Empirical Part

Empirical Part

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7619-8.ch004

Abstract

The empirical investigation is targeted at describing corporate and financial social responsibilities within market systems with a special attention to global governance provision under the auspice of international organizations. Expert interviews on CSR and SRI aim at understanding social welfare notions of public and private actors. The innovative combination of corporate and government in PPP social service provision will be analyzed with a focus on the network start-up phase. The impact of political divestiture as a means of financial social responsibility, but also measurement impediments will be subject to scrutiny. The exploration of social and psychological SRI motives will complement classic finance theories by behavioral economics insights.
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Introduction

As of today social responsibility has emerged into an en vogue topic for corporate executives, governmental officials, international public servants and stakeholder representatives. Due to globalization, worldwide business mergers, but also as for international deficiencies beyond the scope of nation states; the call for CSR and SRI has reached unprecedented momentum (Ahmad, 2008; Beck, 1998; Levitt, 1983; Livesey, 2002, Scholte, 2000). In the wake of the 2008/09 World Financial Recession, corporate social misconduct and financial fraud have steered consumers and investors to increasingly pay attention to democracy and social responsibility within market systems. Current stakeholder pressure addresses social responsibility of market actors and information disclosure of corporate and financial conduct. Legislative reforms enhance the accountability of financial market operations. With the era of liberalization being halted by the 2008/09 World Financial Recession, the reinterpretation of the public-private sector roles in providing social services has leveraged social responsibility into a pressing topic of debate. The renaissance of attention to responsibility as a prerequisite for the functioning of economic systems portrays CSR and SRI as windows of opportunity to re-establish trust in fallible market systems (Little, 2008; Livesey, 2002; Matten & Crane, 2005; Trevino & Nelson, 2004). As for all these trends, the research explores up-to-date issues of concern.

The empirical investigation targets at describing corporate and financial social responsibilities within market systems. The role of responsibility within market systems will be studied in CSR and SRI as well as global governance provision in PPPs and political divestiture.

As a newly emerging multi-stakeholder phenomenon, CSR is challenged by a plethora of concurrent social responsibility notions that imply communication barriers among various constituents in their pursuit of multiple goals (Mohr et al., 2001; Pandey & Wright, 2006).

Featuring a counter-parting role in providing societal welfare, corporate executives and governmental officials are likely to hold onto differing standpoints on social responsibility. Conflicting interests of public and private actors in the administration of social responsibility imply economic and societal losses.

As a first step towards a unified CSR approach, civil servants’ attributions of the role of corporations in social welfare provision will become subject to scrutiny. In the corporate domain, public officials are key constituents to promote CSR. Public servants play a pivotal role in crafting respective social policies, raising awareness among corporate executives and incentivizing corporate decision makers for societal responsibility. However, the current CSR body of knowledge and research are scarce on governmental officials’ opinion on social responsibility.

The empirical research will survey civil servants’ understanding of social responsibility to contrast corporate and governmental perspectives on social responsibility. Investigating the perceived motives for exhibiting social conscientiousness of corporate actors will delineate circumstances under which CSR is likely to occur and by which corporate social conduct can be triggered. Featuring a symbiotic yet counter-parting role in providing societal welfare, the relation of governments and corporations in contributing to societal obligations is attributed. Governmental officials’ perception of the chances and risks of corporations administering social responsibility will outline the advantages and disadvantages of the corporate sector taking over governmental social responsibilities. Analyzing corporations’ role as ‘governmental step-ins’ in social service provision will help diminishing downfalls of CSR and conflicts embedded in the multiple parties evolved.

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