Should business strive to be socially responsible, and if so, how? The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility updates and broadens the discussion of these questions by bringing together in one volume a variety of practical and theoretical perspectives on corporate social responsibility. It is perhaps the single most comprehensive volume available on the question of just how "social" business ought to be. The volume includes contributions from the fields of communication, business, law, sociology, political science, economics, accounting, and environmental studies. Moreover, it draws from experiences and examples from around the world, including but not limited to recent corporate scandals and controversies in the U.S. and Europe. A number of the chapters examine closely the basic assumptions underlying the philosophy of socially responsible business. Other chapters speak to the practical challenges and possibilities for corporate social responsiblilty in the twenty-first century. One of the most distinctive features of the book is its coverage of the very ways that the issue of corporate social responsibility has been defined, shaped, and discussed in the past four decades.
That is, the editors and many of the authors are attuned to the persuasive strategies and formulations used to talk about socially responsible business, and demonstrate why the talk matters. For example, the book offers a careful analysis of how certain values have become associated with the business enterprise and how particular economic and political positions have been established by and for business. This book will be of great interest to scholars, business leaders, graduate students, and others interested in the contours of the debate over what role large-scale corporate commerce should take in the future of the industrialized world.
Steve May is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also currently a Leadership Fellow at the Institute for the Arts and the Humanities and an Ethics Fellow at the Parr Ethics Center, and serves as an ethics researcher and consultant for the Ethics at Work program at Duke University's Kenan Institute for Ethics. His most recent books include Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices and Engaging Organizational Communication Theory and Research: Multiple Perspectives. He is a past forum editor of Management Communication Quarterly. George Cheney is Pforessor of Communication at the University of Utah, where he also serves as Director of Peace and Conflict Studies. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor of Management Communication at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Cheney has authored, co-authored, or co-edited five books and he had published over 75 journal articles and book chapters. Recognized for both teaching and research, he has lectured, conducted research, and consulted in Western Europe and Latin America, in addition to the United States and New Zealand. He is a past chair of the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association and is a reviews editor for Organization. Juliet Roper is Professor of Management Communication at the Waikato Management School, University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. She is currently the Sustainability Convenor for the Waikato Management School and representative for the school's membership in the European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS). She is co-author of The Politics of Representation: Election Campaigning and Proportional Representation, and has published articles in many journals, including the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and the Journal of Public Affairs and Corporate Governance.