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Conscience as control - managing employees through CSR

Costas, Jana and Kärreman, Dan LU (2013) In Organization 20(3). p.394-415
Abstract

Corporate social responsibility has become an important topic for both academics and practitioners. CSR typically stands for corporate responses to ethical, environmental and social issues. Whilst extant research has predominately focused on CSR in relation to external stakeholders and taking a macro-institutional and/or functionalist perspective, we provide a critical engagement with the interactions between CSR, employees and management control within organizations. Qualitative data gathered at two management consultancy firms demonstrate how CSR discourses and practices serve to construct an idealized image of a socially, ecologically and ethically responsible corporate self. In this way, CSR works as a form of aspirational control... (More)

Corporate social responsibility has become an important topic for both academics and practitioners. CSR typically stands for corporate responses to ethical, environmental and social issues. Whilst extant research has predominately focused on CSR in relation to external stakeholders and taking a macro-institutional and/or functionalist perspective, we provide a critical engagement with the interactions between CSR, employees and management control within organizations. Qualitative data gathered at two management consultancy firms demonstrate how CSR discourses and practices serve to construct an idealized image of a socially, ecologically and ethically responsible corporate self. In this way, CSR works as a form of aspirational control that ties employees' aspirational identities and ethical conscience to the organization. The article discusses the implications of CSR concerning cynical distancing, ethical sealing and the space for politics and critique in corporations.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
keywords
CSR, cynical distancing, ethical sealing, identity, management control
in
Organization
volume
20
issue
3
pages
22 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:84876278020
ISSN
1350-5084
DOI
10.1177/1350508413478584
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
db95d3ef-fcf9-41a1-b477-9311d7efb474
date added to LUP
2016-08-30 14:32:39
date last changed
2018-06-24 05:05:07
@article{db95d3ef-fcf9-41a1-b477-9311d7efb474,
  abstract     = {<p>Corporate social responsibility has become an important topic for both academics and practitioners. CSR typically stands for corporate responses to ethical, environmental and social issues. Whilst extant research has predominately focused on CSR in relation to external stakeholders and taking a macro-institutional and/or functionalist perspective, we provide a critical engagement with the interactions between CSR, employees and management control within organizations. Qualitative data gathered at two management consultancy firms demonstrate how CSR discourses and practices serve to construct an idealized image of a socially, ecologically and ethically responsible corporate self. In this way, CSR works as a form of aspirational control that ties employees' aspirational identities and ethical conscience to the organization. The article discusses the implications of CSR concerning cynical distancing, ethical sealing and the space for politics and critique in corporations.</p>},
  author       = {Costas, Jana and Kärreman, Dan},
  issn         = {1350-5084},
  keyword      = {CSR,cynical distancing,ethical sealing,identity,management control},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {394--415},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Organization},
  title        = {Conscience as control - managing employees through CSR},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350508413478584},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2013},
}