Throwing a Curve at Socially Responsible Investing Research: A New Pitch at an Old Debate

Organization & Environment, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 381-389, 2003

9 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2004

See all articles by Michael L. Barnett

Michael L. Barnett

Rutgers Business School, Newark & New Brunswick

Robert M. Salomon

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Abstract

This paper primarily focuses on Entine's assertion that SRI research is hopelessly flawed. Although SRI researchers have primarily chosen to pluck the low-hanging fruit in this line of inquiry, it is possible to obtain unbiased higher level insight. SRI research best functions as a means of helping firms and investors identify what the market wants. As Entine points out, the definition of what is and is not moral behavior for a firm is a quagmire, and the ability to measure whether socially responsible investors have forced firms to become moral is suspect. The paper also agrees with Waddock that socially responsible investors have caused firms to take certain actions that, without such pressure, they would have taken much later or not at all. However, whether these actions have made firms moral is not a debate that SRI researchers should enter. Certainly, events of late would suggest that although firms, by and large, are now more responsive to a variety of social issues, they are not moral entities, and should not be viewed as such.

Keywords: Corporate social responsible, socially responsible investing

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Michael L. and Salomon, Robert M., Throwing a Curve at Socially Responsible Investing Research: A New Pitch at an Old Debate. Organization & Environment, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 381-389, 2003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=624070

Michael L. Barnett (Contact Author)

Rutgers Business School, Newark & New Brunswick ( email )

NJ
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.rutgers.edu

Robert M. Salomon

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

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