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Title: Theological perspectives on the evolution of corporate performance and practice
Author: White, Crispin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 2538
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2009
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This study seeks to address the fact that dramatic change in the way companies perform their accountability to all their stakeholders cannot be expected to happen suddenly, dramatically or, in any sense, mutationally. Change in corporate affairs does not have that nature. However, stakeholders, including faith communities, make justifiable demands of those who manage corporate affairs that they perform their business in a manner which can be seen to be accountable to those who are affected by it - their neighbours, the global community (especially in the case of transnational corporations), the succeeding generations, their employees and customers, and the environment which we all share. The project's methodology is to use the scientific discoveries of palaeontology to parallel corporate accountability by the evidence of human evolution and to use that model to expose the underlying theological principles which can be said to apply to corporate business and the journey towards appropriate corporate social responsibility. The methodology is described in the first chapter and the existing literature of corporate social responsibility and of the address to evolutionary principles together with the critiques of them and the ideas of scientific and theological analysis are explored in the second chapter. There follow four chapters in which case studies are used to draw out specific issues of corporate social responsibility arising from the concerns of faith communities in various locations. The first (Chapter Three) raises the deep-felt concerns of indigenous communities confronting the extractive industries - mining and forestry - based on researches conducted in face-to-face discussions with Aboriginal people in Australia. Secondly (Chapter Four) there is an exploration of the implications for corporate business of the pandemic of HIV / AIDS especially in Southern Africa based around experience and personal contacts in South Africa and on other researches gathered from journalistic sources in Malawi. The third study (Chapter Five) looks at the corporate outrage which was Enron and its deliberate application of human greed to corporate affairs. The study does not hesitate to define this as being a ramification of 'corporate sin'. The final case study seeks to explore the way in which faith communities can collaborate together on a global basis to work for 'a better way of doing things'. This study uses the activities of one mining company, BHP Billiton, to explore these processes. The final chapter (Chapter Seven) seeks to bring these researches together in a theological analysis of the issues and principles of concern and to discover a way in which faith communities can use these researches in their own analysis of corporate social responsibility as a means by which they can seek appropriate corporate accountability from the corporations in which they are stakeholders. This study is unique in that it brings together the analysis of corporate social responsibility with a tool for its measurement in the form of the study of principles of human evolution. The models of the way that the human species have evolved - achieving bipedalism, making tools, caring devotion for fellows, the development of brain power amongst them - are seen in the study as the guides to understanding the theological principles which must undergird a faith community's search for appropriate corporate performance and this is the contribution this study seeks to make to academic knowledge.
Supervisor: Stuart, Elizabeth ; Sheeran, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available