Coalitions and public action in the reshaping of corporate responsibility: the case of the retail banking industry

Marta de la Cuesta-Gonzales, Julie Froud*, Daniel Tischer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether and how public action via civil society and/or government can meaningfully shape industry-wide corporate responsibility (ICR) behaviour. We explore how, in principle, ICR can come about and what conditions might be effective in promoting more ethical behaviour. We propose a framework to understand attempts to develop more responsible behaviour at an industry level through processes of negotiation and coalition building. We suggest that any attempt to meaningfully influence ICR would require stakeholders to possess both power and legitimacy; moreover, magnitude and urgency of the issue at stake may affect the ability to influence ICR. The framework is applied to the retail banking industry, focusing on post-crisis experiences in two countries - Spain and the UK - where there has been considerable pressure on the retail banking industry by civil society and/or government to change behaviours, especially to abandon unethical practices. We illustrate in this paper how corporate responsibility at the sector level in retail banking is the product of context-specific processes of negotiation between civil society and public authorities, on behalf of customers and other stakeholders, drawing on legal and other institutions to influence industry behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Early online date25 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2020

Structured keywords

  • MGMT International Business Management and Strategy
  • MGMT theme Global Political Economy

Keywords

  • corporate responsibility
  • industry corporate responsibility
  • business ethics
  • retail banking
  • bank business models
  • financial services
  • Stakeholder negotiation
  • Spain
  • UK

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