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    The organisational dynamics of integrating corporate responsibility : a sensemaking approach

    Grey, Blanca (2021) The organisational dynamics of integrating corporate responsibility : a sensemaking approach. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    The assumption of a uniform, consistent, and shared understanding of corporate responsibility (CR) that simplifies the task of integrating CR within organisations still dominates most of the literature on CR integration and implementation. This is largely due to the lack of research specifically on the role of non-CR actors in organisational contexts. My qualitative study of CR and non-CR actors in eight large companies based in the UK prompts to rethink the validity of this assumption. Using a sensemaking theoretical lens, I show that as organisations deal with reputational and regulatory pressures, CR teams’ position is weak and at risk of becoming redundant when business priorities shift to comply with new regulations. However, when companies are dealing with economic pressures, CR becomes part of the commercial offer whilst CR teams’ influence - aided by CR management frameworks - improves and spreads to other functions. This indicates that non-CR functions need more than just normative incentives to appreciate the value of embedding CR. This also suggest that CR management frameworks – illustrated by the CR Index in this study – provide a helpful platform to increase awareness and understanding of responsible business, but if used to simply score and rank companies, may undermine their integration aim. To advance the study of CR integration, I explain how CR teams can better promote and integrate CR under certain conditions and why within different organisational settings some CR teams hold stronger positions than others. My study makes a number of practical and theoretical contributions. First, I explain under which conditions CR integration is more likely to take place. Second, I advance understanding of CR integration by exploring the CR Index as a source of prospective sensemaking. Third, I contribute to the CR integration literature by examining the sources of tension and cooperation between CR and non-CR actors and the organisational dynamics that are more likely to succeed in integrating CR within core business functions.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 15:54
    Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 19:57
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/47621

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