Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how chief executive officer values and ethics have been translated into what we now term corporate social responsibility in a stakeholder view of the firm. Design/methodology/approach – To fulfill this purpose, the reflections of early business scholars on top management's impact on corporate social responsibility are examined and linked to more contemporary views. Findings – In response to stakeholder expectations of corporate social responsibility it is the chief executive officer's values and ethics, moderated by managerial discretion, that frame the firm's actions and ethics. Practical implications – The aspiring executive may evaluate the ethics of industries and firms against his or her own values to identify zones of greatest synergy, while the firm's executive search process can consider including an assessment of the fit of candidates' personal values. Originality/value – This paper builds on the works of early management scholars to specifically link contemporary corporate social responsibility decision making with executive values.
Journal of Management History – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 9, 2009
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Business ethics; Stakeholder analysis