From Values to Value: The Commensuration of Sustainability Reporting and the Crowding out of Morality

Koen van Bommel, Andreas Rasche, André Spicer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Drawing on extensive case study evidence, this study unpacks sustainability reporting’s evolution from a moral values-based practice towards a financialized value-based one. We argue that this transition can be seen as a commensuration project and we examine the dynamics of this process. We find that increased levels of commensuration have moved sustainability reporting away from a focus on moral responsibility (i.e. ‘doing the right thing’) to a focus on strategic value creation for the firm. We theorize this crowding out of morality as a process of amoralization supported by the rigid cognitive framing of social and environmental issues (objectification) and the monetized coordination of relevant social interactions (marketization). We outline implications of our analysis for the scholarly debate on sustainability reporting and commensuration.
Drawing on extensive case study evidence, this study unpacks sustainability reporting’s evolution from a moral values-based practice towards a financialized value-based one. We argue that this transition can be seen as a commensuration project and we examine the dynamics of this process. We find that increased levels of commensuration have moved sustainability reporting away from a focus on moral responsibility (i.e. ‘doing the right thing’) to a focus on strategic value creation for the firm. We theorize this crowding out of morality as a process of amoralization supported by the rigid cognitive framing of social and environmental issues (objectification) and the monetized coordination of relevant social interactions (marketization). We outline implications of our analysis for the scholarly debate on sustainability reporting and commensuration.

Conference

ConferenceThe 34th EGOS Colloquium 2018
Number34
LocationEstonian Business School/Tallinn University
CountryEstonia
CityTallinn
Period05/07/201807/07/2018
Internet address

Keywords

  • Commensuration
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Integrated reporting
  • Morality
  • Sustainability reporting

Cite this

van Bommel, K., Rasche, A., & Spicer, A. (2018). From Values to Value: The Commensuration of Sustainability Reporting and the Crowding out of Morality. Paper presented at The 34th EGOS Colloquium 2018, Tallinn, Estonia.
van Bommel, Koen ; Rasche, Andreas ; Spicer, André. / From Values to Value : The Commensuration of Sustainability Reporting and the Crowding out of Morality. Paper presented at The 34th EGOS Colloquium 2018, Tallinn, Estonia.46 p.
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van Bommel, K, Rasche, A & Spicer, A 2018, 'From Values to Value: The Commensuration of Sustainability Reporting and the Crowding out of Morality' Paper presented at, Tallinn, Estonia, 05/07/2018 - 07/07/2018, .

From Values to Value : The Commensuration of Sustainability Reporting and the Crowding out of Morality. / van Bommel, Koen; Rasche, Andreas; Spicer, André.

2018. Paper presented at The 34th EGOS Colloquium 2018, Tallinn, Estonia.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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AB - Drawing on extensive case study evidence, this study unpacks sustainability reporting’s evolution from a moral values-based practice towards a financialized value-based one. We argue that this transition can be seen as a commensuration project and we examine the dynamics of this process. We find that increased levels of commensuration have moved sustainability reporting away from a focus on moral responsibility (i.e. ‘doing the right thing’) to a focus on strategic value creation for the firm. We theorize this crowding out of morality as a process of amoralization supported by the rigid cognitive framing of social and environmental issues (objectification) and the monetized coordination of relevant social interactions (marketization). We outline implications of our analysis for the scholarly debate on sustainability reporting and commensuration.

KW - Commensuration

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KW - Integrated reporting

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van Bommel K, Rasche A, Spicer A. From Values to Value: The Commensuration of Sustainability Reporting and the Crowding out of Morality. 2018. Paper presented at The 34th EGOS Colloquium 2018, Tallinn, Estonia.