Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship
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Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship

Edited by Andreas Georg Scherer and Guido Palazzo

The Handbook of Research on Global Corporate Citizenship identifies and fosters key interdisciplinary research on corporate citizenship and provides a framework for further academic debate on corporate responsibility in a global society.
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Chapter 4: Defining the Concept of Good Corporate Citizenship in the Context of Globalization: A Paradigm Shift from Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Social Accountability

S. Prakash Sethi


4 Defining the concept of good corporate citizenship in the context of globalization: a paradigm shift from corporate social responsibility to corporate social accountability S. Prakash Sethi Introduction Concerns about the proper role of business institutions in society have been an ever-present phenomenon across all ages and cultures. At a cerebral level, these concerns reveal themselves in the notions of possession of economic power and the rights of those who exercise such power. At a more visceral level, economic institutions are evaluated in terms of the fairness with which they acquire a society’s resources, that is, factors of production, the way they distribute the resultant output and the exchange values they seek from those who consume this output. Although both these concepts are interrelated, the former views the social role of the corporation in terms of one’s notion of a just society, that is, the role of corporate power, while the latter focuses on what might be called ‘distributive justice’, that is, how corporate power is exercised in exchange relationships with the corporation’s stakeholders (Sethi and Sama 1998). In the period following the Second World War and the rising global power and economic prosperity of the United States, the popular vision of a ‘good corporation’ that emerged was that of a financially successful and economically efficient company that would marry profit making with social responsibility; provide stable and well-paid jobs with generous benefits; support culture and the arts; encourage employees to become involved in their communities;...

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