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The Ethical Responsibility of Companies Toward Animals: A Study of the Expressed Commitment of the Fortune Global 200

Journal of Corporate Citizenship 2016(63), pp 42-72

36 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2014 Last revised: 29 Nov 2016

Monique Janssens

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Muel Kaptein

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Date Written: October 1, 2014

Abstract

Reasonable arguments can be advanced tot show that companies have an ethical responsibility toward animals. However, hardly any empirical research had been conducted to establish whether companies acknowledge these responsibilities and how they articulate them. This study shows that 47% of the 200 largest companies in the world make statements of ethical responsibility toward animals. The findings show great divergence in the expressed commitment toward animal welfare among these companies. Companies that express responsibility show in their words quite a high level of concern, but they do so in documents of relatively low importance. Statements are generally made in consequentialist terms. The results of this study show that it is high time for the fields of business ethics and animal ethics to start working more closely together.

Keywords: animals, animal, csr, cr, responsibility, corporate, companies, websites

Suggested Citation

Janssens, Monique and Kaptein, Muel, The Ethical Responsibility of Companies Toward Animals: A Study of the Expressed Commitment of the Fortune Global 200 (October 1, 2014). Journal of Corporate Citizenship 2016(63), pp 42-72. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2513354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2513354

Monique Janssens (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Muel Kaptein

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 408 1923 (Phone)

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