Caring at a Distance: A Model of Business Care, Trust and Displaced Responsibility

Claudia Eger, Caroline Scarles, Graham Miller

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    This paper advances an ethic of care for sustainable tourism. The study develops an original business care model that captures the dynamic interrelationships between care, responsibility and trust in corporate philanthropy. The model provides a novel perspective on how responsible business practices are formed across distance by shedding light on the different layers of responsibility and trust that characterize business–stakeholder relationships. The model is evaluated using the example of tour operators’ engagement in the Education for All project in Morocco. Findings show that tour operators’ commitment to caring at a distance becomes part of shared, displaced and performed articulations of responsibility. While performed responsibility acknowledges the embodiment of care, displaced responsibility shifts the responsibility to select, perform and/or oversee acts of care to stakeholders in destinations. Shared responsibility requires attention to the ways in which meanings and practices of care are co-constructed in corporate philanthropy with trust functioning as a central driver of these processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)34-51
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


    • Business–stakeholder relations
    • Corporate philanthropy
    • Ethic of care
    • Responsibility
    • Tour operators
    • Trust

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