Transparency in a New Global Order
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Transparency in a New Global Order Unveiling Organizational Visions

Unveiling Organizational Visions

Edited by Christina Garsten and Monica Lindh de Montoya

This book argues that transparency is a concept that has gained increasing currency and favour as an organizing principle and administrative goal in recent years. Calls for transparency have been directed towards states, markets, corporations and national political processes as well as towards large institutions such as the European Union.
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Chapter 8: ‘…What gets Measured gets Managed!’ Sorting out ‘the Social’ in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)

Anna Hasselström

Extract

8. ‘. . . What gets measured gets managed!’1 Sorting out ‘the social’ in socially responsible investing (SRI) Anna Hasselström INTRODUCTION: WORKING FOR A GOOD CAUSE IN THE NAME OF TRANSPARENCY ‘Ethical funds that invest in socially responsible corporations are a good way to make your savings grow – at the same time as they are doing as much good as they can.’ The quote comes from the web page of Banco Fonder (my translation, www.banco.se, accessed 29 April 2005), a leading retailer of ethical investments in Sweden. Ideas and practices relating to ethical investing would not exist unless there were un-ethical funds for sale as well. That is, unless the companies that sell financial investments also sold investments not specifically defined and constructed as ‘ethical’. ‘Morally bad’ investments are a prerequisite for ‘morally good’ investments. What is an ‘ethical’ investment and what is ‘the socially responsible’ way to act for individual savers as well as for corporations? This chapter investigates how different organizational and individual actors work towards defining and developing answers to these questions. It investigates connections between socially responsible investing (SRI) and ideas and practices of transparency in relation to rating and ranking technologies. More specifically the chapter looks at the following areas, all involved in SRI: (1) Banco Fonder – a Swedish corporation that monitors the social responsibility (SR) of other corporations, whose shares they then put together in investment portfolios and sell as ‘ethical funds’ to the general public, (2) academic articles from...

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