THE ILLUSION OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:COCA-COLA AND CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP

Jackie Hayes

Abstract


Under contemporary globalization, corporations have achieved a size and scope unparalleled to any other time in history (May 24). In response to growing corporate power,there have been contestations from unions, environmentalists, and anti-corporate activists stressing corporate reform. One result of social pressure has been the incorporation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns into corporate branding strategies (May 201). On thesurface, these campaigns appear to address and integrate social concerns into regular business practices. Yet, I argue that CSR campaigns are one component of a broader strategy to improvethe management of market crises by incorporating criticisms into corporate managed social responsibility initiatives and can be understood using Foucault’s concept of governmentality. Instead of addressing critiques in a substantive manner, CSR initiatives “break off the sharp points of contention” to bolster legitimacy for free market policies (Hobsbawm). To further understand this process, I focus on the Coca-Cola Company’s CSR campaigns on two scales; theinternational and the national in Chile.

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