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Corporate constructed and dissent enabling public spheres: differentiating dissensual from consensual corporate social responsibility

Whelan, Glen

Authors

Glen Whelan



Abstract

I here distinguish dissensual from consensual corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the grounds that the former is more concerned to organize (or portray) corporate-civil society disagreement than it is corporate-civil society agreement. In doing so, I first conceive of consensual CSR, and identify a positive and negative view thereof. Second, I conceive of dissensual CSR, and suggest that it can be actualized through the construction of dissent enabling, rather than consent-oriented, public spheres. Following this, I describe four actor-centred institutional theories-i.e. a sociological, ethical, transformative and economic perspective, respectively-and suggest that an economic perspective is generally well suited to explaining CSR activities at the organizational level. Accordingly, I then use the economic perspective to analyse a dissent enabling public sphere that Shell has constructed, and within which Greenpeace participated. In particular, I explain Shell's employment of dissensual CSR in terms of their core business interests; and identify some potential implications thereof for Shell, Greenpeace, and society more generally. In concluding, I highlight a number of ways in which the present paper can inform future research on business and society interactions.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 1, 2013
Journal Journal of Business Ethics
Print ISSN 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN 0167-4544
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 115
Issue 40
APA6 Citation Whelan, G. (2013). Corporate constructed and dissent enabling public spheres: differentiating dissensual from consensual corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(40), doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1823-y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1823-y
Publisher URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10551-013-1823-y
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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