Private good = public gain? Has ethical pressure squared the circle?

Published on 2 November 1998

What factors mainly influence the conduct of companies in relation to human development today? Social and ethical movements and pressure groups are widely credited with putting social responsibility, environmental care and civil rights on the corporate agenda.

On the official side, a 1997 policy White Paper by the UK Department for International Development pledged support for ethical trading, set a public seal of approval on corporate responsibility and propelled the issue firmly into the sights of development research. But has any of these trends made a lasting difference to the way businesses think and behave? If so, how? What new approaches are on the cards? How will they affect development goals? And what practical lessons can the process teach us?

Publication details

Brown, R., Joekes, S. and Humphrey, E.
id21 Insights, issue 28