History of Corporate Responsibility Project

CEBC’s multi-year project is designed to inform business leaders and scholars about the development and evolution of ideas and practices in corporate responsibility. Although terminology varies – corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, even sustainability – the project focuses on the question “to whom and for what is the modern corporation responsible” and how has this question been raised and addressed in the U.S. and globally. To encourage research beyond the project, the center supports best paper competitions, and as needed, solicits working papers on selected topics.

img_corporate-responsibility-book-jacketA U.S. history: Fall 2012 marked publication of Corporate Responsibility: The American Experience. This volume, published by Cambridge University Press, was developed under the center’s leadership and authored by a distinguished team of scholars: Archie B. Carroll, Ph.D. (University of Georgia), Kenneth J. Lipartito, Ph.D. (Florida International University), James E. Post, Ph.D. (Boston University), and Patricia H. Werhane, Ph.D. (Depaul University). The CEBC project team for the US history was led by Kenneth E. Goodpaster, Ph.D. (University of St. Thomas – Minnesota) serving as Executive Editor and David Rodbourne as CEBC project director. The book stands as a landmark publication on the evolution of the ideas and practices of corporate responsibility in the U.S.

A Global history: Work on a second volume, focused on the global development of corporate responsibility expectations and practices, is beginning in early 2013.

Funding for the project flows from a major gift by Philadelphia entrepreneur Harry R. Halloran, Jr. and the Halloran Philanthropies to the University of St. Thomas and the center. Halloran shares CEBC’s belief that business is one of the most powerful drivers for positive social change.

The project is of special significance to the center which was founded in 1978 by Minnesota business leaders who addressed both societal issues and high standards of practice as a core responsibilities of business. Previously, the center published Culture of Corporate Citizenship: Minnesota’s Business Legacy for the Global Future by Wilfred Bockelman in 2000.

For information, please contact David Rodbourne – CEBC’s Vice President and Project Director of the History of Corporate Responsibility Project at dhrodbourne@cebcglobal.org.