Quaquebeke, Rudolf Kerschreiter, Alice E. Buxton and Rolf van Dick
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 93, Number 2, 293-305, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0222-x
Ideals (or ideal values) help people to navigate in social life. They indicate at a very fundamental level what people are concerned about, what they strive for, and what they want to be affiliated with. Transferring this to a leader–follower analysis, our first study (n = 306) confirms that followers’ identification and satisfaction with their leaders are stronger, the more leaders match followers’ ideal leader values. Study 2 (n = 244) extends the perspective by introducing the novel concept of counter-ideals (i.e., how an ideal leader should not be) as a second, non-redundant point of reference. Results confirm that a leader’s match on ideal and on counter-ideal values have independent effects in that both explain unique variance in followers’ identification and satisfaction with their leader. Study 3 (n = 136) replicates the previous results in an experimental scenario study and provides evidence for the proposed causal direction of the underlying process. We conclude that counter-ideal values might be an additional point of reference that people use to triangulate targets above and beyond ideal values and discuss the implications of our findings for value research and management.


Mainstreaming Green Product Innovation: Why and How Companies Integrate Environmental Sustainability
Rosa Maria Dangelico and Devashish Pujari
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 95, Number 3, 471-486, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0434-0
Green product innovation has been recognized as one of the key factors to achieve growth, environmental sustainability, and a better quality of life. Understanding green product innovation as a result of interaction between innovation and sustainability has become a strategic priority for theory and practice. This article investigates green product innovation by means of a multiple case study analysis of 12 small to medium size manufacturing companies based in Italy and Canada. First, we propose a conceptual framework that presents three key environmental dimensions of green product innovation such as energy minimization, materials reduction, and pollution prevention as identified in the life cycle phases of products. Based on insights gained from in-depth interviews, we discuss firms’ motivations to develop green products, environmental policies and targets for products, different dimensions of green product innovation, and challenges faced during developing and marketing of green products. Results from the study are then synthesized and integrated in a toolbox that sheds light on various aspects of green product innovation and provides solutions to challenges and risks that are faced by firms. Finally, implications for managers, academia and public policy makers are discussed.


Formal vs. Informal CSR Strategies: Evidence from Italian Micro, Small, Medium-sized, and Large Firms
Angeloantonio Russo and Antonio Tencati
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 85, Supplement 2, 339-353, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9736-x
Recent research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) suggests the need for further exploration into the relationship between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and CSR. SMEs rarely use the language of CSR to describe their activities, but informal CSR strategies play a large part in them. The goal of this article is to investigate whether differences exist between the formal and informal CSR strategies through which firms manage relations with and the claims of their stakeholders. In this context, formal CSR strategies seem to characterize large firms while informal CSR strategies prevail among micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. We use a sample of 3,626 Italian firms to investigate our research questions. Based on a multi-stakeholder framework, the analysis provides evidence that small businesses’ use of CSR, involving strategies with an important impact on the bottom line, reflects an attempt to secure their license to operate in the communities; while large firms rarely make attempts to integrate their CSR strategies into explicit management systems.


Longitudinal Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on Customer Relationships
Russell Lacey and Pamela A. Kennett-Hensel
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 97, Number 4, 581-597, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0526-x
Despite the emergence of corporate social responsibility, the impact of CSR efforts on customer relationships remains decidedly unclear. Moreover, previous studies have examined CSR in cross-sectional, experimental, and/or artificial settings. Through field survey data collected at both the beginning (n = 750) and conclusion (n = 469) of the 2007–2008 NBA season, the authors investigate linkages between customers’ perceptions of the CSR performance of an NBA team and the strength of their relationship with this same organization. With all respondents of the latter survey participating in both samples, the authors assess how CSR performance impacts customer relationships over time. The findings show how a firm that engages in CSR initiatives may reap rewards by building trusting and committed customer relationships which, in turn, help forge desirable customer behaviors. The results also demonstrate how CSR’s influence strengthens over the course of the tested business cycle, thus yielding revealing insights to academics and practitioners when it comes to understanding the real-world impact of CSR performance for strengthening customer relationships.


Do Ethical Values Work? A Quantitative Study of the Impact of Fair Trade Coffee on Consumer Behavior
Patrice Cailleba and Herbert Casteran
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 97, Number 4, 613-624, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0528-8
This study investigates the large French fair trade (FT) market and the importance of FT coffee within it, in an attempt to identify some general features of FT consumers. On the basis of 7,587 transactions, the authors also determine the impact of FT characteristics on customer behavior. The main result is somewhat surprising: FT coffee purchases seem to involve a temporary commitment as FT coffee consumers appear less loyal than traditional coffee consumers. The authors derive some business and academic implications.


A Cross-National Investigation on How Ethical Consumers Build Loyalty Toward Fair Trade Brands
Gwang-Suk Kim, Grace Y. Lee and Kiwan Park
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 96, Number 4, 589-611, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0486-1
Although Fair Trade has recently experienced rapid growth around the world, there is lack of consumer research that investigates what determines consumers’ loyalty toward Fair Trade brands. In this research, we investigate how ethical consumption values (ECV) and two mediating variables, Fair Trade product beliefs (FTPB) and Fair Trade corporate evaluation, (FTCE) determine Fair Trade brand loyalty (FTBL). On the basis of two empirical studies that use samples from the U.S. and Korea, we provide evidence demonstrating that the manner in which ECV influence FTBL differs in the U.S. and Korea. In the U.S., ECV determine FTBL only indirectly via FTPB, whereas in Korea they determine FTBL directly as well as indirectly via FTCE. We discuss theoretical and managerial implications of these findings.


Impact of Customer Orientation, Inducements and Ethics on Loyalty to the Firm: Customers’ Perspective
Leslier M. Valenzuela, Jay P. Mulki and Jorge Fernando Jaramillo
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 93, Number 2, 277-291, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0220-z
Customer orientation (CO) and the development of long-term relationships with customers are known conditions for growth and profit sustainability. Businesses use special treatments, inducements, and personal gestures to show their appreciation to customers. However, there are concerns about whether these inducements really create the right perceptions in customer’s mind. This study suggests that when customers believe that the firm is ethical, the inducements and special treatments received are seen in a positive light and can help develop loyalty. The hypotheses were tested with responses from 299 customers of financial institutions in Chile. Results support the hypotheses that firm’s ethical reputation helps in retaining customers. Managerial implications are provided.


Assessing the Prerequisite of Successful CSR Implementation: Are Consumers Aware of CSR Initiatives?
Alan Pomering and Sara Dolnicar
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 85, Supplement 2, 285-301, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9729-9
As a reflection of the values and ethics of firms, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has received a large amount of research attention over the last decade. A growing area of this research is the CSR–consumer relationship. Results of experimental studies indicate that consumer attitudes and purchase intentions are influenced by CSR initiatives – if consumers are aware of them. In order to create this awareness, business is increasingly turning to ‹pro-social’ marketing communications, but such campaigns is met with skepticism and their effectiveness are therefore uncertain. Consequently, researchers in the field (for example, Maignan, 2001; Mohr et al., 2001) have called for empirical studies to determine the level of actual consumer awareness of CSR initiatives. This study examines the Australian banking sector, which engages in and promotes its CSR activities, to help fill this gap. Results from our qualitative study with bank managers, and our quantitative study with consumers, indicate low consumer CSR awareness levels. Consumer understanding of many of the social issues banks engage with is also low. While CSR is effective in eliciting favorable consumer attitudes and behaviour in theory, CSR has not proven its general effectiveness in the marketplace. The low consumer awareness of the various social issues in which firms engage with their CSR programs suggests that firms may need to educate consumers, so they may better contextualise CSR initiatives communicated. However, better context may amount to little if claimed CSR initiatives are perceived as inconsistent with other facets of the business that reflect its values and ethics.
Efforts must be:


CSR Practices and Corporate Strategy: Evidence from a Longitudinal Case Study
Lucio Lamberti and Emanuele Lettieri
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 87, Number 2, 153-168, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9876-z
This paper aims to contribute to the present debate about business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that the Journal of Business Ethics is hosting. Numerous contributions argued theoretical frameworks and taxonomies of CSR practices. The authors want to ground in this knowledge and provide further evidence about how companies adopt CSR practices to address stakeholders’ claims and consolidate their trust. Evidence was provided by a longitudinal case study about an Italian food company that is one of the largest producers of baby food. This company reshaped its corporate strategy along three decades through the adoption of CSR practices in order to win stakeholders’ trust about food safety and supply chain behaviour. The empirical exercise was informed by a literature review of the relevant contributions in terms of CSR business practices and levels of efforts to adopt them. In light of this review, the authors adopted for the research framework the taxonomy of business practices proposed by Spiller (2000, “Ethical Business and Investment: A Model for Business and Society”, Journal of Business Ethics 27, 149-160) and the levels of commitment towards CSR proposed by Stahl and Grigsby (1997, Strategic Management; Total Quality & Global Competition (Blackwell, Oxford)). The main findings are discussed in order to argue theoretical implications and identify further areas of research and debate.


Corporate Motives for Social Initiative: Legitimacy, Sustainability, or the Bottom Line?
Peggy Simcic Brønn and Deborah Vidaver-Cohen
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 87, Supplement 1, 91-109, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9795-z
This article presents results of exploratory research conducted with managers from over 500 Norwegian companies to examine corporate motives for engaging in social initiatives. Three key questions were addressed. First, what do managers in this sample see as the primary reasons their companies engage in activities that benefit society? Second, do motives for such social initiative vary across the industries represented? Third, can further empirical support be provided for the theoretical classifications of social initiative motives outlined in the literature? Previous research on the topic is reviewed, study methods are described, results are presented, and implications of findings are discussed. The article concludes with the analysis of study limitations and directions for future research.


Philanthropy, Integration or Innovation? Exploring the Financial and Societal Outcomes of Different Types of Corporate Responsibility
Minna Halme and Juha Laurila
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 84, Number 3, 325-339, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9712-5
This article argues that previous research on the outcomes of corporate responsibility should be refined in two ways. First, although there is abundant research that addresses the link between corporate responsibility (CR) and financial performance, hardly any studies scrutinize whether the type of corporate responsibility makes a difference to this link. Second, while the majority of CR research conducted within business studies concentrates on the financial outcomes for the firm, the societal outcomes of CR are left largely unexplored. To tackle these two deficiencies, this article extends the different conceptualizations of corporate responsibility and elaborates both the financial and the societal outcomes of different types of CR.


Strategy and Society
The Link Between Competitive Advantage and
Corporate Social Responsibility
Harvard Business Review


Strengthening Stakeholder–Company Relationships Through Mutually Beneficial Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives
C. B. Bhattacharya, Daniel Korschun and Sankar Sen
Volume 85, Supplement 2, 257-272, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9730-3
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to gain attention atop the corporate agenda and is by now an important component of the dialogue between companies and their stakeholders. Nevertheless, there is still little guidance as to how companies can implement CSR activity in order to maximize returns to CSR investment. Theorists have identified many company-favoring outcomes of CSR; yet there is a dearth of research on the psychological mechanisms that drive stakeholder responses to CSR activity. Borrowing from the literatures on means-end chains and relationship marketing, we propose a conceptual model that explains how CSR provides individual stakeholders with numerous benefits (functional, psychosocial, and values) and how the type and extent to which a stakeholder derives these benefits from CSR initiatives influences the quality of the relationship between the stakeholder and the company. The paper discusses the implications of these␣insights and highlights a number of areas for future research.


The PEARL Model: Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Sustainable Development
Mert Bilgin
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 85, Supplement 3, 545-554, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0210-1
This article formulates institutional virtues according to sustainable development (SD) criteria to come up with a paradigmatic set of corporate principles. It aims to answer how a corporation might obtain competitive advantage by combining “going ethical” with “going green.” On the one hand, it brings out facts that indicate a forthcoming trend inclined to force relevant actors to comply with SD requirements. On the other hand, it suggests that SD may be implemented as a strategy to gain competitive advantage by the help of the PEARL model through its five fundaments: (1) perception friendliness, (2) environment friendliness, (3) action, (4) relationship, and (5) locality. This article finally shows that although a number of companies (e.g., Bosch, BP, and GE) implement SD as a tool of differentiation, they lack a holistic model that is fully responsive to current dynamics. The PEARL may be implemented as a proactive positioning to gain competitive advantage because transformation of this model into corporate strategy does not only respond to “stakeholder” claims, but also meets the changing characteristic of “societal demands.”


Political and Economic Arguments for Corporate Social Responsibility: Analysis and a Proposition Regarding the CSR Agenda
Francis Weyzig
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 86, Number 4, 417-428, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9855-4
Different perspectives on corporate social responsibility (CSR) exist, each with their own agenda. Some emphasise management responsibilities towards stakeholders, others argue that companies should actively contribute to social goals, and yet others reject a social responsibility of business beyond legal compliance. In addition, CSR initiatives relate to different issues, such as labour standards and corruption. This article analyses what types of CSR initiatives are supported by political and economic arguments. The distinction between different CSR perspectives and CSR issues on the one hand and between political and economic arguments on the other could help to advance the debate on the justification and welfare impact of CSR. It is argued that ordinary boundary conditions for business behaviour in a market economy provide support for some, but not all, CSR initiatives. This has implications for policy priorities. Building on the analysis, it is proposed that more attention should be paid to the behaviour of large multinational enterprises in their normal business operations and to CSR issues with a potentially large impact on market functioning.


Introduction: Corporate Social Responsibility Implementation
Adam Lindgreen, Valérie Swaen and François Maon
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 85, Supplement 2, 251-256, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9732-1


The Drivers of Green Brand Equity: Green Brand Image, Green Satisfaction, and Green Trust
Yu-Shan Chen
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 93, Number 2, 307-319, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0223-9
This article proposed four novel constructs – green brand image, green satisfaction, green trust, and green brand equity, and explored the positive relationships between green brand equity and its three drivers – green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust. The object of this research study was information and electronics products in Taiwan. This research employed an empirical study by use of the questionnaire survey method. The questionnaires were randomly mailed to consumers who had the experience of purchasing information and electronics products. The results showed that green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust are positively related to green brand equity. Furthermore, the positive relationship between green brand image and green brand equity is partially mediated by green satisfaction and green trust. Hence, investing on resources to increase green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust is helpful to enhance green brand equity.


Causality Between Corporate Social Performance and Financial Performance: Evidence from Canadian Firms
Rim Makni, Claude Francoeur and François Bellavance
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 89, Number 3, 409-422, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-0007-7
This study assesses the causal relationship between corporate social performance (CSP) and financial performance (FP). We perform our empirical analyses on a sample of 179 publicly held Canadian firms and use the measures of CSP provided by Canadian Social Investment Database for the years 2004 and 2005. Using the “Granger causality” approach, we find no significant relationship between a composite measure of a firm’s CSP and FP, except for market returns. However, using individual measures of CSP, we find a robust significant negative impact of the environmental dimension of CSP and three measures of FP, namely return on assets, return on equity, and market returns. This latter finding is consistent, at least in the short run, with the trade-off hypothesis and, in part, with the negative synergy hypothesis which states that socially responsible firms experience lower profits and reduced shareholder wealth, which in turn limits the socially responsible investments.


Does Social Performance Really Lead to Financial Performance? Accounting for Endogeneity
Roberto Garcia-Castro, Miguel A. Ariño and Miguel A. Canela
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 92, Number 1, 107-126, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0143-8
The empirical relationship between a firm’s social performance and its financial performance is still not well established in the literature. Despite more than 30 years of research and more than 100 empirical studies on the issue, the results are still mixed. We argue that the heterogeneous results found in previous studies are not due exclusively to problems related with the measurement instruments or the samples used. Instead, we posit that a more fundamental problem related with the endogeneity of social strategic decisions could be driving most of the empirical findings. We show that, using a panel data of 658 firms from 1991 to 2005, how some of the results found in previous research change, and some are even reversed when endogeneity is properly taken into account.


Designing and Implementing Corporate Social Responsibility: An Integrative Framework Grounded in Theory and Practice
François Maon, Adam Lindgreen and Valérie Swaen
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 87, Supplement 1, 71-89, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9804-2
This article introduces an integrative framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) design and implementation. A review of CSR literature – in particular with regard to design and implementation models – provides the background to develop a multiple case study. The resulting integrative framework, based on this multiple case study and Lewin’s change model, highlights four stages that span nine steps of the CSR design and implementation process. Finally, the study identifies critical success factors for the CSR process.


Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee–Company Identification
Hae-Ryong Kim, Moonkyu Lee, Hyoung-Tark Lee and Na-Min Kim
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 95, Number 4, 557-569, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0440-2
This study proposes two identification cuing factors (i.e., CSR associations and CSR participation) to understand how corporate social responsibility (CSR) relates to employees’ identification with their firm. The results reveal that a firm’s CSR initiatives increase employee–company identification (E–C identification). E–C identification, in turn, influences employees’ commitment to their company. However, CSR associations do not directly influence employees’ identification with a firm, but rather influence their identification through perceived external prestige (PEP). Compared to CSR associations, CSR participation has a direct influence on E–C identification. On the basis of these findings, it is argued that CSR performance can be an effective way for companies to maintain a positive relationship with their employees.


The Marketing of Employee Volunteerism
John Peloza, Simon Hudson and Derek N. Hassay
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 85, Supplement 2, 371-386, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9734-z
Employee volunteerism can be an effective strategy for increasing the effectiveness of corporate philanthropy. However, in order to be effective, volunteer initiatives should be directed by the firm to ensure a strategic fit and focus on the core competencies of the firm. Therefore, internal marketing strategies are needed to ensure managers receive employee support. Our research quantitatively extends research by Peloza and Hassay (Journal of Business Ethics 64(4), 357–379, 2006) who argued that employee volunteerism is motivated by egoistic, altruistic and organizational citizenship motives. Our findings suggest that volunteer opportunities that fulfill egoistic and organizational citizenship motives will be effective, but that the altruistic motive is not significant. We also find that formal policies concerning manager recognition or time off are not effective, providing more discretion for individual managers. Implications for managers seeking to increase the effectiveness (and therefore support the business case) of their corporate philanthropy are discussed.


How Corporate Social Responsibility Influences Organizational Commitment
Duygu Turker
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 89, Number 2, 189-204, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9993-8
A growing number of studies have investigated the various dimensions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the literature. However, relatively few studies have considered its impacts on employees. The purpose of this study is to analyze how CSR affects the organizational commitment of employees based on the social identity theory (SIT). The proposed model was tested on a sample of 269 business professionals working in Turkey. The findings of the study revealed that CSR to social and non-social stakeholders, employees, and customers were the significant predictors of organizational commitment. However, there was no link between CSR to government and the commitment level of employees.


Morals, Markets and Sustainable Investments: A Qualitative Study of ‘Champions’
Alan Lewis and Carmen Juravle
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 93, Number 3, 483-494, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0235-5
Sustainable investment (SI), which integrates social, environmental and ethical issues, has grown from a niche market of individual ethical investors to embrace institutional investors (e.g. pension funds) resulting in £764 billion in assets under management in the UK alone [Eurosif, 2008: ‘European SRI Study 2008’ (Eurosif, Paris)]. Explaining this growth is complex, involving shifts in personal and collective values, reactions to corporate scandals, scientific and media pronouncements about climate change, Government initiatives, responses from financial markets and the influence of SI innovators in The City of London. The article examines the influence of human agency through interviews with 14 SI champions who have variously been responsible for launching SI funds and changing investment processes and organisational structures in order to enhance SI. Interviewees were asked about their motivations and persuasive strategies, the obstacles they faced and how they overcame them as well as broader implications of SI for financial markets. The following key categories inform the results and the discussion: Values; Conservatism, Antipathy and Incredulity; Optimism and Sympathy from Insiders; The Social and Political Context; The Business Case; Organisational Constraints; Inappropriate forms of Remuneration; Short-termism; The Nature of Capitalism. Three discourses were also identified. The first is the necessity to make a business case for SI; the second is the benefits that SI can bring to the quest of overcoming short-termism; the third is a belief that for SI to have a significant influence, greater government intervention is required.


It’s a Matter of Principle: The Role of Personal Values in Investment Decisions
William R. Pasewark and Mark E. Riley
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 93, Number 2, 237-253, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0218-6
We investigate the role of personal values in an investment decision in a controlled experimental setting. Participants were asked to choose an investment in a bond issued by a tobacco company or a bond issued by a non-tobacco company that offered an equal or sometimes lower yield. We then surveyed the participants regarding their feelings toward tobacco use to determine whether these values influenced their investment decision. Using factor analysis, we identified investment- and tobacco-related dimensions on which participants’ responses tended to load. Two of these factors, relating to the societal impact of investment decisions and the health effects of tobacco, were highly significant in determining whether participants selected a tobacco or non-tobacco related investment. More importantly, we found that when the rate of return on a tobacco-related investment exceeds the rate of return on an investment not involving tobacco by 1%, the intensity of participant concerns about the societal effects of their investment decisions was especially important in determining investment choices. This finding indicates that traditional wealth-maximization approaches, which do not consider the personal values of the investor, omit an important factor that affects investment decisions.


Global Standards and Ethical Stock Indexes: The Case of the Dow Jones Sustainability Stoxx Index
Costanza Consolandi, Ameeta Jaiswal-Dale, Elisa Poggiani and Alessandro Vercelli
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 87, Supplement 1, 185-197, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9793-1
The increased scrutiny of investors regarding the non-financial aspects of corporate performance has placed portfolio managers in the position of having to weigh the benefits of ‘holding the market’ against the cost of having positions in companies that are subsequently found to have questionable business practices. The availability of stock indexes based on sustainability screening makes increasingly viable for institutional investors the transition to a portfolio based on a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) benchmark at relatively low cost. The increasing share of socially responsible investments may play a role in providing incentives towards a continuous upgrading of sustainability standards to the extent that their performance is not systematically inferior to that of the other funds. This article examines whether these incentives have been so far detectable with particular reference to the Dow Jones Sustainability Stoxx Index (DJSSI) that focuses on the European corporations with the highest CSR scores among those included in the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index. The aim of the article is twofold. First, we analyse the performance of the DJSSI over the period 2001–2006 compared to that of the Surrogate Complementary Index (SCI), a new benchmark that includes only the components of the DJ Stoxx 600 that do not belong to the ethical index to evaluate more correctly the size of possible divergent performances. Second, we perform an event study on the same data set to analyse whether the stock market evaluation reacts to the inclusion (deletion) in the DJSSI. In both cases, the results suggest that the evaluation of the CSR performance of a firm is a significant criterion for asset allocation activities.


Morals or Economics? Institutional Investor Preferences for Corporate Social Responsibility
Henry L. Petersen and Harrie Vredenburg
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 90, Number 1, 1-14, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0030-3
This article presents the results of a study that analysed whether social responsibility had any bearing on the decision making of institutional investors. Being that institutional investors prefer socially aligned organizations, this study explored to what extent the corporate actions and/or social/environmental investments influenced their decisions. Our results suggest that there are specific variables that affect the perceived value of the organization, leading to decisions to not only invest, but whether to hold or sell the shares, and therefore having a consequential impact on the capital market’s valuation.


“Too Good to be True!”. The Effectiveness of CSR History in Countering Negative Publicity
Joëlle Vanhamme and Bas Grobben
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 85, Supplement 2, 273-283, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-008-9731-2
Corporate crises call for effective communication to shelter or restore a company’s reputation. The use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) claims may provide an effective tool to counter the negative impact of a crisis, but knowledge about its effectiveness is scarce and lacking in studies that consider CSR communication during crises. To help fill this gap, this study investigates whether the length of company’s involvement in CSR matters when it uses CSR claims in its crisis communication as a means to counter negative publicity. The use of CSR claims in crisis communication is more effective for companies with a long CSR history than for those with a short CSR history, and consumer skepticism about claims lies at the heart of this phenomenon.


Trustworthiness, Governance, and Wealth Creation
Cam Caldwell and Mark H. Hansen
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 97, Number 2, 173-188, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0503-4
Although trustworthiness has been described as a source of competitive advantage, its value extends to organizational governance and wealth creation. We identify the importance of the commitment–compliance continuum in the decision to trust and note that trustworthiness is a subjective perception viewed through each person’s mediating lens. That lens and each person’s interpretation of the social contract impact one’s commitment to cooperate. We suggest five propositions that integrate trustworthiness, governance, and wealth creation.


Constructing a Code of Ethics: An Experiential Case of a National Professional Organization
Carla Masciocchi Messikomer and Carol Cabrey Cirka
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 95, Number 1, 55-71, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0347-y
This paper documents the development and implementation of an ethically valid code of ethics in a newly formed national professional organization. It describes the experience and challenges faced by the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) and its leaders as they worked to establish ethics as an organizing framework early in its evolution. Designed by the investigators and supported by the NASMM Board, the process took place over a 2 year period and more than 130 people participated. It provides a model for code development that is both practical and grounded in theory. Although the content of a code of ethics (the “product”) provides guidance to organizational members in the conduct of everyday business, especially when they face ethically challenging situations, how the code is developed (the “process”) influences its ethical validity. Few published cases document an organization’s experience developing a code, and this is the first case, to our knowledge, that provides a first-hand longitudinal account of an effective code development process.


Relationships among Perceived Organizational Core Values, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ethics, and Organizational Performance Outcomes: An Empirical Study of Information Technology Professionals
K. Gregory Jin and Ronald G. Drozdenko
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 92, Number 3, 341-359, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0158-1
This study is an extension of our recent ethics research in direct marketing (2003) and information technology (2007). In this study, we investigated the relationships among core organizational values, organizational ethics, corporate social responsibility, and organizational performance outcome. Our analysis of online survey responses from a sample of IT professionals in the United States indicated that managers from organizations with organic core values reported a higher level of social responsibility relative to managers in organizations with mechanistic values; that managers in both mechanistic and organic organizations which were perceived as more socially responsible were also perceived as more ethical; and that perceived ethical attitudes and social responsibility were significantly associated with organizational performance outcome measures. Our article discusses research premises, conceptual framework, hypotheses, research methodology, data analysis, recommendations for further research, and conclusions.


A New Generation of Corporate Codes of Ethics
Cynthia Stohl, Michael Stohl and Lucy Popova
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 90, Number 4, 607-622, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0064-6
Globalization theories posit organizational convergence, suggesting that Codes of Ethics will become commonplace and include greater consideration of global issues. This study explores the degree to which the Codes of Ethics of 157 corporations on the Global 500 and/or Fortune 500 lists include the “third generation” of corporate social responsibility. Unlike first generation ethics, which focus on the legal context of corporate behavior, and second generation ethics, which locate responsibility to groups directly associated with the corporation, third generation ethics transcend both the profit motive and the immediate corporate environment. Third generation ethics are grounded in responsibilities to the larger interconnected environment. The results of the study suggest convergence, insofar as Codes of Ethics are becoming standard communication features of corporations across region and industrial sector but still manifest a primary concern with profits and those behaviors which are mandated by law. Only corporations headquartered in the European Union demonstrate a significant degree of global consciousness and reflexivity. However, there is some evidence that third generation ethics and thinking are becoming part of the corporate landscape. More then three quarters of the corporations made at least some reference to third generation ethics.


Ethics Statements of Public Relations Firms: What Do They Say?
Eyun-Jung Ki and Soo-Yeon Kim
Journal of Business Ethics
Volume 91, Number 2, 223-236, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-009-0080-6
This study was designed to examine the prevalence of a code of ethics and to analyze its content among public relations agencies in the United States. Of the 1,562 public relations agencies reviewed, 605 (38.7%) provided an ethical statement. Among the ethical statements provided by these public relations agencies, ‹respect to clients,’ ‹service,’ ‹strategic,’ and ‹results’ were the values most frequently emphasized. On the other hand, ‹balance,’ ‹fairness,’ ‹honor,’ ‹social responsibility,’ and ‹independence’ were the least frequently mentioned in the ethical codes. Also, none of the sampled agencies included any sanctions regarding enforcement of their particular codes of ethics.

.© Ethics Workshop