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Aux sources de la responsabilité sociale de l’entreprise : à la (re)découverte d’un ouvrage fondateur, Social Responsibilities of the Businessman d’Howard Bowen L’impact des privatisations sur la performance des entreprises françaises

Listed author(s):
  • Aurélien Acquier


  • Jean-Pascal Gond

    (University of Nottingham et Université de Toulouse 1)

Registered author(s):

    (VF)Le livre d’Howard Bowen, Social Responsibilities of the Businessman (1953) a un statut paradoxal. Reconnu comme l’un des travaux fondateurs sur la Responsabilité Sociale de l’Entreprise (RSE), il est très fréquemment cité alors même qu’il semble avoir été très peu lu et analysé. Cet article, en proposant d’analyser cet ouvrage et d’en présenter les grandes idées, s’inscrit dans une démarche visant à appréhender la construction de la notion de RSE et à en reconstituer la généalogie. Au-delà du témoignage historique, cet ouvrage a une forte résonance théorique:il préfigure un grand nombre de recherches ultérieures et propose un cadre d’analyse fécond.(VA)Howard Bowen’s book Social Responsibilities of the Businessman (1953) has a paradoxical status. Considered as a seminal work in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, it is frequently quoted although it does not seem to have widely been read. Adopting a genealogical perspective, we analyze this book and present its core theses, in an attempt to grasp the dynamics of the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility. Beyond its historical value, Social Responsibilities of the Businessman contains important theoretical implications:it foreshadows many strands of later trends of CSR research, and provides a fruitful analytical framework.

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    Article provided by in its journal Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 5-35

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    Handle: RePEc:dij:revfcs:v:10:y:2007:i:q2:p:5-35
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    1. Malcolm Rutherford, 2001. "Institutional Economics: Then and Now," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 173-194, Summer.
    2. Dierkes, Meinolf & Berthoin Antal, Ariane, 1986. "Whither corporate social reporting: is it time to legislate?," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 106-121.
    3. Preston, Lee E, 1975. "Corporation and Society: The Search for a Paradigm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 434-453, June.
    4. Freeman, R. Edward, 1994. "The Politics of Stakeholder Theory: Some Future Directions," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 409-421, October.
    5. Winton U. Solberg & Robert W. Tomilson, 1997. "Academic McCarthyism and Keynesian Economics: The Bowen Controversy at the University of Illinois," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 55-81, Spring.
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