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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 92, Supplement 1, pp 41–56 | Cite as

Different Markets for Different Folks: Exploring the Challenges of Mainstreaming Responsible Investment Practices

  • Kenneth Amaeshi
Article

Abstract

The link between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and financial performance has continued to generate mixed and inconclusive results. Most studies in this area seem to assume that corporate social and financial performance share the same underpinning logic. Drawing from a qualitative analysis of practitioners’ accounts of the challenges of mainstreaming the market for responsible investments, as part of the broader CSR agenda, this article re-examines this taken-for-granted assumption in the extant literature, and reaches the conclusion that CSR, as a complex private governance of externalities, does not easily lend itself to measurability and profitability. In other words, not everything about CSR is measurable and profitable as much as the financial markets would expect. Comparing what is rendered measurable and profitable, on one hand, and what is yet to fully lend itself to measurability and profitability, on the other, is identified as one of the fundamental flaws of this literature. As such, CSR and financial performance will continue to run on competing logics until their different markets are distinctively articulated and/or aligned.

Keywords

markets for responsible investments corporate financial performance Social Studies of Finance competing market logics 

Abbreviations

CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility

CSP

Corporate social performance

ESG

Environmental, Social and Governance

KPI

Key Performance Indicator

SRI

Socially Responsible Investment

SSF

Social Studies of Finance

STS

Socio-technical studies

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Edinburgh Business SchoolEdinburghU.K.

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