MAN00034M – Ethics and Sustainability Reporting
GUIDANCE ON PART A ASSESSMENT
Question Part A
There is a developing view, in academic circles, among leading practitioners and sections of the wider public, that many corporate social responsibility approaches do not achieve a position in business that is sufficiently dominant to be transformative of corporate behaviour and performance. This being concerned with the objective of meeting the legitimate sustainability expectations of stakeholders.
In this context, critically discuss whether non-financial reporting initiatives such as triple bottom line-based frameworks (e.g. TBL, GRI), Integrated Reporting (IR) or alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contribute to businesses legitimately connecting with the societies in which are embedded.
End of Assessment question
One important point is to distinguish “legitimately connecting” from issues such as marketing (i.e. firms engaging with stakeholders such as consumers purely for profit). Milne & Gray provide a good critique of a lack of a connection or embeddedness.
Indicative References (not exhaustive):
Banerjee, S. B. (2008), Necrocapitalism, Organisation Studies, 29(12): 1541–1563.
Browne, J. and Nuttall, R. (2013), Beyond corporate social responsibility: Integrated external engagement. http://www.dse.univr.it/documenti/OccorrenzaIns/matdid/matdid320082.pdf, [Accessed 1 November 2019].
Browne, J., Nuttall, R. and Stadlen, T. (2015), Connect: How companies succeed by engaging radically with society, WH Allen.
Grayson, D., Coulter, C., & Lee, M. (2018). All In: The Future of Business Leadership (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi-org.libproxy.york.ac.uk/10.4324/9781351001205
Hahn, R. (2013), ISO 26000 and the Standardisation of Strategic Management Processes for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Journal of Business Strategy and the Environment 22,442-455.
Haski-Leventhal, D. (2018) Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility; Tools and Theories for Responsible management. Sage.
Hillier, J. (2013), The Benefit Corporation and Social Responsibility, Journal of Business Ethics 118:287-301
Mason, C. And Simmons, J. (2014), Embedding Corporate Social Responsibility in Corporate Governance: A Stakeholder Systems Approach, Journal of Business Ethics 119:77-86.
Milne, M.J. and Gray, R. (2013), W(h)ither the Ecology? Triple Bottom Line, the Global Reporting Initiative, and Corporate Sustainability Reporting, Journal of Business Ethics 118:13-39.
Polman, P. (2014), Business, society and the future of capitalism, McKinsey and Company.
Raworth, K. (2017) A doughnut for the Anthropocene: humanities compass in the 21st century.
Reinecke, J., Donaghey, J., Bocken, N. and Lauriano, L. (2019), “Business Model and Labour Standards: Making the Connection” Ethical Trading Initiative, London.
Scherer, A. G. and Palazzo, G. (2010), The New political Role of Business in a Globalised World: a review of a new perspective on CSR and its implications for the firm, governance and democracy, Journal of Management Studies.
Searcy, C. Defining True Sustainability. MIT Sloan Management Review. [Online]. Available at:https://sloanreview-mit-edu.libproxy.york.ac.uk/article/defining-true-sustainability/ [Accessed 17 March 2021].
Whiteman, G. Walker, B. and Perego, P. (2013), Planetary Boundaries: Ecological Foundations for Corporate Sustainability, Journal of Management Studies, 50:2.
Williams, A., Kennedy, S., Philipp, F., Whiteman, G., 2017. Systems thinking: A review of sustainability management research. Journal of Cleaner Production.