Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business
 

review

Cranfield on Corporate Responsibility

September 2012

Connected by the authors’ mutual place of work, the short advisory essays in this book form something of a disjointed and sprawling collective at odds with its aim to be ‘a manifesto for a new holistic, embedded approach’ to CSR. 
 
Though the editors have attempted a comprehensive overview of the lie of the CSR land, covering a broad sweep of central issues, from sustainable marketing to employee engagement, the concept of Cranfield on Corporate Responsibility seems to have meant inevitably that its contents are arbitrary, dependent on the individual research interests and private-sector activities of each author. 
 
The credentials of each of these writers is not in doubt. Nor is the strength of individual articles: Keith Goffin’s Sustainability and New Product Development, and Ruth Bender’s guide to reporting sustainability, provide straight-talking and incisive advice. But the book can only cover such issues in a selective and, therefore, patchy manner.
 
There are also awkward differences in tone: Andrew Kakabadse and David Grayson’s Embedding the Governance of Responsibility in the Business of the Board gives depth and intelligent analysis, but sits uneasily alongside the punchy guidance of Bender’s piece. Donna Ladkin’s Philosopher, Poet, Trickster: new role models for corporately responsible leaders is so uselessly absurd it would seem out of place in any intelligent company. 
 
The book seems to want to be a introductory guide to CSR en masse, but its different authors means there is too much disjunction, repetition and fragmentation, taking the sum of a number of admittedly impressive parts. 
Ben Hickman 
David Grayson and Nadine Exter (eds), Cranfield on Corporate Responsibility. Greenleaf. 264 pages. £21.95.



Ben Hickman | UK & NI Ireland | CSR

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