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The nature of social responsibility: Exploring emancipatory ends

Mussell, Helen ORCID: 2017. The nature of social responsibility: Exploring emancipatory ends. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 47 (2) , p. 222. 10.1111/jtsb.12119

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Social responsibility (SR) initiatives within a corporate environment (CSR) continue to be met with deep scepticism. My concern is with exploring this scepticism, which I argue is due to there being more to the underlying objectives of SR than has previously been investigated. I begin by outlining and substantiating my project as a social ontological enquiry, one in which I unpack key concepts to reveal the nature of SR. These ontological findings then underpin my argument that SR is problematically grounded in liberalist thinking, and CSR is in fact just one manifestation of SR. I advance the thesis that SR has emancipatory ends, of meeting human needs and flourishing, and that it is best explicated using feminist care ethics. The argument is then focussed on both shoring up and advancing the emancipatory project of SR. The scepticism of interest is revealed to be the incongruity between care and business; that businesses are deemed as being incompatible with SR, at least in their present capacity. Any claims to the contrary by the business community are branded inauthentic and the aforementioned scepticism ensues. The paper concludes with a brief discussion concerning implications for CSR initiatives and future changes and developments are considered.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0021-8308
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 09:18

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