The New Political Role of Business in a Globalized World – A Review of a New Perspective on CSR and its Implications for the Firm, Governance, and Democracy

Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 899-931, 2011

Institute of Organization and Administrative Science (IOU) Working Paper Series No. 109

56 Pages Posted: 19 May 2010 Last revised: 11 May 2011

See all articles by Andreas Georg Scherer

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration

Guido Palazzo

University of Lausanne

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Scholars in management and economics widely share the assumption that business firms focus on profits only, while it is the task of the state system to provide public goods. In particular, it is the state’s mandate to regulate the economy in such a way that business activities contribute to the common good. In this view business firms are conceived of as economic actors, and governments and their state agencies are considered the only political actors. We suggest that, under the conditions of globalization, the strict division of labor between private business and nation state governance does not hold any more. Many business firms have started to assume social and political responsibilities that go beyond legal requirements and fill the regulatory vacuum in global governance. Our review of the literature shows that there are a growing number of publications from various disciplines that propose a politicized concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). We consider the implications of this new perspective for theorizing about the business firm, governance, and democracy.

Keywords: globalization, CSR, corporate social responsibility, organization theory, governance, democracy

Suggested Citation

Scherer, Andreas Georg and Palazzo, Guido, The New Political Role of Business in a Globalized World – A Review of a New Perspective on CSR and its Implications for the Firm, Governance, and Democracy (2011). Institute of Organization and Administrative Science (IOU) Working Paper Series No. 109. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1609539

Andreas Georg Scherer (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland
+41 44-63 45302 (Phone)
+41 44-63 45301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uzh.ch/professorships/as.html

Guido Palazzo

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

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