Corporate social entrepreneurship

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A corporate social entrepreneur (CSE) is defined as "an employee of the firm who operates in a socially entrepreneurial manner; identifying opportunities for and/ or championing socially responsible activity; in addition to helping the firm achieve its business targets. The CSE operates regardless of an organisational context that is pre-disposed towards corporate social responsibility (CSR). This is because the CSE is driven by their dominant self-transcendent (concerned with the welfare of others) as opposed to their self-enhancement personal values.[1] Consequently, the CSE does not necessarily have a formal socially responsible job role, nor do they necessarily have to be in a senior management position to progress their socially responsible agenda." [2]

Relevance[edit]

The notion of the CSE primarily relates to the field of corporate social responsibility. It is thus relevant to both practitioners and scholars of business and management and more specifically to the fields of business ethics; organisational behaviour; entrepreneurship; human resource management and business strategy. Moreover, the concept is inherently linked with the notion of personal values: in itself, a field of study from sociology; anthropology and social psychology. Furthermore, due to the concept's associations with ideas about agency, this also means that this topic connects with moral philosophy. Such complexity reflects the inter-disciplinary nature of the field of corporate social responsibility.

Background[edit]

The notion of the CSE first emerged in 2002 from a conceptual working paper which was published in the Hull University Business School Research Memoranda Series.[3] In that paper, it was argued that CSR can also be motivated by an altruistic impulse driven by managers’ personal values, in addition to the more obvious economic and macro political drivers for CSR. This reflected the traditional philosophical and business ethics debate regarding moral agency.[4][5] This paper was followed by a U.K. conference paper which highlighted the importance of managerial discretion in CSR [6] and was published the next year in the Journal of Business Ethics. In this latter paper, the concept of “entrepreneurial discretion” as an overlooked antecedent of CSR was mooted.[7]

Consequently, the term corporate social entrepreneur was first coined in a paper that was presented at the 17th Annual European Business Ethics Network Conference, in June 2004.[8] Here, the term Corporate Social Entrepreneur was first defined and differentiated from the different types of entrepreneurs: the ‘regular’ executive entrepreneur; the intrapreneur; the policy entrepreneur and the public or social entrepreneur.[9] (See also Austin et al., 2006a for a description of the similarities and differences between commercial and social entrepreneurship).[10] Initially, the concept was discussed in relation to managers. However, it was soon widened to include employees at any level of the firm, regardless of their formally appointed status. To be a CSE you do not necessarily have to be a manager. Seniority is not necessary, but, of course, it helps.[11][12]

Hemingway’s concept of the CSE emerged as a result of her own personal experience working as a marketing executive in the corporate world and it has also been the subject of some exploratory empirical investigation[13] [1]. It was also inspired by Wood, who had previously referred to “Ethical training, cultural background, preferences…and life experiences…that motivate human behavior”;[14] thereby supporting Trevino’s conceptual “Interactionist” model of ethical decision making in organizations.[15] Trevino's model included both individual and situational moderators, to combine with the individual’s stage of cognitive moral development,[16] to produce either ethical or unethical behaviour. And whilst studies existed regarding the activities of environmental champions at work [17] or other change leaders,[18] none of these studies specifically examined the role of employees' personal values in entrepreneurial discretion with regard to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Thus, the connection between philosophical ideas of moral character as an influence for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and linked to the psychological notion of prosocial behavior, provides a different focus from the more commonly discussed structural drivers for CSR, i.e., business strategy in the form of public relations activity; encouragement from government or organisational context (see also philanthropy).

Business ethics perspective[edit]

Significantly, whilst the social entrepreneur and corporate social entrepreneur are united in their quest to create social value: a business ethics perspective encourages us to ask the question ‘For what end?’ Here business ethics is useful, as it uses intellectual frameworks to encourage us to think deeply about means and ends.[19][20][21] For example, the idea of the CSE creating social value which benefits both the corporation and society [22][23][24] is known as ‘enlightened self-interest’. Alternatively, a deontological viewpoint frames acts of socially responsible behaviour as driven by the individual's sense of duty to society, which may be viewed in terms of altruism.[25] Altruism is of course very difficult to support empirically, although there have been many studies of prosocial behaviour and support for the notion of self-transcendent (other-oriented) personal values in social psychology.[26][27]

Threat or opportunity?[edit]

All this leads us to the inherent complexity surrounding the subject of CSR, regarding its connection to stakeholder theory[28] and its “essentially contested” nature.[29] So, whilst some studies have shown a positive relationship between CSR and financial performance,[30] others are currently investigating the notion of non-market performance [2].Consequently, the notion of the Corporate Social Entrepreneur is equally controversial: not solely due to the arguments about the role of business and whether or not CSR helps financial performance; but also because the concept of employee discretion has been identified as a key factor regarding a social orientation at work, or, a moral character (in the ancient philosophical sense).[31] And whilst the possibility of unethical behaviour is also acknowledged as an outcome of discretion and agency: corporate irresponsibility [32] which has been the traditional focus in the study of business ethics, is regarded as insufficient and only the starting point, if the quest is for organisations to develop a socially responsible organisational context. This is of particular relevance in the wake of the global financial crisis caused by financial irregularities and lapses in corporate governance and personal integrity.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schwartz, S.H. Studying Values: Personal Adventure, Future Directions. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 42, 307–319. 2011.
  2. ^ Hemingway, C.A., Personal Values as a Catalyst for Corporate Social Entrepreneurship, Journal of Business Ethics, 60(3), pp.233–249. 2005
  3. ^ Hemingway, C.A., An Exploratory Analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility: Definitions, Motives and Values, Research Memorandum No. 34, University of Hull Business School. 2002. ISBN 1 90203 424
  4. ^ Lovell, A., Moral Agency as Victim of the Vulnerability of Autonomy. Business Ethics: A European Review 11[1], 62–76. January 2002.
  5. ^ Maclagan, P.W., Management and Morality, Sage, London. 1998.
  6. ^ Hemingway, C.A. and Maclagan, P.W. (2003), Managers' Individual Discretion and Corporate Social Responsibility: the Relevance of Personal Values. 7th European Business Ethics Network (EBEN- UK) U.K. Annual Conference, and the 5th Ethics and Human Resource Management Conference, Selwyn College, Cambridge, 7–8 April 2003. ISBN 1-84233-087-X
  7. ^ Hemingway, C.A. and Maclagan, P.W., Managers Personal Values as Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility, Journal of Business Ethics, 50(1), March (I), pp.33–44. 2004
  8. ^ Hemingway, C.A., Personal Values as the Catalyst for the Corporate Social Entrepreneur. 17th Annual European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) Conference (‘Ethics and Entrepreneurship’, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, 24/26th June 2004
  9. ^ Hemingway, C.A., Personal Values as the Catalyst for the Corporate Social Entrepreneur. 17th Annual European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) Conference (‘Ethics and Entrepreneurship’, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, 24/26th June 2004
  10. ^ Austin, J.; Stevenson, H. and Wei-Skillern, J., Social Entrepreneurship and Commercial Entrepreneurship: Same, Different, or Both? Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice 30[1], 1–22. 2006a
  11. ^ Hemingway, C.A., Corporate Social Entrepreneurship In Idowu, S.O., Capaldi, N., Zu, L. and Das Gupta, A. (eds)., The Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility. Springer, 2012. e-ISBN 978-3-642-28036-8 (10 pages.
  12. ^ Hemingway, C.A. Corporate Social Entrepreneurship: Integrity Within (in the series Business, Value Creation, and Society , eds. R. Edward Freeman, J. Moon and M. Morsing), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. ISBN 9781107007208.
  13. ^ Hemingway, C.A., Corporate Social Entrepreneurship: Integrity Within (in the series Business, Value Creation, and Society , eds. R. Edward Freeman, J. Moon and M. Morsing), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781107007208.
  14. ^ Wood, D. L., Corporate Social Performance Revisited. Academy of Management Review 16[4], 691–718. 1991
  15. ^ Trevino, L. K., Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: a Person-Situation Interactionist Model. Academy of Management Review 11[3 ], 601–617. 1986
  16. ^ Kohlberg, L., in Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research D.A. Goslin, ed., Rand McNally, Chicago. 1969, pp. 347–480.
  17. ^ Drumwright, M.E., Socially Responsible Organisational Buying: Environmental Concern as a Noneconomic Buying Criterion. Journal of Marketing 58[July], 1–19. 1994
  18. ^ Meyerson, D.E., Tempered Radicals: Succeeding At Work Without Selling Out, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass. 2001.
  19. ^ Crane, A. and Matten, D., Business Ethics: A European Perspective. Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010.
  20. ^ Fisher, C. and Lovell, A., Business Ethics and Values, 2nd ed., Pearson Education, Harlow, U.K. 2006.
  21. ^ Maclagan, P.W., Management and Morality, Sage, London. 1998.
  22. ^ Jones, T.M., Instrumental Stakeholder Theory: a Synthesis of Ethics and Economics. Academy of Management Review 20[2], 404–437. 1995.
  23. ^ Austin, J.; Leonard, H.; Reficco, E. and Wei-Skillern, J. in Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change A. Nicholls, ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford. 2006b, pp. 169 – 181.
  24. ^ Austin, J.; Leonard, H; Reficco, E. and Wei-Skillern, J. in The Accountable Corporation: Corporate Social Responsibility Volume 3 M. Epstein and K. Hanson, eds., Praeger, Westport, CT. 2006c, pp.237 – 247.
  25. ^ Hemingway, C.A. and Maclagan, P.W., Managers Personal Values as Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility, Journal of Business Ethics, 50(1), March (I), pp.33–44. 2004
  26. ^ Bierhoff, H.-W., Prosocial Behaviour, Psychology Press, Hove. 2002.
  27. ^ Schwartz, S. H. and Boehnke, K., Evaluating the Structure of Human Values with Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 38, 230–255. 2004.
  28. ^ Freeman, R.E., Strategic Management: a Stakeholder Approach, Pitman, Boston. 1984.
  29. ^ Moon, J., in The International Directory Corporate Social Responsibility, Academy of Management Review, 32[3], 794–816. 2007.
  30. ^ Orlitzky, M; Schmidt, F.L. and Rynes, S.L., Corporate Social and Financial Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Organization Studies [24], 403–441. 2003.
  31. ^ Rabinow, P. (ed.), Michael Foucault Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth, Essential Works of Foucault 1954–1984 Volume 1, Penguin, London. 2000.
  32. ^ Hemingway, C.A., Personal Values as a Catalyst for Corporate Social Entrepreneurship, Journal of Business Ethics, 60(3), pp.233–249. 2005.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Archer, M.S., Being Human: The Problem of Agency, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2000.
  • Austin, J.; Stevenson, H. and Wei-Skillern, J., Social Entrepreneurship and Commercial Entrepreneurship: Same, Different, or Both? Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice 30(1), 1–22. 2006a
  • Austin, J.; Leonard, H.; Reficco, E. and Wei-Skillern, J. Social Entrepreneurship: It is for Corporations too in Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change A. Nicholls, ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford. 2006b, pp. 169 – 181.
  • Austin, J.; Leonard, H; Reficco, E. and Wei-Skillern, J. Corporate Social Entrepreneurship: A New Vision for CSR in The Accountable Corporation: Corporate Social Responsibility Volume 3 M. Epstein and K. Hanson, eds., Praeger, Westport, CT. 2006c, pp. 237 – 247.
  • Bierhoff, H.-W., Prosocial Behaviour, Psychology Press, Hove. 2002.
  • Corporate social entrepreneurship. Crane and Matten Blog: an informed and thought-provoking analysis of what lies behind the headlines and headaches of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. 18 March 2010.[3]
  • Crane, A. and Matten, D., Business Ethics A European Perspective: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010.
  • http://mariaflorenciasegura.blogspot.com/. CSE Blog in Spanish.
  • Drumwright, M.E., Socially Responsible Organisational Buying: Environmental Concern as a Noneconomic Buying Criterion. Journal of Marketing 58[July], 1–19. 1994.
  • Fisher, C. and Lovell, A., Business Ethics and Values, 2nd ed., Pearson Education, Harlow, U.K. 2006.
  • Friedman, M., The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits. The New York Times Magazine, 13 September, 1–13. 1970.
  • Hemingway, C.A., An Exploratory Analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility: Definitions, Motives and Values, Research Memorandum No. 34, University of Hull Business School. 2002. ISBN 1 90203 424
  • Hemingway, C.A., Personal Values as the Catalyst for the Corporate Social Entrepreneur. 17th Annual European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) Conference (‘Ethics and Entrepreneurship’), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, 24/26 June 2004.
  • Hemingway, C.A., Personal Values as a Catalyst for Corporate Social Entrepreneurship, Journal of Business Ethics, 60(3), pp. 233–249. 2005.
  • Hemingway, C.A., What Determines Corporate Social Entrepreneurship? Antecedents and Consequences, Conditions and Character Traits. Presented at the PhD Workshop, ‘CSR and Sustainable Business’, School of Management and Entrepreneurship, Katholieke Universitat Leuven, Belgium, 5 May 2006.
  • Hemingway, C.A., Corporate Social Entrepreneurship In Idowu, S.O., Capaldi, N., Zu, L. and Das Gupta, A. (eds)., The Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility. Springer, 2012. e-ISBN 978-3-642-28036-8 (10 pages.)
  • Hemingway, C.A., Corporate Social Entrepreneurship: Integrity Within. Cambridge University Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1-107-00720-8. Can be ordered from [4]

Hemingway, C.A. and Maclagan, P.W. (2003), Managers' Individual Discretion and Corporate Social Responsibility: the Relevance of Personal Values. 7th European Business Ethics Network (EBEN- UK) U.K. Annual Conference, and the 5th Ethics and Human Resource Management Conference, Selwyn College, Cambridge, 7–8 April 2003. ISBN 1-84233-087-X.

  • Hemingway, C.A. and Maclagan, P.W., Managers Personal Values as Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility, Journal of Business Ethics, 50(1), March (I), pp. 33–44. 2004.
  • Jones, T.M., Instrumental Stakeholder Theory: a Synthesis of Ethics and Economics. Academy of Management Review 20[2], 404–437. 1995.
  • Kohlberg, L., in Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research D.A. Goslin, ed., Rand McNally, Chicago. 1969, pp. 347–480.
  • Lovell, A., Moral Agency as Victim of the Vulnerability of Autonomy. Business Ethics: A European Review 11[1], 62–76. January 2002.
  • Maclagan, P.W., Management and Morality, Sage, London. 1998.
  • McWilliams A. and Siegel, D., Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory of the Firm Perspective. Academy of Management Review 26[1], 117–127. 2001.
  • Monbiot, G., Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain, Macmillan, London. 2000.
  • Moon, J., in The International Directory of Corporate Philanthropy C. Hartley, ed., Europa, London. 2003.
  • Schwartz, S.H. and Bilsky, W., Toward a Universal Psychological Structure of Human Values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53 [3], 550–562. 1987.
  • Schwartz, S. H. and Boehnke, K., Evaluating the Structure of Human Values with Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Journal of Research in Personality 38, 230–255. 2004.
  • Soros, G., The Crisis and What to Do About It. The New York Review of Books 55[19], 4 December 2008. Accessed online http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22113 April 2009.
  • Trevino, L. K., Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: a Person-Situation Interactionist Model. Academy of Management Review 11[3], 601–617. 1986.
  • Wood, D. L., Corporate Social Performance Revisited. Academy of Management Review 16[4], 691–718. 1991.