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Ethics, Regulation & Globalisation

Aims & objectives

This project examined the relationship between globalisation, business ethics and the development of regulatory policy in a number of contexts. Recent work has focused on the contribution of multinational companies to the creation of social capital and on strategies for achieving decarbonisation.

Results & dissemination

During 2010 we completed a working paper suggesting that engaging individuals and changing norms of behaviour will be crucial if substantial decarbonisation is to be achieved and if the full costs of climate change and related development challenges are to be willingly met by societies around the world. Engaging individuals and changing norms fundamentally relate to individual moral values. This brought us to a consideration of how organised religion can play a role in providing the moral basis for individual action in this area. We also suggested implications for how business will need to engage with the challenges posed by decarbonisation. Our discussion linked the underlying ethical issues raised by The Economics of Climate Change (Stern, 2007) with Vandenbergh's (2005) emphasis on the need for 'personal norm activation' to engage individuals in protecting the environment.

We also completed a major working paper on high street retailers' climate strategies, developing our earlier CBR work on social capital building by multinationals. This work was funded by the ESRC and hosted in the Electricity Policy Research Group. We used a social capital approach to firstly measure best practice in the climate strategies of a sample of 60 companies. We then measured the differences in engagement with partner organisations across the same set of companies. Using our best practice and partnership indices, we investigate how committed companies are to climate strategies; how partnerships have an impact on best practice; and we try to understand the distinction between companies that are more and less highly engaged in partnering. We find that partnership has an important role to play; and specifically that higher levels of partner diversity and greater depth of engagement improve the impact of partnership on best practice.

Journal articles

Jones, I.W., Nyland, C.M. and Pollitt, M.G.(2004) 'Multinationals in Developing Communities: How UK multinationals build Social Capital in South Africa', New Academy Review, Vol. 3, No.2, pp.70-91.

Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G. (2004) Understanding How Issues in Corporate Governance Develop: Cadbury Report to Higgs Review', Corporate Governance, April, Vol.12, No.2, pp.162-171. 

Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G. (2002a) 'Who influences debates in Business Ethics? An examination of UK Corporate Governance since 1990', New Academy Review Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 68-82. 

Pollitt, M.G. (2002) 'The economics of trust, norm and networks', Business Ethics - A European Review, Vol, no 2, pp 119-128. 

Pollitt, M.G. (2001), 'Raising Social Capital - Whys and Wherefores; Reviews of R.D.Putnam, Bowling Alone - The Collapse and Revival of American Community and D.Cohen and L.Prusak, In Good Company - How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work', Faith in Business, Vol.5, No.1, p.23-26.

Books

Jones, I.W., Pollitt, M. and Bek, D. (2007) Multinationals in their Communities: a Social Capital Approach to Corporate Citizenship Projects. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jones, I. and Pollitt, M. (2002) (eds) Understanding How Issues in Business Ethics Develop. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Jones, I. and Pollitt, M (1998) (eds) The Role of Business Ethics in Economic Performance. Macmillan Press, London.

Book chapters

Green Values, Green Business and Sustainability, Abingdon: Routledge.

Jones, I. and Pollitt, M. (2002) 'Understanding how issues in business ethics develop: introduction', in Jones, I. and Pollitt, M. (eds) (2002) Understanding How Issues in Business Ethics Develop London: Palgrave.

Jones, I. and Pollitt, M. (2002) 'Who influences debates in business ethics? The development of corporate governance in the UK since 1990' in Jones, IW and Pollitt, MG (eds) Understanding How Issues in Business Ethics Develop, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Working papers

Jones, I. (2010), What lessons should Christian Economists learn from the Credit Crunch?, Roundtable Discussion, Association of Christian Economists UK, Discussion Paper 004, p.1-18.

Brophy Haney, A., Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G. (2010) 'UK retailers and climate change: The role of partnership in climate strategies' EPRG Working Paper Series, No.0928.

Pollitt, M. (2010) 'Green values in communities: how and why to engage individuals with decarbonisation targets' CBR Working Paper No. 398, March 2010.

Bek, D., Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G (2007), 'Multinationals in their Communities: A social capital approach to corporate citizenship projects', CBR Working Paper No. 337.

Bek, D., Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G. (2005), 'How do multinationals build social capital: Diageo's corporate citizenship programme CBR Working Paper No. 302.

Jones, I.W., Nyland, C.M. and Pollitt, M.G. (2004), 'Multinationals in Developing Communities: How EU multinationals build Social Capital in Poland', CBR Working Paper No.285.

Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G. (2003) ‘Understanding How Issues in Corporate Governance Develop: Cadbury Report to Higgs Review’ CBR Working Paper No.277.

Jones, I., Pollitt, M. and Nyland, C. (2002) 'How do multinationals build social capital? Evidence from Mexico' CBR Working Paper No. 249.

Jones, I.W., Pollitt, M.G, & Nyland, C (2001), 'How do multinationals build social capital? Evidence from South Africa. CBR Working Paper No 221.

Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G. (2001) Who influences debates in business ethics? An investigation into the development of Corporate Governance in the UK since 1990. CBR Working Paper No. 220.

Pollitt, M.G. (2001), 'The Economics of Trust, Norms and Networks', CIBAM January 2001 Colloquium Papers.

Jones, I.W. and Pollitt, M.G. (1999) The development of ethical issues facing boards of directors: a model with implications. CBR Working Paper No.151, December.

Conference/Workshop papers

Pollitt, M. (2010) 'What Do Economists and Theologians have to say to Each Other? Some Evidence', Association of Christian Economists Annual Conference, July.

Pollitt, M. (2009) 'The ethics of the Stern Review', Association of Christian Economists Annual Conference, July.

Pollitt, M. (2009) Judge Business School Faculty Seminar on 'Multinationals and Corporate Citizenship' in Cambridge, May.

Jones, I (2009) How MNEs approach community projects, reflections on measurement, motivation and ethics, Ashridge International Research Conference 21st May 2009.

Jones, I (2009) Panel member on CSR and Development Panel, 2nd International Business Conference, Reading University. 

Jones, I. (2008), 'Multinationals in their communities', European Management Association, Pisa.

Jones, I. (2009), 'Effectiveness, motivation and Leadership of MNEs' third world CSR community projects. workshop on Business Ethics, Centre for Institional Performance, Reading University 29 March 2009.

Jones, I. and Pollitt, M. (2009) 'Multinationals in their Communities: a social capital approach to corporate citizenship projects' at the EBEN UK conference in Gloucester, April, 2007.

Pollitt, M. (2006) 'Multinationals in their Communities: a social capital approach to corporate citizenship projects', British Academy of Management annual conference, Belfast, September 2006.

Pollitt, M. (2007) 'Multinationals in their Communities: a social capital approach to corporate citizenship projects', NHH Accounting and Management Science seminar series, Bergen, Norway, February, 2007.

Polllitt, M. (2009), 'Green values in Communities: Origins and Practice', CIBAM Conference on 'Green Business and Green Values', Cambridge, Feb 19-20, 2009. 

Polllitt, M. (2009), 'The Ethics of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change', Association of Christian Economists Annual Conference, Cambridge, July 3-4, 2009.

Media coverage

Jones, I. (2010), 'God or Mammon, leader in feature article on 'God or Mammon - room for both? Examination of the business moral compass', Financial World, April 2010.

12-13 April 2007: Ian Jones, Michael Pollitt and David Bek win BEST PAPER PRIZE at EBEN UK

20 June 2004: Shell: cracked or shattered?

Project leaders

Michael Pollitt (Cambridge Judge Business School)
Ian Jones (Lincoln College, Oxford and Herriot Watt Business School)

Research assistants

Aoife Brophy (Energy Policy Research Group)

Project dates

1999-2010

Funding

ESRC (core grant to CBR)