Business-driven Social Change - A Systematic Review of Evidence
Dr Ute Stephan
Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 3286
Dr Malcolm Patterson
Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 3244
While business has often been in the media for its possible negative impacts on society there is a growing recognition that it can be a force for good, positively impacting communities, our environment and society. Indeed, both a systematic review (Orlitzky, Schmidt & Rynes, 2003) and case-examples (e.g., Porter & Kramer, 2006, 2011) suggest that there is a business case for so doing. The big question is “how” can businesses help change the collective behavior of the general public for the betterment of society. Which levers, mechanisms and strategies can business use to achieve collective behavior change towards sustainability? To accomplish the goal of understanding this “how” we systematically review relevant sections of three literature streams as they pertain to collective behavior change for societal good: the emerging literature on social and institutional entrepreneurship, new social movements, and social psychology.
This project is funded and intellectually supported by the Network for Business Sustainability (nbs.net), Canada.
To conduct a systematic review of the body of empirical evidence on business-driven social change with the aim of synthesizing the best available evidence to date on how businesses can create positive societal change towards more sustainability. The findings will be synthesized into a report targeted at practitioners and highlighting actions private, public and third sector organisations can take to create societal change (expected in autumn 2012).
Merryn McGreggor and Sylvia Acquah are members of the project team.
Academic advisors to the project are
Professor Johanna Mair, Stanford University, USA
Professor Rob Briner, University of Bath, UK
Dr Jo Rich, Manchester University, UK