The last ten years have seen an extraordinary transformation in how business has to account for itself. Today, the air is thick with the buzz of corporate responsibility (CR) leaders, innovators and practitioners. Conferences and publications on the topic are in abundance: the tip of an iceberg that has become a fast-growth industry. Many of those companies and service providers most vocal in distancing themselves from early experimentation have proved the strongest advocates of sustainability reporting, often winning applause and coveted awards in the process. Even companies from controversial sectors such as alcohol, cigarettes and gambling have joined the party – running up bills of tens of millions of dollars in demonstrating their new-found faith for CR. It has not always been like this. As one of the architects of the burgeoning CR movement, Simon Zadek has always been a prolific writer and contributor of ideas. The evolution of his thoughts on new economics, corporate accountability, stakeholder dialogue, social and ethical auditing and reporting have attracted consistent attention – never more than today. In this unique anthology, Zadek crystallises his key work from the last decade into a coherent and fascinating whole, which, read together, provide a context, lens and early history lesson on how CR has become one of the defining business issues of the 21st century. The writings reflect Zadek's involvement with organisations such as the New Economics Foundation, a pioneer in the development of social auditing, sustainability indicators, community finance and much more. They illustrate his contribution in setting up the Ethical Trading Initiative, and AccountAbility (where he is presently the CEO), in working with companies such as The Body Shop and Ben & Jerry's through to Nike, BT and many other civil-society organisations. The book contains 33 pieces, which are split into six sections: "The Economics of Utopia"; "Civil Society, Power and Accountability"; "Accounting for Change"; "The Civil Corporation"; "Partnership Alchemy"; and "Responsible Competitiveness". It will be an invaluable resource for anyone wishing develop an understanding of why corporate responsibility is where it is today and where it might end up tomorrow.
Table of Contents
Introduction: writing by candlelight Section 1. The economics of utopia 1. A Matter of Need 2. The Practice of Buddhist Economics 3. An Economics of Utopia: Democratising Scarcity Section 2. Civil society, power and accountability 4. Looking Back from 2010 5. Which Globalisation? 6. Consumer Works 7. Civil Regulation 8. Civil Governance and Accountability: From Fear and Loathing to Social Innovation 9. Practical People, Noble Causes 10. The Art of Mediation: Tutning Practice into Policy Section 3. Accounting for change 11. Accounting for Change: Indicators for Sustainable Development 12. Trading Ethics: Auditing the Market 13. Beyond Fourth-Generation Evaluation 14. Social Labels as a Tool for Ethical Trade 15. Accounting Works: A Comparative Review of Contemporary Approaches to Social and Ethical Accounting 16. Adding Values: The Economics of Sustainable Business 17. Impacts of Reporting: The Role of Social and Sustainability Reporting in Organisational Transformation 18. Redefining Materiality Section 4. The civil corporation 19. Looking Back from 2050 20. Can Corporations Be Civil? 21. Ethical Trade Futures 22. Conversations with Disbelievers: Persuading Companies to Address Social Challenges 23. Accountability and Governance 24. Reflections on Corporate Responsibility after 9/11 Section 5. Partnership alchemy 25. Partnership Futures 26. Partnership Alchemy: Engagement, Innovation and Governance 27. Endearing Myths, Enduring Truths: Partnerships between Business, Civil-Society Organisations and Government 28. Working with Multilaterals Section 6. Responsible competitiveness 29. Responsible Competitiveness: Corporate Responsibility Clusters in Action 30. Third-Generation Corporate Citizenship: Public Policy and Business in Society 31. Dangerous Trading: Trade and Growth Pose a Threat to the Environment Unless Care is Taken 32. Dealing with and in the Global Market: Fairer Trade in Latin America 33. Governing the Provision of Global Public Goods: The Role and Legitimacy of Non-state Actors
... interesting reading for any CR professional; providing information the practitioner can relate to his or her individual organisation. - Corporate Responsibility Management, December/January 2005
Every field needs its gurus and, in Simon Zadek, corporate accountability has a leading contender for the title. Author of The Civil Corporation and the much-used pamphlet, Conversations with Disbelievers, Zadek has written extensively on the thinking and processes that have brought us to where we are today. This collection, which spans the last decade, will provide readers with an invaluable perspective on ongoing debates around issues such as social accounting, cross-sector partnerships and responsible competitiveness. - Corporate Citizenship Briefing, November 2004
Simon Zadek is one of the architects of the corporate responsibility movement ... This collection reflects Zadek's involvement with such organizations as the New Economics Foundation, one of the pioneers in the development of social auditing, sustainability indicators, community finance and other concepts. It also illustrates his contribution to the creation of the Ethical Trading Initiative and of AccountAbility (of which he is the CEO). - UNEP Industry and Environment, October–December 2004
...as a visionary, he can be remarkably precise, while his treatment of minute detail often shows real insight... - Ethical Performance, February 2005