Purpose – To explore the link between enterprise scale, ownership and responsibility, specifically with regard to environmental responsibility. The paper argues that more local ownership and the co‐operative organisational form may ensure a higher level of corporate responsibility Design/methodology/approach – The paper is mainly discursive, although three case‐studies of companies are used to illustrate the argument: Shell, Vaux Brewery, and Tower Colliery. Findings – The central findings are that the nature of ownership, the scale of an enterprise, and the governance form are key considerations in terms of the corporate responsibility of firms. Research limitations/implications – Further explorations of CSR in relation to the nature of governance and ownership of firms, and the scale of their operations, would develop and explore this paper's central argument further and thus provide more valuable insights. Practical implications – The paper suggests that the issue of scale and the role of co‐operatives may be of more significance as corporate governance comes under greater scrutiny and sustainability plays a more central role in business practice. Originality/value – This is the first conceptual application of the concept of CSR to co‐operative ownership and governance.
Social Responsibility Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2007
Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Corporate ownership
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