The maturing of socially responsible investment: A review of the developing link with corporate social responsibility

Russell Sparkes, Christopher Cowton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

266 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reviews the development of socially responsible investment (SRI) over recent years and highlights the prospects for an increasingly strong connection with the practice of corporate social responsibility. The paper argues that not only has SRI grown significantly, it has also matured. In particular, it has become an investment philosophy adopted by a growing proportion of large investment institutions. This shift in SRI from margin to mainstream and the position in which institutional investors find themselves is leading to a new form of SRI shareholder pressure. Although this bears some resemblance to lobbying campaigns which might take advantage of shareholder rights, we seek to distinguish it as an important phenomenon in its own right — one to which corporate executives are likely to be paying increasing attention in the years to come. We further argue that this approach potentially meets some of the earlier ethical criticisms of certain forms of SRI but, ironically, probably owes its existence to those pioneering approaches. We conclude with some suggestions for further research to inform discussion of the issues highlighted in the paper.
LanguageEnglish
Pages45-57
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

Fingerprint

social responsibility
shareholder
Socially responsible investment
Corporate Social Responsibility
investor
criticism
campaign

Cite this

@article{6450fa1c360643768d7020834b328a74,
title = "The maturing of socially responsible investment: A review of the developing link with corporate social responsibility",
abstract = "This paper reviews the development of socially responsible investment (SRI) over recent years and highlights the prospects for an increasingly strong connection with the practice of corporate social responsibility. The paper argues that not only has SRI grown significantly, it has also matured. In particular, it has become an investment philosophy adopted by a growing proportion of large investment institutions. This shift in SRI from margin to mainstream and the position in which institutional investors find themselves is leading to a new form of SRI shareholder pressure. Although this bears some resemblance to lobbying campaigns which might take advantage of shareholder rights, we seek to distinguish it as an important phenomenon in its own right — one to which corporate executives are likely to be paying increasing attention in the years to come. We further argue that this approach potentially meets some of the earlier ethical criticisms of certain forms of SRI but, ironically, probably owes its existence to those pioneering approaches. We conclude with some suggestions for further research to inform discussion of the issues highlighted in the paper.",
keywords = "corporate social responsibility, CSR, engagement, ethical investment, shareholder activism, socially responsible investment, SRI",
author = "Russell Sparkes and Christopher Cowton",
year = "2004",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1023/B:BUSI.0000033106.43260.99",
language = "English",
volume = "52",
pages = "45--57",
journal = "Journal of Business Ethics",
issn = "0167-4544",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "1",

}

The maturing of socially responsible investment : A review of the developing link with corporate social responsibility. / Sparkes, Russell; Cowton, Christopher.

In: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 52, No. 1, 06.2004, p. 45-57.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The maturing of socially responsible investment

T2 - Journal of Business Ethics

AU - Sparkes, Russell

AU - Cowton, Christopher

PY - 2004/6

Y1 - 2004/6

N2 - This paper reviews the development of socially responsible investment (SRI) over recent years and highlights the prospects for an increasingly strong connection with the practice of corporate social responsibility. The paper argues that not only has SRI grown significantly, it has also matured. In particular, it has become an investment philosophy adopted by a growing proportion of large investment institutions. This shift in SRI from margin to mainstream and the position in which institutional investors find themselves is leading to a new form of SRI shareholder pressure. Although this bears some resemblance to lobbying campaigns which might take advantage of shareholder rights, we seek to distinguish it as an important phenomenon in its own right — one to which corporate executives are likely to be paying increasing attention in the years to come. We further argue that this approach potentially meets some of the earlier ethical criticisms of certain forms of SRI but, ironically, probably owes its existence to those pioneering approaches. We conclude with some suggestions for further research to inform discussion of the issues highlighted in the paper.

AB - This paper reviews the development of socially responsible investment (SRI) over recent years and highlights the prospects for an increasingly strong connection with the practice of corporate social responsibility. The paper argues that not only has SRI grown significantly, it has also matured. In particular, it has become an investment philosophy adopted by a growing proportion of large investment institutions. This shift in SRI from margin to mainstream and the position in which institutional investors find themselves is leading to a new form of SRI shareholder pressure. Although this bears some resemblance to lobbying campaigns which might take advantage of shareholder rights, we seek to distinguish it as an important phenomenon in its own right — one to which corporate executives are likely to be paying increasing attention in the years to come. We further argue that this approach potentially meets some of the earlier ethical criticisms of certain forms of SRI but, ironically, probably owes its existence to those pioneering approaches. We conclude with some suggestions for further research to inform discussion of the issues highlighted in the paper.

KW - corporate social responsibility

KW - CSR

KW - engagement

KW - ethical investment

KW - shareholder activism

KW - socially responsible investment

KW - SRI

U2 - 10.1023/B:BUSI.0000033106.43260.99

DO - 10.1023/B:BUSI.0000033106.43260.99

M3 - Article

VL - 52

SP - 45

EP - 57

JO - Journal of Business Ethics

JF - Journal of Business Ethics

SN - 0167-4544

IS - 1

ER -