Marketing Seminar - Professor Dirk Matten

Seminar Room 10.039, Level 10, The Spot Building (198 Berkeley St)


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A/Prof Ben Neville

T: +61 3 8344 1907

PRESENTER: Professor Dirk Matten (Schulich school of Business, York University, Canada)
TOPIC: “Implicit/explicit CSR’ revisited – The dynamics of CSR in a comparative perspective: Convergence towards divergent hybrids” 

Matten and Moon (2008) was awarded the Academy of Management Review Best Paper of the Decade Award (2008-18). In this seminar, Prof Dirk Matten will present the workings of an update of the ideas in this paper. The spread of global capitalism has been accompanied by the proliferation of business activities in favor of the public good, driven by corporate discretion and self-interest. Matten and Moon (2008) have termed such an assumption of social responsibility by business as ‘explicit CSR’ – as opposed to ‘implicit CSR’. The latter term refers to institutionalised, entrenched (mostly local) forms of assigning business responsibility for the public good, be it by law, religion, customs or traditions. This paper critically examines the ‘implicit/explicit’ CSR dichotomy in the light of a decade of research on comparative CSR that has engaged with the proposed framework at various levels. We discuss three major research questions: (1) we question the accuracy and usefulness of the proposed ‘implicit/explicit’ CSR dichotomy; (2) we examine the vast number of empirical works that have looked at hybrid forms of implicit and explicit CSR to ask how implicit and explicit CSR are hybridized; and (3) given the recent dynamics in global capitalism and politics, we consider future forms of CSR, providing a framework to address the future trajectories for business’ responsibilities for the public good at macro, micro and meso levels. One of the most conspicuous outcomes of our analysis is the role of implicit CSR in shaping new, emerging forms of institutionalised, explicit forms of CSR.

Dirk Matten is the Gourlay Visiting Professor of Ethics in Business for 2018-19 at Trinity College, University of Melbourne. Dirk holds the Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility at the Schulich School of Business. He has a doctoral degree and the habilitation from Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf in his native Germany. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of London, the University of Nottingham and at Sabancı University in Istanbul. Until recently, Prof. Matten served as Schulich’s Associate Dean, Research and the founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (COERB). He has taught and done research at academic institutions in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Turkey, and the USA. He has published 28 books and edited volumes as well as more than 90 journal articles and book chapters, which have won numerous prestigious awards. In August 2018, his paper with Prof. Jeremy Moon “'Implicit' and 'Explicit' CSR: A Conceptual Framework for a Comparative Understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility” (Academy of Management Review Vol. 33, No. 2) was awarded “Academy of Management Review Paper of the Decade”. In the same year he was also ranked #44 in the 'Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Leader' ranking (next to CEOs and CSR leaders of Unilever, Google, Apple etc. He is the only academic scholar on the list). Prof. Matten’s work has appeared in many international journals including Academy of Management Review, California Management Review, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization Studies. Prof. Matten was co-editor of the journal Business & Society (SAGE) from 2014-2017.

RSVPs are not necessary.