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Exploring the structuration of corporate responsibility: current ideas from an action research study.

Mills, Julia N. and Hooper, Paul and Stubbs, Mark A. (2005) Exploring the structuration of corporate responsibility: current ideas from an action research study. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

There is wide agreement that business should play a significant role in moving towards sustainable development. By operating in a responsible way, business is following the broad principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) or corporate responsibility (CR). The business case, or 'why', of CR has been discussed in great detail within both academic and industry literature. However, there has been much less written about 'how' CR can be implemented into an organisation and thus, put into practice. This paper outlines the findings of research in progress. The study is based on action research within a large UK-based Plc operating in the aviation sector. A range of barriers and drivers are identified and these allow the suggestion of a number of critical success factors (CSFs) that may exist in the implementation of a CR programme across an organisation. The organisational change required for a company to genuinely embed CR in their mindset and actions means that barriers and drivers include practical, cultural and political factors. Drawing on structuration theory these factors have been organised into a framework that consists of three areas, 'emphasised agenda items', 'patterns of resource allocation' and 'dominant norms'. By placing current findings into this framework and considering the extent to which agenda items and resource allocation do, or can, challenge dominant norms and sanctions, a framework for illustrating processes of change as well as a framework for facilitating change, are simultaneously created.

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