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Collective beliefs for responsible investment

Author

Listed:
  • Christel Dumas

    (ICHEC)

  • Céline Louche

    (Rn'B Lab - Research Center of Audencia - Centrale Nantes - Audencia Business School)

Abstract

The financial community does not seem to have shifted yet to greater sustainability, despite increasing awareness and concerns around social and environmental issues. In this paper, we provide insights to help understand why. Building on responsible investment (RI) data from the UK financial press between 1982 and 2010, we examine the collective beliefs which financial actors rely on to take decisions under uncertainty, as a way of understanding the status of and implications for RI mainstreaming. Our results identify five periods that characterize RI over time. The “civil rights” years (1982-1991), the “green niche” years (1992-1997), the “professionalization” years (1998-2000), the “SRI” years (2001-2004) and the “ESG” years (2005-ongoing) follow each other with specific representations and practices for RI. The analysis of the collective beliefs leads us to define two theoretical dimensions – justifying RI and practicing RI—that allow us to characterize how mainstream actors collectively make sense of RI. Our data confirm the existence of collective beliefs around RI and highlights changes in the content of the collective beliefs throughout the five periods, demonstrating a dynamic in the RI field. Our analysis reveals that the RI collective beliefs currently (1) do not provide a favorable environment for RI mainstreaming and (2) need to be taken into account when discussing the value of sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Christel Dumas & Céline Louche, 2016. "Collective beliefs for responsible investment," Post-Print hal-01183744, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01183744
    DOI: 10.1177/0007650315575327
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01183744
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    File URL: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01183744/document
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Hoepner & Arleta Majoch, 2016. "Pension Funds and the Principles for Responsible Investment: Multiplying Stakeholder Salience?," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2016-07, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. repec:taf:oabmxx:v:4:y:2017:i:1:p:1340820 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    collective beliefs; Responsible investment; media studies; mainstreaming;

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