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 3: Corporate Responsibility/Corporate Citizenship: The Development of a Construct

Sandra Waddock


1 Sandra Waddock A context for evolving corporate responsibility The forces of globalization and the attendant growth of corporate power have created shifting centers of power and influence in the world, generally weakening the role of governments (Bendell 2004; Rodriguez et al. 2006). In some cases, this shift has created a context in which MNCs have begun to participate actively in some matters of the public good, including education, healthcare, poverty alleviation and standards setting. Simultaneously, the role and activism of NGOs and CSOs, fueled in part by the internet’s capabilities to connect people (Crossley 2002), has created a constantly shifting backdrop for businesses throughout the world. Because of the way they have been conceived and developed in industrialized societies (see, Bakan 2004), corporations’ values tend to be dominated by what Frederick (1995) labeled ‘economizing and power aggrandizing’ (while governments have coercive and power aggrandizing values), rather than the more civilizing, relationally oriented pressures that come from civil society (Waddock 2002 [2006]). It may seem that much has changed since the early days of the business in society field in the US when ‘lobbying the corporation’ (Vogel 1979) began to draw attention to potential and actual corporate abuses against society – and its stakeholders – and the natural environment. Or since the ethics scandals of the 1970s and 1980s in the defense-contracting industry that resulted in the creation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and spawned the implementation of codes of conduct in associated industries, and, ultimately, the Ethics Officers...

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