The institutionalisation of unaccountability: loading the dice of corporate social responsibility discourse

Pablo Archel, Javier Husillos, Crawford Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reports on an in-depth empirical study into recent government-led Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in Spain. It is found, based on interviews and document analysis, that processes of stakeholder consultation relating to these initiatives are characterised by debate and a plurality of different viewpoints. However, this polyphony can be contrasted sharply with the institutional outcomes of these processes. Institutional outcomes represent the viewpoints of only a subset of the actors involved in the stakeholder consultation processes. It is consequently inferred that stakeholder consultation processes serve problematic functions: on one level, these processes legitimise dominant discourses on CSR by giving the impression that the latter are the outcome of a democratic dialogue that is free from power relations; on another level, these processes themselves show to heretic social actors the futility of their heresy and thus encourage those actors to actively adopt the dominant discourse. We conclude that business capture of Corporate Social Responsibility is ingrained into institutional processes in that domain. This raises serious questions regarding the potential for civil society actors to engage with and move the signifier of Corporate Social Responsibility in a more challenging direction.
LanguageEnglish
Pages327-343
Number of pages17
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Fingerprint

Institutionalization
Social Responsibility
social responsibility
institutionalization
Referral and Consultation
discourse
Medical Futility
stakeholder
Spain
Interviews
heretic
document analysis
social actor
Corporate Social Responsibility
Discourse
civil society
dialogue
interview
Stakeholders

Keywords

  • institutionalisation
  • unaccountability
  • corporate social responsibility
  • discourse
  • spain
  • institutional processes

Cite this

Archel, Pablo ; Husillos, Javier ; Spence, Crawford. / The institutionalisation of unaccountability : loading the dice of corporate social responsibility discourse. In: Accounting, Organizations and Society. 2011 ; Vol. 36, No. 6. pp. 327-343.
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The institutionalisation of unaccountability : loading the dice of corporate social responsibility discourse. / Archel, Pablo; Husillos, Javier; Spence, Crawford.

In: Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 36, No. 6, 08.2011, p. 327-343.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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