Edited by Andreas Georg Scherer and Guido Palazzo
Chapter 18: Structures, Identities and Politics: Bringing Corporate Citizenship into the Corporation
Peter Edward and Hugh Willmott Being a good corporate citizen starts with hiring lots of good citizens. What’s a good corporate citizen? It’s not just about awards or mission statements or press releases. It’s about people. People who care about what they do and how they do it. And at Toyota, we know these people pretty well, because we hire them every chance we get. You see it in every vehicle we build here [in the USA]. Our over 32 000 team members take pride in everything they do. Quality, teamwork and dependability, that’s what they’re all about. Our team members care about doing what’s right; at work as well as in their local communities. They really are good citizens. Which in turn makes Toyota a better corporate citizen. Isn’t it nice when things work out? (Toyota advertisement, The Week magazine, 15 September 2006, rear cover.) Introduction What does it mean to be a good corporate citizen? It is a question that permeates contemporary discussions of ‘business in society’ and it is a central theme of this Handbook. Is it, as the Toyota advert above suggests, about recruiting particular, ‘deserving’ employees who care ‘about what they do and how they do it’? If corporations like Toyota develop the ‘structures’ – the procedures for recruiting, selecting and training employees with the characteristics of ‘good citizens’ – have they begun to earn the badge of ‘corporate citizenship’? And is the employee who faithfully complies with corporate demands for ‘quality, teamwork and dependability’ a model...
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