Corporate Citizenship - Beck's Theory of the World Risk Society

Essay by LuciWhiteUniversity, Bachelor'sB, September 2004

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Lucianne White

Corporate Citizenship

Assignment 1


Corporate citizenship is based on the premise that businesses will act

responsibly towards society, thus proving to be socially responsible.

This essay will look at the three theories of citizenship.

Risk in society is viewed by three main approaches, human behaviour

approach, techno-scientific approach and sociocultural approach.

Each of these approaches puts yet another spin on the definition of

risk and how it affects our population. This essay will look at risk

from the 'world risk society' point of view.

It will endeavour to explain Beck's theory of the 'risk society' and

discuss how his theory might be applied as a useful framework for

examining the level of corporate citizenship in organisations.

It will also include a look at how other theorists define risk. In

conclusion it will evaluate and comment on the usefulness of Beck's


Corporate Citizenship

A citizen is a member of a modern political community (i.e.


nation-state) who posesses formally defined rights and responsibilities

by virute of membership to that nation, typically including the right to

be involved in selecting governments (Bessant & Watts, 1999).

Corporate citizenship is therefore corporations which have rights and

responsibilites of their own, as well as obligations to their community.

Corporate citizenship is based on three theories; minimalist,

communitarian and universal rights. We will look briefly at what each

theory means.

Minimalist is where citizens strive towards their own goals with very

little interference. They realise there are rules which regulate their

behaviour and are able to function individually.

Communitarian is where the communitys' well being outweighs the

individuals rights. Everyone works towards reaching the community

goals rather than focusing on personal goals.

Universal rights is where everyone pursues their own goals and

interests but makes sure to consider others rights. Being aware...