In Praise of Corporate Social Responsibility Bureaucracy

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In Praise of Corporate Social Responsibility Bureaucracy

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Title: In Praise of Corporate Social Responsibility Bureaucracy
Author: Strand, Robert Gavin
Abstract: In this dissertation I examine the establishment of corporate social responsibility (CSR) bureaucracies at corporations and I come to consider the CSR bureaucracy as a space for reflection within the corporation. In the face of charges that bureaucracies are inherently unethical and devoid of consideration for humanistic concerns, I argue that within the large bureaucracy that is the corporation, the CSR bureaucracy can create a space in which tensions that arise from conflicting values and purposes can be identified, negotiated, and actions coordinated. I position this dissertation within the field of CSR, to which I introduce the Weberian distinction between formal and substantive rationality as means through which to identify and describe tensions that become apparent with the CSR agenda. This dissertation contains four articles, two of which draw from the engaged scholarship approach. One includes findings from a study I conducted as an action/intervention researcher with a U.S. corporation during the period in which a CSR bureaucracy was established. The other includes findings from a study of CSR focused MBA courses I instruct in which reflection is a primary learning objective. The other two articles include findings from studies I conducted to explore the establishment of a CSR position to the top management teams of U.S. and Scandinavian corporations.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8462
Date: 2012-06-27

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