aus: S.B. Banerjee 2008: Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Critical Sociology, 34, 51-79 (S. 63 f.)

Birch (2001: 59–60) in developing a conceptual framework of corporate citizenship outlines ‘12 generic principles of corporate citizenship’ including ‘making a difference, employee and stakeholder empowerment, transparency, accountability, sharing responsibility, inclusivity, sustainable capitalism, a triple bottom line, longtermism, communication, engagement and dialogue’. It is interesting to see how these theoretical principles are seamlessly integrated into corporate policy statements. For example, the following excerpt from the corporate responsibility annual report of a large multinational corporation:

The principles that guide our behavior are based on our vision and values and include the following:
Respect: We will work to foster mutual respect with communities and stakeholders who are affected by our operations.
Integrity: We will examine the impacts, positive and negative, of our business on the environment, and on society, and will integrate human, health, social and environmental considerations into our internal management and value system.
Communication: We will strive to foster understanding and support our stakeholders and communities, as well as measure and communicate our performance.
Excellence: We will continue to improve our performance and will encourage our business partners and suppliers to adhere to the same standards.

This corporation, voted by Fortune Magazine for six consecutive years as the most ‘innovative company in North America’; for three consecutive years as one of the ‘100 best companies to work for in America’ and on Fortune Magazine’s ‘All star list of global most admired companies’ is of course none other than Enron (Enron, 2002) ….

To quote the words of a famous philosopher, Marx (Groucho, not Karl), ‘The secrets of success in business are honesty and transparency. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.’

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