It has long been assumed that the development of CSR necessarily entails strong relationships with stakeholders. This may be an insufficient condition but is a necessary condition. These relations are often framed in terms of dialogue and sometimes reformulated as multi-stakeholder dialogue. If such multi-stakeholder dialogue is a requirement for dealing with companies individually, even greater emphasis is put on this aspect where sector-related agreements are involved (particularly when developing public policies). In this case, multi-stakeholder dialogue is presented as a necessity because it is associated with fostering consensus and building legitimacy. These public dialogues have often focused on two aspects: (1) the understanding (or definition) of CSR, and (2) the establishment of a CSR agenda. However, the results have often either been unsatisfactory or have failed to live up to expectations. We believe that this is not deliberate on the part of participants but is rather due to the fact that insufficient attention is given to implicit aspects conditioning (and often blocking) dialogue. These aspects bear less on the stances struck by the various agents in relation to what is on the agenda and more on bias hindering confidence-building and a willingness to go beyond the "politically correct" in CSR.

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Lozano Soler, Josep M; Arenas Vives, Daniel

Is multistakeholder dialogue really possible? Mutual resistance and bias in relationships between unions and NGOs

2011
It has long been assumed that the development of CSR necessarily entails strong relationships with stakeholders. This may be an insufficient condition but is a necessary condition. These relations are often framed in terms of dialogue and sometimes reformulated as multi-stakeholder dialogue. If such multi-stakeholder dialogue is a requirement for dealing with companies individually, even greater emphasis is put on this aspect where sector-related agreements are involved (particularly when developing public policies). In this case, multi-stakeholder dialogue is presented as a necessity because it is associated with fostering consensus and building legitimacy. These public dialogues have often focused on two aspects: (1) the understanding (or definition) of CSR, and (2) the establishment of a CSR agenda. However, the results have often either been unsatisfactory or have failed to live up to expectations. We believe that this is not deliberate on the part of participants but is rather due to the fact that insufficient attention is given to implicit aspects conditioning (and often blocking) dialogue. These aspects bear less on the stances struck by the various agents in relation to what is on the agenda and more on bias hindering confidence-building and a willingness to go beyond the "politically correct" in CSR.
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Is multistakeholder dialogue really possible? Mutual resistance and bias in relationships between unions and NGOs
Lozano Soler, Josep M; Arenas Vives, Daniel
In Business ethics and corporate sustainability
Northampton (United States of America): Edward Elgar, 2011
p. 177 - 194
Studies in transatlantic business ethics;

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