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Responsible Innovation in the Light of Moral Responsibility


  • Sophie Pellé

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Bernard Reber

    (CEVIPOF - Centre de recherches politiques de Sciences Po (Sciences Po, CNRS) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Responsible innovation (RI) has become a powerful tenet of the European Commission discourse on science and society. And yet, the concept has remained surprisingly under-theoretically developed by RI advocates, who appear to be more interested in investigating the ‘ingredients' or ‘pillars' of responsibility than the normative dimension of it. In order to fill this gap, the paper below will consider ‘moral responsibility' in the context of supply chains and innovation networks. It will firstly scrutinize the conception of responsibility developed in corporate social responsibility (CSR) approaches and what impact this conception might have on RI. Somewhat paradoxically, CSR approaches have been neglected by most RI theorists. It will then propose a conceptual mapping of the ten different meanings of responsibility that have emerged in moral philosophy, drawing on a distinction between negative and positive conceptions. Finally, it will scrutinize possible implementation of these various meanings of responsibility in supply chains and innovation networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Pellé & Bernard Reber, 2015. "Responsible Innovation in the Light of Moral Responsibility," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01418017, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-01418017
    DOI: 10.3920/JCNS2014.x017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chris Groves & Lori Frater & Robert Lee & Elen Stokes, 2011. "Is There Room at the Bottom for CSR? Corporate Social Responsibility and Nanotechnology in the UK," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 101(4), pages 525-552, July.
    2. Armin Grunwald, 2011. "Responsible innovation: bringing together technology assessment, applied ethics, and STS research," Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, vol. 7(7), pages 9-31, November.
    3. Schwartz, Mark S. & Carroll, Archie B., 2003. "Corporate Social Responsibility: A Three-Domain Approach," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 503-530, October.
    4. Carter, Craig R. & Jennings, Marianne M., 2002. "Social responsibility and supply chain relationships," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 37-52, January.
    5. Spector, Bert, 2008. "“Business Responsibilities in a Divided World†: The Cold War Roots of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 314-336, June.
    6. Kenneth M. Amaeshi & Onyeka K. Osuji & Paul Nnodim, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Supply Chains of Global Brands: A Boundaryless Responsibility? Clarifications, Exceptions and Implications," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 223-234, August.
    7. Richard Owen & Phil Macnaghten & Jack Stilgoe, 2012. "Responsible research and innovation: From science in society to science for society, with society," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(6), pages 751-760, December.
    8. Stilgoe, Jack & Owen, Richard & Macnaghten, Phil, 2013. "Developing a framework for responsible innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1568-1580.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Michali & George Eleftherakis, 2022. "Public Engagement Practices in EC-Funded RRI Projects: Fostering Socio-Scientific Collaborations," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-25, August.
    2. Matti Sonck & Lotte Asveld & Patricia Osseweijer, 2019. "Meta-Responsibility in Corporate Research and Innovation: A Bioeconomic Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, December.
    3. Jiminez-Guerrero, Jose F. & Perez-Mesa, Juan C. & Burgos-Jimenez, Jeronimo de & Piedra-Munoz, Laura, 2018. "Considering the consumer in the design of a supply chain of perishables," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 21(4).
    4. Sara H. Wilford, 2018. "First Line Steps in Requirements Identification for Guidelines Development in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)," Systemic Practice and Action Research, Springer, vol. 31(5), pages 539-556, October.
    5. Pielow, Cornelia & Schulze-Ehlers, Birgit, 2016. "Strategic CSR in food industry SMEs: identifying individual hot spots," 26th International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) World Forum, 2016, Aarhus, Denmark 275887, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA).
    6. Kate Chatfield & Konstantinos Iatridis & Bernd C. Stahl & Nearchos Paspallis, 2017. "Innovating Responsibly in ICT for Ageing: Drivers, Obstacles and Implementation," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 9(6), pages 1-22, June.
    7. Assunta Di Vaio & Anum Zaffar & Daniel Balsalobre-Lorente & Antonio Garofalo, 2023. "Decarbonization technology responsibility to gender equality in the shipping industry: a systematic literature review and new avenues ahead," Journal of Shipping and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 1-20, December.
    8. Jolita Ceicyte & Monika Petraite, 2018. "Networked Responsibility Approach for Responsible Innovation: Perspective of the Firm," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(6), pages 1-15, May.
    9. Dalziel, Paul & Saunders, Caroline & Tait, Peter & Saunders, John & Miller, Sini & Guenther, Meike & Rutherford, Paul & Driver, Tim, 2018. "Rewarding responsible innovation when consumers are distant from producers: evidence from New Zealand," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 21(4).
    10. Tetiana Ivanova & Iryna Manaienko & Marina Shkrobot & Yuriy Tadeyev, 2021. "Theoretical Frameworks of Responsible Innovations," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 5, pages 143-157.

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    Responsible innovation; Moral innovation; Corporate social responsibility; Moral responsibility; Supply chains;
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