Free Essay

Critique of Quantitative Research Article - Beyond Dichotomy: the Curvilinear Relationship Between Social Responsibility and Financial Performance

In: Business and Management

Submitted By atoik98
Words 1481
Pages 6
Week 5 Critique of Quantitative Research Article

Beyond Dichotomy: The Curvilinear Relationship Between Social Responsibility
And Financial Performance

For
MGT 361: Managerial Research Design & Analysis

In partial fulfillment of the requirements
For
The Bachelor of Business Administration Degree

Submitted By

AL King

November 20, 2010

This is a critique of the research article, Beyond Dichotomy: The Curvilinear Relationship between Social Responsibility and Financial Performance, written by Michael L. Barnett and Robert M. Salomon. Michael Barnett is a professor at the College of Business Administration, University of South Florida and Robert Salomon is a professor at the Stern School Business, New York University. There has been much debate on whether or not there is a link between financial and social performance when it comes to investing. Most research is done by comparing socially responsible investing (SRI) funds to those of funds that do not screen their holdings based on social and or environmental criteria. Barnett and Salomon’s research also tackles this question however, instead of doing the same types of comparison, they chose to compare and measure mutual funds that all practice socially responsible investing (SRI), in order to discern which funds perform better and what makes them different from the other SRI funds. Barnett and Salomon developed four (4) hypotheses to test during their research:
1. The relationship between the intensity of social screening and financial performance for SRI funds is curvilinear (U-shaped).
2. SRI funds that select firms for their portfolios based on labor relations screening criteria will earn higher financial returns than those that do not.
3. SRI funds that select firms for their portfolios based on community relations screening criteria will earn higher financial returns than those that do not.
4. SRI funds that select firms for their portfolios based on environmental screening criteria will earn higher financial returns that those do not. The data that Barnett and Salomon used to conduct their research came from several sources. Their initial sample consisted of SRI mutual funds tracked by the Social Investment Forum, which is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the growth of socially responsible investing. From this source Barnett and Salomon were able to identify their initial sample of 67 socially responsible funds. The article does not specify an exact amount of how many SRI funds were in existence during the research phase (population). However, as of 2010 there were 250 socially screened mutual fund products in the U.S. By contrast, there were just 55 SRI funds in 1995. (Social Investment Forum). In this research the following three different variables were used:
Dependent Variable Because the authors are testing for the effects of social screening on financial performance the dependent variable was the risk-adjusted financial performance of a given SRI fund in a month. Risk-adjusted performance (RAP) is defined as the average monthly return, measured as the percentage change in a fund’s market value from the beginning to the end of a month. (Barnett and Salomon, 2006)
Independent Variable In previous research, SRI funds were categorized simply as being a fund that screened for social responsibility versus funds that did not. Their performance was then compared to non-SRI funds. Yet, all SRI funds are not the same; some have stricter screening standards than others. Therefore the independent variables in this research are the different screening intensity used by the funds. The Social Investment Forum lists 12 screens that SRI funds may use to filter firms from their investment portfolios, based on their affiliation with the following 12 industries or issues: alcohol, tobacco, gambling, defense/weapons, animal testing, product/service quality, environment, human rights, labor relations, employment equality, community investment and community relations. Screening intensity varies from 1 to 12; if a fund’s screening intensity is a 12 then the fund used all of the 12 previously listed screens, where a screening intensity of 1 means only one screen was used by the fund.
Control Variable Because the dependent variable measures the financial performance of a fund the authors had to find a way to control random factors that could affect financial performance. These random factors were the fund’s age, size, global economic cycles and risks. In order to control these factors the authors’ created the following control variables:
Fund Age – a count of the number of months since the fund’s inception.
Total Assets – a measure of overall fund assets (measured in millions of U.S. dollars)
Global Fund – takes the value of 1 for funds with international holdings, zero if otherwise.
Percent Stock – measures the effects of pursuing different general investment strategies.
Percent Bonds – measures the effects of pursuing different general investment strategies.
Yearly Dummy Variables - control for any residual macro-economic factors that affect all funds similarly. (Barnett and Salomon, 2006) Along with the data collected from the Social Investment Forum, Barnett and Salomon also used CRSP (The Center for Research in Security Pricing) data to track each fund’s financial performance. The authors compiled monthly financial performance data from 1972 to 2000. This data was also supplemented with mutual fund information from Weisenberger and ICI (Investment Company Institute) which are mutual fund tracking services. The reason for supplementation is because most SRI funds did not exist before 1996, there has been over a 218% growth in the number of funds since then. Fortunately, none of the funds in the initial sample exited during the event window. (Barnett and Salomon, 2006) In selecting an appropriate statistical method to test their hypotheses, the authors began with the least-squares method. This type of method is used in regression analysis (one-tailed tests were used to test the hypotheses relationship). Regression analysis helps us understand how the typical value of the dependent variable (RAP of SRI funds) changes when any one of the independent variables (screening intensity) is varied, while the other control variables are held fixed. Descriptive statistics were also used such as tables that showed product moment correlations. Scatter plots were also used and showed fund performance and screening intensity over time, as well as the variance across different screening strategies and their effects on the RAP of SRI funds. The results from the statistical methods show that there is a curvilinear relationship between screening intensity and fund performance. A curvilinear relationship is a relationship between two or more variables which is shown graphically by anything other than a straight line.
Since there is a curvilinear relationship, hypothesis 1 can be accepted. Risk-adjusted performance did decline at first as screening intensity increased (reaching a minimum at 7 screens), but then increased continuously until it reached the maximum social screening intensity (12 screens). (Barnett and Salomon, 2006). Hypothesis 2 however had to be rejected due to the results of the statistical testing. Funds that excluded firms that violated norms of equal employment actually suffered a financial loss of about 0.29 percent per month. Hypothesis 3 was partially supported due to the fact that no relationship could be found between screening firms that invested in their local communities and financial performance, yet, mutual funds that developed positive relationships with their local communities did perform better. Finally, hypothesis 4 also had to be rejected. Screening on the basis of environmental criteria was negatively related with risk-adjusted financial performance. SRI funds that eliminated environmentally poor firms performed about .038% worse per month than the baseline SRI fund. Of course there were many other factors that come into play when dealing with investments, especially SRI funds that can make results from the statistical methods somewhat less than reliable, and the authors are quite aware of this. Which is why I was satisfied with their attempts to implement control variables as well as launching a sensitivity analysis. Sensitivity analysis is a technique used to determine how different values of an independent variable will impact a particular dependent variable under a given set of assumptions. In conclusion Barnett and Salomon discuss their findings and explain how they support both portfolio and stakeholder theories to varying degrees. Funds that use strict screening may eliminate underperforming firms from their portfolio; however, on the other hand SRI funds that use few social screens improve financial performance through benefits received from increased diversification. It appears that even though social screening forces a narrowing of investment choices, if implemented effectively social screening can lead to an increase in financial returns. The authors also stress that with any study of financial performance, their analysis is retrospective and must be interpreted with caution; Barnett and Salomon also encourage others to improve upon their findings with more precise and specific measures.

REFERENCES
Barnett, M. L., & Salomon, R. M. (2006, September 13). Beyond Dichotomy: The Curvilinear Relationship between Social Responsibility and Financial Performance [Electronic version]. Strategic Management Journal, 1101-1122.
Socially Responsible Investing Facts. (n.d.). In Social Investment Forum. Retrieved November 15, 2010, from http://www.socialinvest.org/resources/sriguide/srifacts.cfm…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Critique of Quantitative Research

...Two persistent critiques of quantitative experimentalism are (a) the lack of isomorphism between its measures and "reality" and (b) its failure thus far to produce "truths" useful to educational practice. These critiques have long been commented on. As early as 1918, B. R. Buckingham wrote: We may labor ingeniously at our analyses of results and may bring from afar the most potent methods which statistical theory has evolved, but we shall accomplish little if our instruments are as grossly defective as some of those which are now being employed appear to be. (p. 132) Buckingham's concern continues to be echoed by contemporary researchers: If multiple independent anecdotes are to be trusted, the computers too often have been processing in stolid seriousness worthless data produced by children who were staging mass boycotts, or deliberately sabotaging the process or making jokes out of their answers. Anecdotes of similar scandals are available for questionnaires, attitude scales and interviews. (Campbell, 1978) Too often, then, the link between results and "reality" is assumed rather than systematically investigated. Consequently, the empirical bases of educational practice are too frequently half-truths and pure fictions. BASIC PROBLEMS We quite agree with the first critique, that quantitative concepts are not isomorphic with quantitative measures. As Bateson (1980, p. 133) noted, "I can, in a sense, see the dog discriminate, but I cannot possibly see his 'discrimination...

Words: 4327 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

Critique of a Quantitative Research Study

...Quantitative Critical Appraisal To commence this quantitative analysis the start point was to formulate a robust quantitative question in order to provide direction for the literature search. Newell & Burnard (2006) suggest that a strong question informs the research design, research method, the population, the intervention and the outcomes of interest. There are three factors for focusing questions 1. Facilitating the search for relevant evidence, 2. deciding whether the evidence is applicable to the group in question, and 3. sorting best evidence from weaker, less valid evidence (LoBiondo-Wood et al, 2002). The question was framed around the elements of PICO; standing for “patients,” “intervention,” “comparison,” and “outcome” (Boston University Medline Plus, 2000a; Craig & Smyth, 2002). The PICO approach was developed around Evidence-Based Medicine (Richardson & Wilson, 1997), and was therefore designed for clinical studies, it can though be adapted to any research context. | | |People, patients or population - who are you asking the question about? | |Intervention - what intervention are you interested in? | |Control or comparison - what are you comparing the intervention to? ...

Words: 4518 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance

...SEPTEMBER 2012 VOL 4, NO 5 INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH IN BUSINESS The Impact of Adopting Corporate Social Responsibility on Corporate Financial Performance: Evidence from Jordanian Banks Sulaiman R. Weshah Accounting Department, Amman College for finance and administration studies, Al Balqa applied university, Amman, Jordan Dr. Ahmad A. Dahiyat (Corresponding author) Accounting Department, Amman College for finance and administration studies, Al Balqa applied university, Amman, Jordan PO BOX 45, Postal code 11831 Mohammed R. Abu Awwad Islamic International Arab Bank, Amman, Jordan Emad S. Hajjat Accounting Department, Irbid College, Al Balqa applied university, Irbid, Jordan Abstract This study aims to present a suggested framework for Corporate Social Responsibility (hereafter CSR) and to examine if there is a relationship between (CSR), bank size, the level of risk in the bank and Advertising Intensity (hereafter ADINT) on one hand and the Corporate Financial performance (hereafter CFP) on the other hand in the Jordanian banking companies.As such, this study relied on the financial reports from banking companies listed in Jordanian Stock Exchange for the year 2011 and conducted literatures and empirical studies to obtain the results. statistical techniques are used to analyze data. Throughout this study, it is concluded that there is a significant positive relationship between (CSR), bank size, the level of risk in the bank and ( ADINT) on......

Words: 5412 - Pages: 22

Premium Essay

Quantitative Research Critique: Relationship of Glucose Value to Sliding Scale Insulin

...Relationship of Glucose Values to Sliding Scale Insulin (Correctional Insulin) Dose Delivery and Meal Time in Acute Care Patients with Diabetes Mellitus Grand Canyon Introduction to Nursing Research NRS- 433V August 04, 2013 Relationship of Glucose Values to Sliding Scale Insulin (Correctional Insulin) Dose Delivery and Meal Time in Acute Care Patients with Diabetes Mellitus Introduction Managing blood glucose (BG) level in diabetic patients proves to be a challenging goal to insulin. The stand-alone method in many adult acute setting is the use of sliding scale insulin (SSI) to treat hyperglycemia. The goal within these settings is to maintain the BG level below 180 mg/dl (Trotter, Conaway & Burns, 2008). The researcher in the mentioned article, hypothesized that pre-prandial fingerstick glucose level obtained more than 30 minutes before meal, will show a variation in blood glucose value and the SSI dose required in treating the values (Trotter, Conaway & Burns, 2013). The research will describe variables seen in the BG levels as it relates to time obtained, the time SSI dose was administered and what time patient was given a meal. Protection of Human Participants Every research that involves human participants must following research guidelines to establish trust and to prevent the unethical treatment of participant Cahana & Hurst, 2008). An informed consent describing the purpose, benefits, and the disclosure of any risk associated with the......

Words: 1231 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Relationship Between Social Networks and It"S Effect on Student Academics Performances

...of Social Networking Sites on Students' Academic Performance in Girne American University, North Cyprus By NAPOLEON, EGEDEGBE Abstract: Social network is a platform for people share their ideals, to meet new friends and to reconnect with old friends. Social networking sites offer people new and varied ways to communicate via the internet, whether through their PC or their mobile phone. Examples include MySpace, Facebook, Skype etec. They allow people to easily and simply create their own online page or profile and to construct and display an online network of contacts, often called ‘friends’. Users of these sites can communicate via their profile both with their ‘friends’ and with people outside their list of contacts. With SNS it is easy to communicate with your classmate, discuss class assignment and even submit project to your lecturer, watch videos, make comment on your friend page etc. This study will focus on the effect of SNS on student academic performance, using GAU as a case study. What are student using SNS for, does it affect their studies, or help them to learn easily. This project will talk about the history of SNS, development and the users of SNS especially by student and lecturers in communicating with colleague and student as well. A 15 question personally administered questionnaire was designed and sent to about 50 students from different country and department in GAU. Keywords: Social Networking, E-learning, Communication, Academic Performance,......

Words: 4133 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Research Article Critique

...Critique of Selected Epidemiological Research Article Guidelines Purpose The purpose of this assignment is to provide learners the opportunity to utilize epidemiological and biostatistical principles to critique the following research article and critique the components of the research design to determine if the design supports the research question. Course Outcomes This assignment enables the student to meet the following course outcomes: (CO#4) Distinguish population-specific skills, understandings, and integrative abilities for genomic and primary healthcare screening of selected aggregate populations. (PO 11) (CO#5) Analyze community resources related to abnormal screening results in selected aggregate populations. (PO 2) (CO#6) Assess diverse populations within a community to ascertain health behaviors, interventions, and resources that affect health promotion and maintenance of selected aggregate populations. (PO 1) (CO#7) Detail graphs and numerical summaries as descriptive statistical aids in determining a course of action relative to selected aggregate populations. (PO 7) (CO#8) Define probability concepts and standard probability distributions to formulate a course of action relative to selected aggregate populations. (PO 4) (CO#11) Generate hypotheses, equate appropriate statistical tests, assess the validity of the tests, and use test results to decide on a course of action relative to selected aggregate populations. (PO 7) (CO#12) Differentiate......

Words: 2437 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

An Analysis of the Relationship Between Corporate Social Performance and Corporate Reputation

...Student ID: XXXXXXXX Report Title: INTERIM REPORT Date: 28/11/07 Module Tutor: David Tucker Word count: 756 (Excluding references) Index Page 1.0 Working Title 3 2.0 Background Information 3 3.0 Nature of Submitted Work 3 4.0 Aims and Objectives 3 5.0 Initial Literature Review 4 6.0 Research Methodology 8 7.0 Data Analysis and Presentation 8 8.0 Chapter Headings 9 9.0 Time Schedules 10 INTERIM REPORT: 1. Working Title An analysis of the relationship between corporate social performance and corporate reputation. The case of Tesco and its child education policies. 2. Background information: I chose to research in this area as I am interested in the PR area of business and the importance of reputation building to a company. I find it interesting that supermarkets are beginning to target children through their PR strategies and would like to find out their motives. 3. Nature of submitted work: Report. 4. Aims and objectives: AIM: To examine the impact of child education-based PR strategies carried out by British supermarkets. OBJECTIVES: - To investigate current issues surrounding PR strategies of UK supermarkets aimed towards child education. - To uncover opinions of the use of child education policies from the supermarkets, the schools and...

Words: 1123 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

An Analysis of the Relationship Between Corporate Social Performance and Corporate Reputation

...Student ID: XXXXXXXX Report Title: INTERIM REPORT Date: 28/11/07 Module Tutor: David Tucker Word count: 756 (Excluding references) Index Page 1.0 Working Title 3 2.0 Background Information 3 3.0 Nature of Submitted Work 3 4.0 Aims and Objectives 3 5.0 Initial Literature Review 4 6.0 Research Methodology 8 7.0 Data Analysis and Presentation 8 8.0 Chapter Headings 9 9.0 Time Schedules 10 INTERIM REPORT: 1. Working Title An analysis of the relationship between corporate social performance and corporate reputation. The case of Tesco and its child education policies. 2. Background information: I chose to research in this area as I am interested in the PR area of business and the importance of reputation building to a company. I find it interesting that supermarkets are beginning to target children through their PR strategies and would like to find out their motives. 3. Nature of submitted work: Report. 4. Aims and objectives: AIM: To examine the impact of child education-based PR strategies carried out by British supermarkets. OBJECTIVES: - To investigate current issues surrounding PR strategies of UK supermarkets aimed towards child education. - To uncover opinions of the use of child education policies from the supermarkets, the schools and...

Words: 1123 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Quantitative Research Critique

...with this decision. The quantitative research I have chosen to critique is "A new perspective on VBAC: A retrospective cohort study." (Rozen, Ugoni, & Sheehan, 2011). The purpose of this critique is to evaluate the research this study provides related to VBAC delivery and evidence-based nursing practice. Research Problem and Purpose Most research studies on VBAC and the safety of this type of delivery "have compared VBAC to elective repeat caesarean section (ERCS), despite the fact that the risks posed by each are considerably different." (Rozen, Ugoni, & Sheehan, 2011, p. 3). The authors of this study seek to compare the nulliparous woman, delivering for the first time, to a woman considering a VBAC. When health care professionals are advising and counseling women who are considering VBAC, accurate information and education is essential. The purpose of this study is to determine if the outcome and risks of ERCS deliveries or vaginal deliveries of nulliparous women should be compared to the woman choosing VBAC.the purpose of the study is not clear. Research Questions This study proposes the question: "When counseling women undergoing planned VBAC, should a comparison of outcomes be made to women undergoing ERCS, or is a comparison to other nulliparous women undergoing vaginal birth a more valid comparison in terms of risk and outcomes?" (Rozen, Ugoni, & Sheehan, 2011, p. 3)I think the question below is what you are asking. The research study provides......

Words: 467 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Quantitative Article Critique

...Critique of Colella & Gejerman’s Study “Survivorship Health Information Counseling for Patients with Prostate Cancer” Laura Laughbaum, SN Lake Superior State University Abstract This paper is an academic critique of an article written by Colella and Gejerman (2013) titled: “Survivorship Health Information Counseling for Patients with Prostate Cancer.” The authors undertook a research study to examine whether specialized discharge education counseling increased prostate cancer patients satisfaction with their care and education related to their chronic health problems after radiation therapy. My examination systematically focuses on specific aspects of the article in terms of process and validity of research methods and results. I have attempted to develop a cohesive and unified explanation which not only expounds the particulars of the research but which also formulates a clear interpretation of that research throughout. I suggest that the lack of communication of the researchers in this article about their methods of sample selecting and data analysis greatly reduces the validity and generalizability of their findings. Critique of Colella & Gejerman’s Study “Survivorship Health Information Counseling for Patients with Prostate Cancer” In their article, “Survivorship Health Information Counseling for Patients with Prostate Cancer,” (Colella & Gejerman, 2013)......

Words: 3567 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

The Relationship Between a Research Study and Research Article

...summarize published research studies; however, people need to understand that all of the information they receive from news networks are not always accurate and truthful. The article “Study says person's trustworthiness determined by how close photo is taken,” published by Fox News on October 25th, 2012, is an example of how a news network can present a story that is bias, and lacks information. The study, “Perspective Distortion from Interpersonal Distance Is an Implicit Visual Cue for Social Judgments of Faces,” conducted by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), tested whether or not a person’s trustworthiness is affected by how close their photo was taken. The study consisted of four experiments testing multiple audiences on various photos of white males. Each experiment had two pictures for the test participants to analyze; one picture was a man’s face from two feet away, the other being seven feet away. The subjects then rated the man’s trustworthiness by using the “trust meter” they received. For example, the mean trust investment difference in experiment one was 3.2 > 2.45 (far face - close face). The other three experiments had similar results, supporting the claim that the closer someone’s picture was taken, the less trustworthy that person will look in that individual picture (Bryan, Perona, & Adolphs, 2012). Fox’s article covering the material from Caltech’s study presents the information in a bias matter. The writer of the article, Laurie Tarkin,......

Words: 720 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Critique of Quantitative Article

...Critique of Quantitative Article Elona Kronke NURS 3270: Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice December 07, 2010 Article.Critique of Quantitative Article Chiang, C. Y., & Sun, F. K. (2009). The effects of a walking program on older Chinese American immigrants with hypertension: A pretest and posttest quasi-experimental design. Public Health Nursing, 26(3), 240-248. Background and significance Hypertension has many negative impacts on health; hypertension among Chinese American immigrants has not been widely studied. Sedentary behavior is one of the major risk factors for both stroke and hypertension. The significance of identifying culturally specific interventions to decrease sedentary behavior in older Chinese American Immigrants may be useful in reducing hypertension in this population. Research question and hypothesis Two hypotheses are identified hypotheses number one is Stages of change (SOC) and participation in the walking program with/without cultural modification would affect blood pressure. Hypotheses number two is SOC and participation in a walking program with/without cultural modification would affect duration of walking. The walking program is the independent variable, and the effect of BP/duration of walking are the outcomes or dependent variables, the relationship between variable has been established. The conceptual frame work includes, Prochaska and DiClement’s Stages of Change (SOC) the SOC are identified as......

Words: 1873 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Organizational Performance

...Abstract This article examines the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) on organizational performance. The objective of this study is to determine the relationship between corporate social responsibility and organizational performance. Base on the literature reviews, the studies support that there is a positive relationship between corporate social responsibility and organizational performance in terms of financial or management. Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, organizational performance, 1.0 – Introduction The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is being discuss and debate over the decade. The discussion of CSR started since 1950s and it continued to grow in importance and significance. In spite of the seeming endless discussion about it, it has seen a lot of development in both academic and practitioner communities all over the world (Carroll and Shabana, 2010). According to Nolan et. al (2009), CSR is use to build up good rapport with the public. Corporates always use it as a strategy to save their skin from unforeseen risks and corporate scandals, brand differentiation, governmental rules and regulations, possible environmental accidents, protect eye-catching profits, and better relationship with employees based on volunteerism terms. Corporation like Gardenia, Nestle and YTL corporation always publish their CSR activities on their websites, sustainability reports and their advertising......

Words: 2216 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Critique of Research Article

...Critique Of The Research Article: Perspectives Of Hospital-Based Nurses On Breastfeeding Initiation Best Practices In: Other Topics Critique Of The Research Article: Perspectives Of Hospital-Based Nurses On Breastfeeding Initiation Best Practices Running head: CRITIQUE OF THE RESEARCH ARTICLE: PERSPECTIVES OF Critique of the Research Article: Perspectives of Hospital-Based Nurses on Breastfeeding Initiation Best Practices Kimberly Baird Grand Canyon University Intro. To Nursing Research NRS-433V April 21, 2011 Critique of the Research Article: Perspectives of Hospital-Based Nurses on Breastfeeding Initiation Best Practices The purpose of this research study is to evaluate the differences in breastfeeding knowledge and the implementation of breastfeeding by registered nurses in the postpartum units and the hospital policies, both formal and informal, related to the implementation and support of breastfeeding. Human milk is accepted as the ideal food source for infants for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding is then encouraged as a supplement to other foods until the child is 12 months of age and beyond. Both The Academy of Pediatrics and the International Lactation Consultant Association support these recommendations. CDC statistics report that in 2006 73.9% of women breastfed in the early postpartum period. This drops to 33.1% of those that are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months of age and then drops again to 13.6% exclusively......

Words: 444 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Between Profit-Seeking and Prosociality Corporate Social Responsibility as Derridean Supplement

...1007/s10551-011-0890-1 Between Profit-Seeking and Prosociality: Corporate Social Responsibility as Derridean Supplement Cameron Sabadoz Received: 3 December 2010 / Accepted: 5 May 2011 / Published online: 24 May 2011 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011 Abstract This article revolves around the debate surrounding the lack of a coherent definition for corporate social responsibility (CSR). I make use of Jacques Derrida’s theorizing on contested meaning to argue that CSR’s ambiguity is actually necessary in light of its functional role as a ‘‘supplement’’ to corporate profit-seeking. As a discourse that refuses to conclusively resolve the tension between profit-seeking and prosociality, CSR expresses an important critical perspective which demands that firms act responsibly, while retaining the overall corporate frame of shareholder supremacy. CSR does this by ambivalently affirming both profit-seeking and prosociality, a necessary contradiction. Attempts to reduce CSR’s ambiguity can thus only succeed by undermining its viability as a normative discourse that captures how certain elements of society understand how firms should act. The analysis suggests that greater scholarly attention is needed with regard to the material discursive environments within which discourses such as CSR are deployed. A discursive approach to research could thus benefit future practitioners, who have to act according to fluid standards of responsibility that cannot be......

Words: 13268 - Pages: 54