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The social construction of corporate responsibility in the Australian energy industry

Tywoniak, Stephane & Bartlett, Jennifer L. (2008) The social construction of corporate responsibility in the Australian energy industry. In Solomon, George (Ed.) Proceedings of Academy of Management 2008 Annual Meeting : The Questions We Ask, Academy of Management, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif.

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Abstract

Corporate Social Responsibility remains an ambiguous and evasive concept: differentiated ethical perspectives, varying stakeholder power across countries and institutional fields, and fragmented regulatory frameworks, all open up spaces for negotiation and social construction of local/contingent understandings of what it means to be ‘socially responsible’. In this study, we explore the processes of construction of social responsibility in the Australian Energy Industry. In relation to CSR, the Australian regulatory framework is biased towards environmental consequences and the preservation of the natural environment. In addition, public firms are also subject to corporate governance rules (CLERP9) aligned with international standards (UK, USA). There are also legal requirements in relation to aboriginal minorities on traditionally-owned land. Together, these elements define the spaces and themes around which social responsibility is constructed. Our research investigates what CSR practices are considered to be legitimate in this context. Using mixed methods –content analysis of secondary sources, corporate documents, and media reports, complemented by interviews with a range of actors from the field, including industry managers, government officials, and social/community activists- we construct an understanding of legitimate CSR practices. The research provides three contributions: - an understanding of CSR in the context of the Australian energy industry which may be used a reference case for international comparison - the identification of legitimate practices, which would contribute to inform corporate policy decisions in relation to CSR - a study of how legitimacy is constructed in a field where competing logics operate

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ID Code: 19126
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Social Construction, Corporate Responsibility, Australian Energy Industry, Governance
ISSN: 1543-8643
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement (150303)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 25 Mar 2009 15:09
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2012 14:48

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