Growing interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) has focused attention on the relationship between businesses and key stakeholders, such as NGOs and local communities. Curiously, however, commentators on CSR rarely discuss the role of trade unions, while commentators on employment relations seldom engage with CSR. This situation is all the more remarkable since unions are a critically important social actor and have traditionally played a prominent role in defending the interests of one key stakeholder in the company, the employee.
Written by dedicated experts in their field, this book addresses a key gap in the literature on both CSR and employment relations, namely trade union policies towards CSR, as well as union engagement with particular CSR initiatives and the challenges they face in doing so. The research covers eleven European countries which, when taken together, constitute a representative sample of industrial relations structures across the continent.
This book will be essential reading for scholars, students and practitioners of international business, employment relations, public policy and CSR. Its foreword is written by Philippe Pochet and Maria Jepsen, Directors of the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels.
Table of Contents
Foreword (Philippe Pochet & Maria Jepsen, ETUI) 1. The Rise of Corporate Social Responsibility as a Challenge for Trade Unions (Lutz Preuss, Michael Gold and Chris Rees) 2. Belgium: Unions questioning the added value of CSR (Céline Louche) 3. Finland: Positive union engagement with CSR (Anna-Maija Lämsä and Soilikki Viljanen) 4. France: State influence over union strategies on CSR (Christelle Havard and André Sobczak) 5. Germany: Binding agreements preferable to voluntary CSR (Axel Haunschild and Florian Krause) 6. Hungary: CSR between socialism and export-oriented MNCs (Matthew Lloyd-Cape) 7. Lithuania: CSR on a wish list (Raminta Pučėtaitė, Virginija Jurėnienė and Aurelija Novelskaitė) 8. Poland: Much risk, little benefit in CSR (Jan Czarzasty) 9. Slovenia: CSR as a luxury in tough economic times (Urša Golob, Klement Podnar and Miroslav Stanojević) 10. Spain: An opportunity to improve working conditions through CSR (Xavier Coller, Jesús Cambra-Fierro, Thomas Gualtieri and Iguacel Melero-Polo) 11. Sweden: CSR as non-union arena for union issues (Sabina Du Rietz) 12. United Kingdom: Scepticism and engagement in union positions on CSR (Michael Gold, Chris Rees and Lutz Preuss) 13. European Trade Unions and CSR: Common dilemmas, different responses (Chris Rees, Lutz Preuss and Michael Gold)
Lutz Preuss is Reader in Corporate Social Responsibility at the School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
Michael Gold is Professor of Comparative Employment Relations at the School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
Chris Rees is Professor of Employment Relations at the School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
'Finally a book that looks at this largely overlooked topic. It’s an essential read for all business practitioners to understand that we can do better than CSR-type paternalism. And trade unionists will enjoy crucial insights into how the rise of CSR can help improve their operations in the second decade of the new millennium.' - Dirk Matten, Professor, York University, Canada
'Preuss, Gold and Rees have assembled a fine collection of studies on a timely yet understudied topic: the link between trade unions and corporate social responsibility (CSR). By comparing insights from a wide range of European countries, this volume provides a systematic overview of how different trade unions relate to CSR.' - Frank G.A. de Bakker, Associate Professor, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands