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Corporate social irresponsibility: BP must come clean


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The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill gave rise to the corporate social responsibility movement. The BP oil disaster may mark its collapse.

Over the past two decades, many organizations and investors have conducted an experiment in corporate behavior modification. An array of well-intentioned organizations promoted the idea that large corporations could be made to do the right thing, by urging them to sign voluntary codes of conduct and adopt other seemingly enlightened policies on environmental and social issues.

At first, management met this movement with resistance, but big business soon rea...

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