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Corporate Ethical Trading in an Economic Downturn: Recessionary Pressures and Refracted Responsibilities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alexandra Hughes


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This article investigates the effects of an economic downturn on corporate social responsibility, with a focus on how UK food and clothing retailers responded to recessionary pressures between 2008 and 2009 in their corporate strategies for ethical trade. In contrast to the view that corporate ethical trading might contract in scale during recession, its (uneasy) resilience is charted and explained by embeddedness in strategies of reputational risk management. However, the metaphor of refraction is adopted to capture the changing directions of ethical trading strategy as retailers moved from a period of economic stability to one of crisis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Economic Geography

Year: 2012

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Pages: 33-45

Print publication date: 26/03/2011

ISSN (print): 1468-2702

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2710

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbr004


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