Trade unions and CSR: a European research agenda

Preuss, Lutz, Haunschild, Axel and Matten, Dirk (2006) Trade unions and CSR: a European research agenda. Journal of Public Affairs, 6 (3-4). pp. 256-268. ISSN 1472-3891

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There is much evidence that Corporate Social Responsibility has increasingly become embraced by industry in Europe. The transfer to Europe of what essentially is a concept embedded in American capitalism, however, results in some interesting contextualizations. One of the most interesting of these is the impact of CSR on one of the most powerful actors to determine the social responsibility of corporations in the European context, namely trade unions and their institutional infrastructure. In many cases unions perceive CSR as a threat, as it transfers yet more power and discretion to managers. By contrast, trade unions in countries with a strong corporatist tradition claim to be themselves drivers of CSR. An altogether different situation exists in Eastern Europe, where unions lack the legitimacy and influence to shape the emerging CSR agenda. Given such a spread of positions, what similarities and differences can be detected in union approaches to CSR? Which specific aspects of CSR are supported by European unions? How have European unions adapted their strategies in response to CSR? This article employs an institutional comparison perspective of selected European countries to explore the role unions play in CSR activities. It maps out the conceptual territory and provides one of the first overviews of the topic.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2016 11:16
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2016 11:16
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