A rather delicious paradox: corporate responsibility and the manufacture of armaments

Taylor, N. A. J. (2012). A rather delicious paradox: corporate responsibility and the manufacture of armaments. In Ralph Tench, William Sun and Brian Jones (Ed.), Corporate social irresponsibility: a challenging concept (pp. 43-62) Bingley, U. K.: Emerald Group Publishing. doi:10.1108/S2043-9059(2012)0000004011

Author Taylor, N. A. J.
Title of chapter A rather delicious paradox: corporate responsibility and the manufacture of armaments
Title of book Corporate social irresponsibility: a challenging concept
Place of Publication Bingley, U. K.
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1108/S2043-9059(2012)0000004011
Series Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability
ISBN 9781780529981
ISSN 2043-9059
Editor Ralph Tench
William Sun
Brian Jones
Volume number 4
Chapter number 3
Start page 43
End page 62
Total pages 20
Total chapters 13
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Purpose – To argue for the use of corporate social irresponsibility (CSI) proves far more useful in assessing arms makers’ limits of responsibility in a different way altogether. By focusing on the negative ‘externalities’ – that is impact on society – we are able to examine the practice in the context of constitutive and regulatory norms (i.e. the accepted rules), as opposed to norms that are merely evaluative (i.e. moral) or practical (i.e. what's possible).

Methodology/approach –
This chapter examines the investment policies, practices and procedures of a handful of Australian pension and sovereign wealth funds in relation to investment in the development and production of cluster munitions – a class of weapon banned under international law since August 2010.

Findings –
The chapter finds that the negative externalities inherent in armaments manufacturing demand that institutional investors view such firms through a ‘CSI lens’, especially when tasked with identifying and developing strategies to account for emerging social norms such as the prohibition of cluster munitions.

Practical implications –
The investor is advantaged by having at its disposal a roadmap for managing – though not necessarily predicting – emerging social norms. This is so for ethical, responsible and mainstream investment approaches, although is most readily compatible with investors who have pre-established exclusionary policies as well as effective implementation procedures.

Social implications –
A CSI approach to investment in cluster munitions as outlined in this chapter benefits society by inducing economic actors, such as pension and sovereign wealth funds, to direct their capital in such a way as to minimize humanitarian and environmental harm.

Originality/value of chapter –
Proponents of the social responsibility of business and investment have seldom assessed the makers of conventional armaments such as machine guns, attack helicopters and battle tanks. Fewer still have attempted to devise and implement such programs within firms. Simply put, the prevailing argument is that arms makers and their financers are not capable of being socially responsible.
Keyword Arms makers
Cluster munitions
Conventional armaments
Violent harm
International humanitarian law
Corporate social irresponsibility
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Mon, 18 Mar 2013, 16:21:05 EST by Nicholas (naj) Taylor on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies