Corporate Responsibility as Myth and Ceremony: Bad, but not for Good

Patrick Haack, Dirk Martignoni, Dennis Schoeneborn

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Organizations adopt corporate responsibility (CR) policies often ceremonially, meaning that policy adoption is not substantive and lacks alignment with actual practice. Prior research in institutional theory has largely assumed as static view of adoption and suggests that a situation of opacity (i.e. the difficulty or impossibility of evaluation) stabilizes ceremonial adoption and thus impedes substantive adoption. This paper offers a dynamic view of adoption sequences and re-examines the role of opacity in promoting substantive adoption among multiple organizations within a given field or industry. Using a three-state Markov chain model, we specify the boundary conditions under which initial opacity paired with a change towards transparency (i.e. the relative ease or possibility of evaluation) maximizes the overall number of substantive adoptions. Our findings suggest that the institutionalization of CR-related policies can be advanced by leaving organizations significant leeway and autonomy in their adoption decision. In turn, institutionalization may be hampered by initial requests for transparency and organizational accountability. We discuss implications for (1) efforts to institutionalize CR as a global governance mechanism and (2) the institutional theory concepts of decoupling and (re-)coupling.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2013
    Number of pages37
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventThe 9th New Institutionalism Workshop - Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Warszawie [University of Warsaw Library], Warsaw, Poland
    Duration: 14 Mar 201315 Mar 2013
    Conference number: 9
    http://www.newinstitutionalism.org/kos/WNetz?art=File.show&id=4827

    Workshop

    WorkshopThe 9th New Institutionalism Workshop
    Number9
    LocationBiblioteka Uniwersytecka w Warszawie [University of Warsaw Library]
    CountryPoland
    CityWarsaw
    Period14/03/201315/03/2013
    Internet address

    Bibliographical note

    CBS Library does not have access to the material

    Cite this

    Haack, P., Martignoni, D., & Schoeneborn, D. (2013). Corporate Responsibility as Myth and Ceremony: Bad, but not for Good. Paper presented at The 9th New Institutionalism Workshop, Warsaw, Poland.
    Haack, Patrick ; Martignoni, Dirk ; Schoeneborn, Dennis . / Corporate Responsibility as Myth and Ceremony : Bad, but not for Good. Paper presented at The 9th New Institutionalism Workshop, Warsaw, Poland.37 p.
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    Haack, P, Martignoni, D & Schoeneborn, D 2013, 'Corporate Responsibility as Myth and Ceremony: Bad, but not for Good' Paper presented at, Warsaw, Poland, 14/03/2013 - 15/03/2013, .

    Corporate Responsibility as Myth and Ceremony : Bad, but not for Good. / Haack, Patrick; Martignoni, Dirk ; Schoeneborn, Dennis .

    2013. Paper presented at The 9th New Institutionalism Workshop, Warsaw, Poland.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

    TY - CONF

    T1 - Corporate Responsibility as Myth and Ceremony

    T2 - Bad, but not for Good

    AU - Haack, Patrick

    AU - Martignoni, Dirk

    AU - Schoeneborn, Dennis

    N1 - CBS Library does not have access to the material

    PY - 2013

    Y1 - 2013

    N2 - Organizations adopt corporate responsibility (CR) policies often ceremonially, meaning that policy adoption is not substantive and lacks alignment with actual practice. Prior research in institutional theory has largely assumed as static view of adoption and suggests that a situation of opacity (i.e. the difficulty or impossibility of evaluation) stabilizes ceremonial adoption and thus impedes substantive adoption. This paper offers a dynamic view of adoption sequences and re-examines the role of opacity in promoting substantive adoption among multiple organizations within a given field or industry. Using a three-state Markov chain model, we specify the boundary conditions under which initial opacity paired with a change towards transparency (i.e. the relative ease or possibility of evaluation) maximizes the overall number of substantive adoptions. Our findings suggest that the institutionalization of CR-related policies can be advanced by leaving organizations significant leeway and autonomy in their adoption decision. In turn, institutionalization may be hampered by initial requests for transparency and organizational accountability. We discuss implications for (1) efforts to institutionalize CR as a global governance mechanism and (2) the institutional theory concepts of decoupling and (re-)coupling.

    AB - Organizations adopt corporate responsibility (CR) policies often ceremonially, meaning that policy adoption is not substantive and lacks alignment with actual practice. Prior research in institutional theory has largely assumed as static view of adoption and suggests that a situation of opacity (i.e. the difficulty or impossibility of evaluation) stabilizes ceremonial adoption and thus impedes substantive adoption. This paper offers a dynamic view of adoption sequences and re-examines the role of opacity in promoting substantive adoption among multiple organizations within a given field or industry. Using a three-state Markov chain model, we specify the boundary conditions under which initial opacity paired with a change towards transparency (i.e. the relative ease or possibility of evaluation) maximizes the overall number of substantive adoptions. Our findings suggest that the institutionalization of CR-related policies can be advanced by leaving organizations significant leeway and autonomy in their adoption decision. In turn, institutionalization may be hampered by initial requests for transparency and organizational accountability. We discuss implications for (1) efforts to institutionalize CR as a global governance mechanism and (2) the institutional theory concepts of decoupling and (re-)coupling.

    KW - Corporate responsibility

    KW - Decoupling

    KW - Diffusion

    KW - Implementation

    KW - Institutional theory

    KW - Self-reinforcing process

    M3 - Paper

    ER -

    Haack P, Martignoni D, Schoeneborn D. Corporate Responsibility as Myth and Ceremony: Bad, but not for Good. 2013. Paper presented at The 9th New Institutionalism Workshop, Warsaw, Poland.