The Difference Makers : How Social and Institutional Entrepreneurs Created the Corporate Responsibility Movement book cover
1st Edition

The Difference Makers
How Social and Institutional Entrepreneurs Created the Corporate Responsibility Movement

ISBN 9781906093044
Published May 8, 2008 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

It is not often that we have the opportunity to hear from the early pioneers of a social movement about how it grew and evolved, but that is exactly what this book sets out to do. The Difference Makers tells the stories of 23 entrepreneurs who have been instrumental in developing corporate responsibility; offers an analysis of how CSR has emerged as a key business issue, why it has evolved so quickly, and the visions of its thought leaders.

The book examines 23 of the key players who have been instrumental in developing the corporate responsibility movement. They include John Ruggie and the Global Compact, Allen White and the Global Reporting Initiative, John Elkington and SustainAbility, Simon Zadek and AccountAbility, Alice Tepper Marlin and Social Accountability International, Bob Dunn and Business for Social Responsibility, and Joan Bavaria and Ceres – along with many others. The Difference Makers is a history and detailed analysis of how corporate responsibility has emerged as a key political, social, and business issue, why it has evolved so quickly, and what the visions of its thought leaders are for the future. It is essential reading for academics, business people and all those interested in the future of the corporation.

Table of Contents

ForewordJames P. Walsh,  Ross School of Business, University of MichiganIntroduction: Creating a social movement1. Making a difference2. Building a different future: an emerging corporate responsibility infrastructure3. Early inklings: social pioneering for responsible investing4. Emerging accountability structures5. Emerging responsibility standards6. Transparency and common reporting7. Networking8. Engagement and dialogue: changing the fundamentals9. The vision thing

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Have you ever wanted to get behind-the-scenes, first-hand stories of how the corporate responsibility (CR) movement emerged and most importantly, who are the people behind it?

If yes, then The Difference Makers by Sandra Waddock is for you.In a series of interviews, the author tells the story of “difference makers” – visionary social and institutional entrepreneurs who developed and fostered such important initiatives as the United Nations Global Compact, the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustain Ability, the Institute for Responsible Investment, Account Ability, the International Business Leaders Forum, Fair Labour Association and Boston College Centre for Corporate Citizenship, just to name a few.Besides giving the reader a chance to hear directly from the difference makers themselves, the book aims to address broader issues such as the concept of long-term social change and the drivers behind it as well as the role of individual in creating social movements and the vision behind these changes.

To give you a full view of the creation of this social movement, the book is divided into 9 chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of CR. The difference makers, people from all walks of life, share their experience on such topics as developing sustainability reporting, assessment and analysis of corporate performance through ratings and public monitoring mechanisms as well as the origins of responsible investing and multi-stakeholder dialogue. In the last chapter, the author asks the interviewees to share their view on major obstacles to systemic change and provide insights into the corporate responsibility movement’s key areas for development.

Rooted in the historical context, the book highlights key developments in the emergence of corporate responsibility infrastructure by examining the motivation and inspiration of 23 outstanding difference makers. This book is recommended for those who want to get valuable insights and lessons learned from the founders of the CR movement and “connect the dots” in the journey that was the emergence of corporate responsibility. - Svetlana Skryagina, CSR International


This is a remarkable book about two dozen remarkable leaders ... You hear the Difference Makers tell their separate stories in their own words. And what fascinating stories they are! ... Waddock skillfully weaves selected passages from their accounts in chain-like fashion to reveal the early emergence of social investing, its subsequent full-blown development, the expansion into employee, consumer, and environmental issues, the creation of global standards and human rights principles to guide corporate policy, and the literal invention of networking agencies to spread the word directly to firms, governments, educators, and the public citizenry worldwide ...And this is not just dull "history" but a lively account of how these social inventors translated generalized concepts into operational systems. ... As James Walsh says in the Foreword, "Sandra Waddock is a difference maker." Author of books and articles about corporate responsibility, former editor of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, a recognized world authority on business-society relationships, an indefatigable worker and colleague in the struggle for workplace human rights, and a veteran of her own early struggles as a woman to gain her well-deserved professional status, Sandra Waddock clearly is a Difference Maker extraordinaire. ... You owe it to yourself and to your students to get better acquainted with all two dozen Difference Makers. Read the full review - William C. Frederick


It's an inspiring read to see how the personal stories formed these leaders' life paths and allows the reader to identify with them. Author Sandra Waddock uses an interesting style interweaving the personal background of 23 leaders with how they came about to create their organizations and initiatives. Read the full blog entry about Jane Nelson - Business4Good Blog, 13 October 2008. - Jürgen Nagler