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Shale gas: play at your own cost

Natalya Turkina explores the rise of shale gas extraction and consumption, termed ‘fracking’, with unexpected implications ranging from the economic to the environmental.

Limits of CSR: mere lyrics versus the current political economy paradigm

When I started to research corporate social responsiblity (CSR) a friend of mine exclaimed: “So you are studying something that does not exist!” My interest did not decrease after that, although I got many skeptical comments from some professors as well. Probably for many, the debt crisis in the Eurozone or the reasons of the financial crisis of 2007-2009 seem to be more up-to-date and crucial topics for research. Why? Because they are all about money – the key issue of the current economic paradigm.

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China in Africa: mutual benefits or new era of colonisation?

Increasingly, we can read and hear stories about Chinese State-owned Enterprises operating in Africa. China is becoming an important trade partner and investor in African countries; this interest of China is easy to understand. The abundance of various raw materials that can be found in the African continent is highly desired by Chinese industries. China has already overtaken America as the largest net importer of oil, and this hunger for raw materials will only continue to grow.

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How Does Culture Impact our Expectations of Corporate Social Responsibility?

Culture matters. In every aspect of our life and there is no doubt about it. CSR is such a product of corporate activity that it undeniably has its own cultural “face”. Many scholars have already acknowledged the existence of these differences and highlight culture as one of the main factors among drivers of CSR.

Let’s look at the issue from the perspective of our own everyday experience and observations.

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Who is the most sustainable?

Results for 2012 Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes Review was announced earlier last year. The goal of this article is to highlight the companies and countries that were leaders in terms of sustainability performance in 2011.

The world’s 2500 largest companies from 58 different sectors were analysed in terms of their opportunities and risks derived from economic, environmental and social developments. Only 15% of them were included in The Sustainability Yearbook.

Companies that have the highest score in the Review represent following countries: the USA (38 leading positions), the UK (25), South Korea (22), Germany (19), France (16), Japan (13), Spain (13) and Australia (12). 

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Difference between Good and Responsible Businessmen

You can be born to be a good businessman, but you can be only taught to be a responsible one.

Porter’s article “Creating shared value: How to reinvent capitalism – and unleash a wave of innovation and growth” argues that companies can create economic value by creating societal value, and the purpose of businesses must be redefined as creating shared value, not just profit per se.

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What Gets Measured gets Done

I personally a priori do not expect from a business neither any good will, nor morality or nobleness. We have some exceptions in business world but they just prove the rule. As long as there are shareholders’ interests and goals of profit maximization, businesses will be always after new possibilities of cutting costs and ways of raising incomes at the first place. All the other types of activities (unless their implementation is forced by a third side), which do not increase a company’s bottom line in a traditional way, are either window dressing, or in some cases attempts (successful or not) to Create Shared Value (CSV). CSV is a concept introduced by Michael Porter in 2011. The main difference between CSV and CSR is that the latter is about responsibility, whereas CSV is about creating value. According to CSR concept businesses are put against society. CSV, on the contrary, focuses more on the opportunities for competitive advantage from building a social value proposition into business strategy.

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