New SSE Dissertation
During the past decades, the role and the perceived responsibility of business in society has shifted. This has been manifested in the translation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices in most markets. However, the range of responsibility issues appears never ending and a wide number of different organising attempts and forms have appeared.
The research question posed in this thesis is: “How is responsibility framed and organised in the markets?” In order to investigate, this thesis draws upon case studies of initiatives that constitute attempts at organising responsibility in the Swedish fashion and textile market: labour rights and water use.
It is clear that there is a struggle between different market actors to establish a decided order of responsibility. It is argued in this thesis that the business sector has responded by attempting to create its own responsibility order, ultimately, one in which the boundaries of responsibility are defined by the business case for CSR. However, an active role of government in framing and supporting this organising is here identified.
Partial organising is recognised and argued to be a key facet of such organising. This entails that one or several of the following organisational elements are used to this end: membership, hierarchy, rules, monitoring, and sanctioning. With shifting organising practices of responsibility, the dynamics of elements in partial organising are especially explored in this study. The important and dynamic role of membership in this organising, at the individual and organisational level, is particularly highlighted.
Clara My Lernborg is a researcher and teacher at the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets at the Stockholm School of Economics. Her main research focus is on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its organising.