Corporate constructed and dissent enabling public spheres: differentiating dissensual from consensual corporate social responsibility

Whelan, Glen (2013) Corporate constructed and dissent enabling public spheres: differentiating dissensual from consensual corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 115 (40). pp. 755-769. ISSN 0167-4544

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Abstract

I here distinguish dissensual from consensual corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the grounds that the former is more concerned to organize (or portray) corporate-civil society disagreement than it is corporate-civil society agreement. In doing so, I first conceive of consensual CSR, and identify a positive and negative view thereof. Second, I conceive of dissensual CSR, and suggest that it can be actualized through the construction of dissent enabling, rather than consent-oriented, public spheres. Following this, I describe four actor-centred institutional theories-i.e. a sociological, ethical, transformative and economic perspective, respectively-and suggest that an economic perspective is generally well suited to explaining CSR activities at the organizational level. Accordingly, I then use the economic perspective to analyse a dissent enabling public sphere that Shell has constructed, and within which Greenpeace participated. In particular, I explain Shell's employment of dissensual CSR in terms of their core business interests; and identify some potential implications thereof for Shell, Greenpeace, and society more generally. In concluding, I highlight a number of ways in which the present paper can inform future research on business and society interactions.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Depositing User: Snowden, Ms Diane
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2014 11:34
Last Modified: 16 May 2016 01:49
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/2489

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