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Critical reflections on responsible business initiatives and systemic constraints for achieving a safe and just operating space for humanity

Critical reflections on responsible business initiatives and systemic constraints for achieving a safe and just operating space for humanity

Nelson, Valerie ORCID: 0000-0003-1075-0238 and Flint, Michael (2019) Critical reflections on responsible business initiatives and systemic constraints for achieving a safe and just operating space for humanity. In: Lund-Thomsen, Peter, Hansen, Michael and Lindgreen, Adam, (eds.) Business and Development Studies: Issues and Perspectives. Routledge, UK. ISBN 978-1138059870

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Abstract

Global business impact is intimately linked with the current global ecological crisis and rising social inequality and elite power. Responsible Business Initiatives, i.e. organisations and initiatives seeking to change corporate behaviour, have proliferated, but are not well understood. We conceptualize the overall theory of change of Responsible Business Initiatives and analyse the diverse mechanisms employed, including enabling, pressure and ideational strategies to achieve desired objectives, such as positive outcomes for workers, communities and environments. We review the available evidence on the effectiveness and impact of Responsible Business Initiatives, finding major challenges in terms of their ability to shift corporate behaviour on a scale and depth required to achieve a safe and just operating space for humanity. We explore other types of interventions supported by donors, companies and civil society and consider their potential complementarity and or possible role as a substitute for voluntary, private governance approaches. We conclude by reflecting upon the systemic constraints facing Responsible Business Initiatives and possible future avenues which merit consideration, which are more focused on root causes.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: responsible business, supply chains, impact, effectiveness, corporate responsibility, sustainability, sustainable business, human rights, environment, climate change
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 08:52
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24233

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