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Why do corporate actors engage in pro-social behavior? A Bourdieusian perspective on corporate social responsibility


van Aaken, Dominik; Splitter, Violetta; Seidl, David (2012). Why do corporate actors engage in pro-social behavior? A Bourdieusian perspective on corporate social responsibility. UZH Business Working Paper Series 319, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social practice this paper develops a novel approach to the study of CSR. According to this approach, pro-social activities are conceptualized as social practices that are employed by individual managers in their personal struggles for social power. Whether such practices are enacted or not depends on the (1) particular features of the social field in which the managers are embedded, (2) the individual managers’ socially shaped dispositions and (3) their respective stock of different forms of capital. By combing these three concepts the Bourdieusian approach provides a particularly fruitful theoretical lens on CSR phenomena, not least as this allows reconciling seemingly competing conceptualizations in the existing CSR literature such as economic vs. non-economic motivation as drivers of CSR activity, micro- vs. macro-level explanations and voluntaristic vs. deterministic views of managers’ behaviors.

Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social practice this paper develops a novel approach to the study of CSR. According to this approach, pro-social activities are conceptualized as social practices that are employed by individual managers in their personal struggles for social power. Whether such practices are enacted or not depends on the (1) particular features of the social field in which the managers are embedded, (2) the individual managers’ socially shaped dispositions and (3) their respective stock of different forms of capital. By combing these three concepts the Bourdieusian approach provides a particularly fruitful theoretical lens on CSR phenomena, not least as this allows reconciling seemingly competing conceptualizations in the existing CSR literature such as economic vs. non-economic motivation as drivers of CSR activity, micro- vs. macro-level explanations and voluntaristic vs. deterministic views of managers’ behaviors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords:UZHWPIBW
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:01 Feb 2013 15:46
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:28
Series Name:UZH Business Working Paper Series
Number of Pages:45
ISSN:2296-0422
Related URLs:http://ssrn.com/abstract=1970618
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:7385
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-73045

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