Paths of corporate irresponsibility
In this qualitative meta-analysis, the author analyses corporate irresponsibility as an emergent organisational process. Organisations enacting irresponsible practices rely not only on a particular form of a process path, but on how this process path evolves within the organisation.
To achieve a better understanding of this process path, the author conducted a qualitative meta-analysis drawn from 20 published cases of irresponsible organisations. The author explores how and under which conditions irresponsible behaviour of organisations arises, develops, and changes over time. The process path of corporate irresponsibility relies on the interaction of multiple levels of analysis and its temporal occurrence, resulting in either path dependency or path creation. Based on the empirical findings of the evolving phenomena, this study focuses on three phases of corporate irresponsibility: institutionalisation, problematisation, and adaptation.
The process of corporate irresponsibility can take two distinct paths, the reactive (organisations becoming locked-in in the path of corporate irresponsibility), and the proactive (organisations radically changing and breaking their path of corporate irresponsibility).
This study contributes to the corporate irresponsibility literature by offering new insights into, first, a processual and more interactional approach to corporate irresponsibility that accounts for interdependencies on the different levels of each phase, and second, the self-reinforcing mechanisms and explanatory patterns of corporate irresponsibility leading to path dependency or path creation.
Jill A. Küberling-Jost. 2021. Paths of Corporate Irresponsibility: A Dynamic Process.