The Politics of Reactivity: Ambivalence in corporate responses to corporate social responsibility ratings

Rieneke Slager, Jean Pascal Gond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Organizational ratings exude anxiety and allure, but relatively little is known about how managers balance resisting and mobilizing ratings. We explore this duality with a qualitative study on managerial responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) ratings. Based on interviews focused on CSR ratings with managers of 60 companies, we induce four responses to ratings: grumbling, contestation, cherry-picking and microstatactivism. We further show how managers combine resistance and mobilization in two ambivalent engagement modes. Our analysis contributes to the literature by developing a more nuanced theory of corporate responses to organizational ratings, which demonstrates the importance of ambivalence in managing institutional pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-80
Number of pages22
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume43
Issue number1
Early online date28-Sept-2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2022

Keywords

  • corporate social responsibility
  • grumbling
  • politics
  • ratings
  • reactivity
  • resistance
  • statactivism
  • RANKINGS
  • POWER
  • SUSTAINABILITY
  • COMMENSURATION
  • ORGANIZATIONS
  • CONSTRUCTION
  • INVESTMENT
  • DYNAMICS
  • NUMBERS

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