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Actual and normative terms of the interaction between NGOs and corporations

abstract Partnerships between companies and NGOs have received considerable attention in CSR in the past years. However, the question what makes NGOs legitimate as partners of corporations, has been neglected so far. In one publication (Baur & Palazzo 2012) I argue that the legitimacy of NGOs as partners of corporations depends on their moral legitimacy. Based on a conceptual framework that distinguishes between different types of criteria it is argued that the moral legitimacy of NGOs as partners of corporations is best judged along procedural criteria.
In another publication (Baur & Schmitz 2012), I show that intensified interaction between NGOs and corporations has led NGOs to assume increasingly business-oriented roles which tend to blur the boundaries between them and economic actors. This trend, named co-optation, is also reflected in the debate on NGO accountability where current conceptions of accountability implicitly or explicitly promote the co-optation of NGOs.
In a third publication (Baur & Arenas, forthcoming) I take a critical look at the political model that is underlying political notions of the interaction between business and civil society and I argue in favour of a more critical assessment of the benefits and dangers of regulating the interaction between business and civil society in multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Baur, D. and H. P. Schmitz (2012). "Corporations and NGOs: When Accountability leads to Co-optation." Journal of Business Ethics 106(1): 9-21.

Baur, D. and G. Palazzo (2011). "The Moral Legitimacy of NGOs as Partners of Corporations." Business Ethics Quarterly 21(4): 579-604.

Baur, D. and D. Arenas (forthcoming). "The value of unregulated business-NGO interaction: a deliberative perspective." Business & Society.
   
keywords CSR, NGOs, corporations as political actors, politlcal theory, democracy, legitimacy
   
partner
type other project type
status completed
start of project 2009
end of project 2011
additional informations
topics business ethics, business and society, CSR, political theory
methods conceptual research
profile area SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Märkte (KIM)
contact Dorothea Baur