Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A sneak peek at the new edition of our CSR textbook

The new second edition of our textbook, Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context is due out a little later this year. Above is a first look at the cover, featuring a shot by Lucas Schifres of workers crimping stones on silver in a jewelry factory in Panyu, Guangzhou Province, China.

The photo is part of Schifres' Faces of Made in China series, which was featured on the New York Times "Lens" blog last year. The purpose of the series is to "consider the otherwise anonymous people who produce our essential possessions put a face to labor in China". Whilst most of the photos in the series are simple portraits of Chinese workers, the cover shot shows more of the context in which Chinese-made goods are manufactured.

Schifres didn't only photograph the workers but also interviewed them too. One of the more surprising things he found was, despite concerns from the West about the social responsibility issues evident in many Chinese factories (as exemplified by the Foxconn/Apple controversies of the last few years) they actually found a real sense of pride among workers. As the NYT blog reports Schifres saying, "The answer was always, ‘Oh, we’re very proud; we’re happy that the products go all around the world' ... ‘This is good for China; this is good for our generation.’” “They have absolutely no idea about controversies around the world about the Made in China products,” he said.

This for us captures one of the central questions in CSR - i.e. what exactly is responsible corporate behavior in a global context? Different parts of world have different rules, standards, and expectations concerning social responsibility, but global corporations have to traverse this variety in developing their programmes and need to ensure that their global supply chains meet acceptable standards for working conditions, environmental impacts and other social considerations.

These and many other issues are covered in the book. It's designed for Masters students and advanced undergraduates studying Corporate Social Responsibility courses. The new edition will feature all new cases  (on Vodafone, HSBC and Tata), many new readings, and fully updated editorial content from ourselves and our co-editor Laura Spence. It's also going to have a great new companion website with all sorts of materials for students and instructors. We'll provide more details soon. The book will be out in the summer.

The book is now published. See our post on this and the new free download of Chapter 1

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