The Taboos and Ambiguities of the Prevailing Narrative on Corporate Social Responsibility
In an article published this month in the journal Business & Society1, Aurélien Feix, research fellow at HEC, and Déborah Philippe, HEC alumna and professor at the University of Lausanne, analyze narratives that promote voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices as a privileged means to combat social inequality and environmental degradation. In view of the similarities that exist between these narratives, the authors argue that they must be conceived of as variants of one and the same “metanarrative of CSR”. They show that this metanarrative stays ambivalent about crucially important questions, including that of the results that can realistically be expected from activities performed voluntarily by business firms that are bound by profitability constraints, and subjected to the capitalist growth imperative. Therefore, they call for challenging the comforting, but largely inconsequential, rhetoric of the metanarrative of CSR.
The Role of Marketing in Climate Change: Carbon Footprinting and Pricing
The potential impact of climate change raises concerns with consumers and governments throughout the world. Dealing with these climate concerns is key to the survival of businesses in the marketplace, and ultimately the survival of the planet. Daniel Halbheer, Associate Professor of Marketing at HEC Paris, shares his and his co-authors' research findings on the role of marketing decisions in addressing climate change when juggling the pressures of consumers and governments, through tools such as carbon footprinting and pricing.
Auditors offering both corporate social responsibility assurance and financial auditing to their clients could be best option for firms
With shareholders and stakeholders becoming more and more concerned with firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR), audit firms now provide CSR assurance services for sustainability reports. As such, firms wonder whether it is more beneficial to use a financial audit firm that also provides CSR assurance, or to hire a different CSR assurance provider than the financial auditor. Researchers explain why the first option is the best option for firms.
Walking the talk: why companies should be politically transparent
More and more companies flaunt their policies regarding social or environmental sustainability. However, these same companies may promote policies that contradict their stated CSR objectives through their political actions. Enough is enough, says a group of top researchers arguing for political transparency in a paper that won the California Management Review’s Best Article Award 2019.
The rise of rankings in global governance: how can they change the regulation of large corporations?
Ratings and rankings have become powerful tools in global governance, frequently used to motivate companies to be good corporate citizens. A wide range of environmental and social matters such as access to medicine, climate change, obesity and working conditions increasingly transcend national borders and escape the reach of national regulators. For such issues, who should set the rules about the responsibilities of corporations? How can corporations that are by definition designed to generate profit, be guided towards making decisions that benefit society as a whole? Afshin Mehrpouya and Rita Samiolo explore the process behind the production of these rankings.
How experimentations help innovation ecosystems emerge: the case of the hydrogen energy
Major advances in complex technologies require the cooperation of a broad range of parties – a whole business ecosystem. Professors Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini (HEC Paris) and Florence Charue-Duboc (Ecole Polytechnique Paris) studied the case of the nascent hydrogen energy ecosystem to investigate how experimentation contribute to the emergence and consolidation of the ecosystem itself, and the charasteristics of such experimentation.
Jean-Michel Gauthier: from the Oil Industry to the Energy Transition
Jean-Michel Gauthier began his career in the oil industry before switching to consulting. Having spent a total of 30 years in international energy, he now shares his expertise by training leaders from all sectors in energy-transition issues. Jean-Michel is affiliate professor in the finance department at HEC Paris, where he holds the Energy & Finance Chair sponsored by Société Générale.
Making a change: teaching sustainable and inclusive business
“Continuing to do business as usual is no longer an option,” argues Professor Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot. She explains the push at HEC Paris to develop programs dedicated to sustainability and inclusive business and, just as importantly, to integrate those principles throughout the business school’s mainstream core offerings.
How to do good in business?
HEC Paris teaches and conducts research on how to combine corporate and financial performance with Corporate Social Responsibility and fair regulations in corporate andinstitutional sectors as well as society as a whole. In this special newsletter, find a presentation of the latest research, teaching initiatives, and events on these decisive topics.
How can emerging industries secure state support?
Railroads, responsible investment and solar panels would never have grown into full-blown industries without initial backing from governments. But how can nascent industries obtain state support? A broad study of the European photovoltaic sector sheds light on the best conditions for a viable sector to emerge alongside strong established rivals.