The corporate contribution to social inclusion in Australia: risk, opportunity, responsibility
AffiliationSchool of Social and Political Sciences
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2016 Dr. Roksolana Suchowerska
Governments in liberal welfare states are grappling with the rising cost and complexity of social disadvantage by shifting risks of social exclusion onto individuals. In areas such as health and superannuation for example, social policy steers individuals to manage their own social inclusion through the consumption of market-based products. Such policies not only change the relationship between governments and citizens but also the relationship between businesses and consumers—they position private enterprise at the forefront of the provision of products and services that support individuals’ participation in key activities of our society. This thesis investigates new pathways of social inclusion that are opening up as businesses negotiate the blurring boundary between the economic concern of accumulation and the ordinarily non-economic concerns of social need, responsibility and public interest. The thesis focuses on two case studies of strategic, customer-focused corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to consider the ways in which companies help individuals develop the resources and relationships that strengthen their involvement in society. The case studies demonstrate that corporate perceptions of reputation risk and government regulation (for corporations) and voluntary exclusion (for citizen/consumers) influence who might benefit from strategic CSR and how, providing insight for policy makers in industry, governments and NGOs regarding the opportunities that strategic CSR presents for social inclusion in Australia.
Keywordssocial inclusion; individualisation; corporate social responsibility; customer; digital inclusion; residents associations
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