Exchange as a determinant in corporate citizenship : exploratory action research into the social construction of corporate citizenship
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AbstractThis study attempts to achieve two things. Firstly it contextualizes corporate citizenship drawing on scholarly, government, media, legal and business discourses which when viewed as a whole, reveals the importance of exchange as a central determinant in how all the major themes or subfields of corporate citizenship function and subsequently become valued within public discourse. Secondly, it reports on exploratory action research where I as a researcher occupied a central role in understanding and contributing towards how organizational settings socially construct and evolve corporate citizenship in real time through various exchange behaviour, drawing from four years field research within BP and its interactions with the external world. This research contributes to new knowledge by building a rare contextual understanding into how cultural change evolves over time within an organization, from its public face, through policy, down into employee and stakeholder reactions, including identifying the crucial role played by Cultural bridges’ in shifting entrenched organizational culture towards embracing new, more sustainable ways of doing business, and additionally how practitioners can legitimately act as a researcher in facilitating this process by assisting an organization to move from simple, transactional relationships to more sustainable integrated social, financial and environmental exchange between business and its broader context. Importantly, this research develops entirely new theoretical models for understanding the social application and commercial value of corporate citizenship to both business and society.