This book takes a critical view on corporate practice, governmental action and the general approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. It draws on experience from the Workplace Innovation movement and argues that, as with motherhood and apple pie, it is hard to oppose CSR, with a community of well-meaning people. It is however necessary to challenge the foundations on which it is based.
Many accounts of CSR assume a consistent model of capitalism around the world. It is suggested that capitalism can be given a human face, as companies adopt programmes which go beyond the minimum legal requirements. This builds on traditions of optional corporate philanthropy. However, without changing the underlying working of the company, only cosmetic changes are made. In the author's words: "lipstick is applied to the capitalist pig".
It can be a mistake to read too much into "Responsible Management", when the culture of management is designed around irresponsibility. Companies have developed elaborate schemes of outsourcing, in an environment of limited liability. This cannot easily be overcome through gestures. This book seeks to engage readers and to provoke thoughts. It can be angry and polemical, but it points a finger directly at ongoing superficial developments.