Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 45, Issue 1–2, pp 109–120

Behind the Mask: Revealing the True Face of Corporate Citizenship

  • Dirk Matten
  • Andrew Crane
  • Wendy Chapple
Article

Abstract

This paper traces the development of corporate citizenship as a way of framing business and society relations, and critically examines the content of contemporary understandings of the term. These conventional views of corporate citizenship are argued to contribute little or nothing to existing notions of corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy. The paper then proposes a new direction, which particularly exposes the element of "citizenship". Being a political concept, citizenship can only be reasonably understood from that theoretical angle. This suggests that citizenship consists of a bundle of rights conventionally granted and protected by governments of states. However, the more that governmental power and sovereignty have come under threat, the more that relevant political functions have gradually shifted towards the corporate sphere – and it is at this point where "corporate" involvement into "citizenship" becomes an issue. Consequently, "corporate citizens" are substantially more than fellow members of the same community who cosily rub shoulders with other fellow citizens while bravely respecting those other citizens' rights and living up to their own responsibility as corporations – as the conventional rhetoric wants us to believe. Behind this relatively innocuous mask then, the true face of corporate citizenship suggests that the corporate role in contemporary citizenship is far more profound, and ultimately in need of urgent reappraisal.

business and government corporate citizenship corporate social responsibility globalization human rights stakeholder theory 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andriof, J. and M. McIntosh: 2001, 'Introduction', in J. Andriof and M. McIntosh (eds.), Perspectives on Corporate Citizenship (Greenleaf, Sheffield), pp. 13–24.Google Scholar
  2. Beck, U., A. Giddens and S. Lash: 1994, Reflexive Modernization (Stanford University Press, Stanford).Google Scholar
  3. Beck, U.: 1997, The Reinvention of Politics (Polity Press, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  4. Beck, U.: 2000, 'Risk Society Revisited: Theory, Politics and Research Programmes', in U. Beck, B. Adam and J. Van Loon (eds.), The Risk Society and Beyond–Critical Issues for Social Theory (Sage, London), pp. 211–229.Google Scholar
  5. Birch, D.: 2001, 'Corporate Citizenship–Rethinking Business Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility', in J. Andriof and M. McIntosh (eds.), Perspectives on Corporate Citizenship (Greenleaf, Sheffield), pp. 53–65.Google Scholar
  6. Bolino, M., W. Turnley and J. Bloodgood: 2002, 'Citizen Behaviour and the Creation of Social Capital in Organisations', Academy of Management Review 27(4), 505–522.Google Scholar
  7. Burke, L. and J. M. Logsdon: 1996, 'How Corporate Social Responsibility Pays Off', Long Range Planning 29(4), 495–502.Google Scholar
  8. Carroll, A. B.: 1979, 'A Three Dimensional Model of Corporate Social Performance', Academy of Management Review 4, 497–505.Google Scholar
  9. Carroll, A. B.: 1991, 'The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders', Business Horizons 34(4), 39–48.Google Scholar
  10. Carroll, A. B.: 1998, 'The Four Faces of Corporate Citizenship', Business and Society Review 100(1), 1–7.Google Scholar
  11. Carroll, A. B.: 1999, 'Corporate Social Responsibility–Evolution of a Definitional Construct', Business & Society 38(3), 268–295.Google Scholar
  12. Carroll, A. B. and A. K. Buchholtz: 2000, Business & Society, 4th edition (Thomson Learning, Cincinnati).Google Scholar
  13. Davenport, K.: 2000, 'Corporate Citizenship: A Stakeholder Approach for Defining Corporate Social Performance and Identifying Measures for Assessing It', Business & Society 39(2), 210–219.Google Scholar
  14. Donaldson, T. and L. E. Preston: 1995, 'The Stakeholder Theory of the Corporation: Concepts, Evidence, and Implications', Academy of Management Review 20(1), 65–91.Google Scholar
  15. Eriksen, E. and J. Weigx#00E5;rd: 2000, 'The End of Citizenship?', in C. McKinnon and I. Hampsher–Monk (eds.), The Demands of Citizenship (Continuum, London), pp. 13–24.Google Scholar
  16. Evan, W. M. and R. E. Freeman: 1993, 'A Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation: Kantian Capitalism', in T. L. Beauchamp and N. E. Bowie (eds.), Ethical Theory and Business, 3rd edition (Prentice–Hall, Englewood Cliffs/NJ).Google Scholar
  17. Falk, R.: 2000, 'The Decline of Citizenship in an Era of Globalization', Citizenship Studies 4(1), 5–17.Google Scholar
  18. Faulks, K.: 2000, Citizenship (Routledge, London).Google Scholar
  19. Fombrun, C. J., N. A. Gardberg and M. L. Barnett: 2000, 'Opportunity Platforms and Safety Nets: Corporate Citizenship and Reputational Risk', Business and Society Review 105(1), 85–106.Google Scholar
  20. Freeman, R. E.: 1984, Strategic Management. A Stakeholder Approach (Pitman, Boston).Google Scholar
  21. Gibson, K.: 2000, 'The Moral Basis of Stakeholder Theory', Journal of Business Ethics 26, 245–257.Google Scholar
  22. Habermas, J.: 1996, Between Facts and Norms (MIT Press, Cambridge/MA).Google Scholar
  23. Habisch, A., H. P. Meister and R. Schmidpeter: 2001, Corporate Citizenship as Investing in Social Capital (Logos, Berlin).Google Scholar
  24. Habisch, A.: 2003, Corporate Citizenship. Gesellschaftliches Engagement von Unternehmen in Deutschland (Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg).Google Scholar
  25. Hertz, N.: 2001, 'Better to Shop than to Vote?', Business Ethics: A European Review 10(3), 190–193.Google Scholar
  26. Hettne, B.: 2000, 'The Fate of Citizenship in Post–Westphalia', Citizenship Studies 4(1), 35–46.Google Scholar
  27. Hindess, B.: 1993, 'Citizenship in the Modern West', in Brian S. Turner (ed.), Citizenship and Social Theory (Sage, London), pp. 19–35.Google Scholar
  28. Logan, D., D. Roy and L. Regelbrugge: 1997, Global Corporate Citizenship–Rationale and Strategies (Hitachi Foundation, Washington DC).Google Scholar
  29. Logsdon, J. M. and D. J. Wood: 2002, 'Business Citizenship: From Domestic to Global Level of Analysis', Business Ethics Quarterly 12(2), 155–188.Google Scholar
  30. Maignan, I., O. C. Ferrell and G. T. M. Hult: 1999, 'Corporate Citizenship: Cultural Antecedents and Business Benefits', Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 27(4), 455–469.Google Scholar
  31. Maignan, I. and O. C. Ferrell: 2000, 'Measuring Corporate Citizenship in Two Countries: The Case of the United States and France', Journal of Business Ethics 23, 283–297.Google Scholar
  32. Maignan, I. and O. C. Ferrell: 2001, 'Antecedents and Benefits of Corporate Citizenship: An Investigation of French Businesses', Journal of Business Research 51, 37–51.Google Scholar
  33. Marsden, C.: 2000, 'The New Corporate Citizenship of Big Business: Part of the Solution to Sustainability', Business and Society Review 105(1), 9–25.Google Scholar
  34. Marshall, T. H.: 1965, Class, Citizenship and Social Development (Anchor Books, New York).Google Scholar
  35. McWilliams, A. and D. Siegel: 2000 'Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance: Correlation or Mispecification', Strategic Management Journal 21, 603–609.Google Scholar
  36. McIntosh, M., D. Leipziger, K. Jones and G.Coleman: 1998, Corporate Citizenship: Successful Strategies for Responsible Companies (Financial Times/Pitman, London).Google Scholar
  37. Pinkston, T. S. and A. B. Carroll: 1994, 'Corporate Citizenship Perspectives and Foreign Direct Investment in the US', Journal of Business Ethics 13, 157–169.Google Scholar
  38. Schneidewind, U.: 1998, Die Unternehmung als strukturpolitischer Akteur (Metropolis, Marburg).Google Scholar
  39. Scholte, J. A.: 2000, Globalization. A Critical Introduction (Palgrave, Basingstoke).Google Scholar
  40. Seitz, B.: 2002, Corporate Citizenship. Rechte und Pflichten der Unternehmung im Zeitalter der Globalität (Deutscher Universitäts–Verlag, Wiesbaden).Google Scholar
  41. Smith, C.: 1994, 'The New Corporate Philanthropy', Harvard Business Review 72(3), 105–116.Google Scholar
  42. Stroup, M. A. and R. L. Neubert: 1987, ' Evolution of Social Responsibility', Business Horizons (March–April), 22–24.Google Scholar
  43. Sundar, P.: 2000, Beyond Business–from Merchant Charity to Corporate Citizenship. Indian Business Philanthropy through the Ages (Tata McGraw–Hill, New Delhi).Google Scholar
  44. Turner, B. S.: 2000, 'Review Essay: Citizenship and Political Globalization', Citizenship Studies 4(1), 81–86.Google Scholar
  45. Ulrich, P.: 2000, Repulikanischer Liberalismus und Corporate Citizenship (Nr. 88 Berichte des Insitituts für Wirtschaftsethik der Universität St. Gallen, St. Gallen).Google Scholar
  46. Van Luijk, H. J. L.: 2001, 'Business Ethics in Europe: A Tale of Two Efforts', in Reinhart Lang (ed.), Wirtschaftsethik in Mittel–und Osteuropa (Rainer Hampp, Munich), pp. 9–18.Google Scholar
  47. Vidal, J.: 1997, McLibel (Macmillan, London).Google Scholar
  48. Waddell, S.: 2000, 'New Institutions for the Practice of Corporate Citizenship: Historical, Intersectoral, and Developmental Perspectives', Business and Society Review 105(1), 107–126.Google Scholar
  49. Waddock, S.: 2001, 'The Multiple Bottom Lines of Corporate Citizenship: Social Investing, Reputation, and Responsibility Audits', Business and Society Review 105(3), 323–345.Google Scholar
  50. Warhurst, A.: 2001, 'Corporate Citizenship as Corporate Social Investment', Journal of Corporate Citizenship 1, 57–73.Google Scholar
  51. Wartick, S. L. and P. L. Cochran: 1985, 'The Evolution of the Corporate Social Performance Model', Academy of Management Review 10, 758–769.Google Scholar
  52. Wheeler, D., H. Fabig and R. Boele: 2002, 'Paradoxes and Dilemmas for Stakeholder Responsive Firms in the Extractive Sector: Lessons from the Case of Shell and the Ogoni', Journal of Business Ethics 38, 297–318.Google Scholar
  53. Wijnberg, N. M.: 2000, 'Normative Stakeholder Theory and Aristotle: The Link between Ethics and Politics', Journal of Business Ethics 25, 329–342.Google Scholar
  54. Windsor, D.: 2001, 'Corporate Citizenship: Evolution and Interpretation', in J. Andriof and M.McIntosh (eds.), Perspectives on Corporate Citizenship (Greenleaf, Sheffield), pp. 39–52.Google Scholar
  55. Wood, D. J.: 1991, 'Corporate Performance Revisited', Academy of Management Review 16(4), 691–718.Google Scholar
  56. Wood, D. J. and J. M. Logsdon: 2001, 'Theorising Business Citizenship', in J. Andriof and M.McIntosh (eds.), Perspectives on Corporate Citizenship (Greenleaf, Sheffield), pp. 83–103. World Economic Forum: 2002, Global Corporate Citizenship: The Leadership Challenge for CEOs and Boards (World Economic Forum and The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, Geneva).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Matten
    • 1
  • Andrew Crane
    • 1
  • Wendy Chapple
    • 1
  1. 1.International Centre for Corporate Social ResponsibilityNottingham University Business SchoolNottinghamU.K.

Personalised recommendations