Discourses on Corporate Social ir/responsibility in the Financial Sector

Jeremy Moon, Christian Herzig

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The financial crisis has brought about dramatic consequences for economies and societies. Questions emerge about responsibility for the crisis and, implicitly or explicitly irresponsibility; the obligations to take responsibility for the costs and other adverse effects of the recession; and the nature of responsibility for social welfare and business probity in future national and global governance. This paper explores how UK financial and ethical media construct i) the financial sector's social ir/responsibility in the context of the financial crisis and resultant recession, and ii) the motivation and means of the sector and other actors to respond to their adverse social impacts. Four discourses emerge from our analysis providing insights into distinct types of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and their relationship with corporate social irresponsibility (CSI), attitudinal change and expectations of the change required to ensure a more responsible financial sector. Findings reveal tension in the discourses concerning the sector's ability to “heal itself”. Questions of accountability and of the capacity and reliability of CSR are common to all discourses. The discourses identified provide clear insights into distinctive diagnoses and prescriptions for ir/responsibility in the financial sector.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1870-1880
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic Crisis
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Corporate Social irresponsibility
  • Financial Sector
  • Recession

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