Laura J. Spence and Michael Bourlakis
Laura J. Spence and Steen Vallentin
This chapter focuses on the internal, organizational dynamics of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate ethics. Instead of approaching the-becoming-responsible of business as a linear process that involves different stages of development, we argue that responsibilization needs to be seen as a contested political process that involves complex power dynamics and conflicts between different interests and rationalities in the organization. The main contribution of the chapter is conceptual. We apply Foucault’s notion of governmentality (along with his concept of power) and show how it can provide important insights into the internal workings of CSR and challenge taken-for-granted notions of how businesses are supposed to become responsible. The analytical themes that sustain the analysis are governmentality, power, subjectivity and translation. The main contribution of the chapter is to show how these four themes, viewed individually and in conjunction through a Foucauldian lens, allow for a more nuanced theoretical understanding of what makes or breaks responsibility in modern business. We use the case of BP and the Deepwater Horizon incident to illustrate our theoretical points.
Diego Vazquez-Brust and Laura J. Spence
Going beyond research on corporate social responsibility and sustainability issues in global supply chains, this chapter takes a practical look at how small business social responsibility and sustainability issues can be meaningfully measured, especially from the perspective of small- and medium-sized enterprises. Taking a particular focus on the environmental aspects of social responsibility and sustainability, the chapter provides guidance in terms of principles of environmental performance measurement and offers a general overview of two outstanding sustainable supply chain assessment tools. Our empirically based illustrative case suggests that metrics for waste management in small British companies are likely to provide better information about quality of waste management and its impact when they are: collected by stream of waste identifying total weight and waste management solution; and analysed using relative, context-based and impact-weighted indicators.