License to Critique: Inoculating Standards against Closure

By Lars Thøger Christensen.

  • Sustainability and responsibility standards entail a danger of organizational actors stopping to reflect about what these values could or should entail in each particular situation and setting.
  • Rather than passive compliance, standards should produce participation, involvement and contestation.
  • Several communication principles need to be respected for a license to critique approach to have its desired effects.

Approximate reading time: 3-4 minutes.

Fixed, clear and authoritative standards able to discipline and regulate organizational behavior are often called for on the sustainability and responsibility arenas. This makes perfect sense. Standards that are loose, vague or open-ended allow organizations …

Really Fake

By Glen Whelan.

  • With generative technologies on their way to maturity, ‘Fake News’ may soon reach a whole new level of ‘realness’
  • No less than the authenticity and credibility of video and audio footage is at stake
  • Verified identities might help, but come with their own problems

Approximate reading time: 2-3 minutes

 As little as five years ago the idea of ‘fake news’ referred to satires like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. Now, fake news refers to phenomena that are ‘really fake’: i.e., news or events that are fabricated to appear real. Recent examples include those that …

The Risks of Intuitive Thinking in Environmentally Friendly Clothing Consumption

By Kristian Steensen Nielsen & Wencke Gwozdz.

  • Clothing behaviors might be well-intended, but they do not necessarily reduce environmental impact
  • Environmentally friendly clothing in one geographical location may not be environmentally friendly in another
  • Our judgments are likely influenced by prevailing options of environmentally friendly clothing consumption, which may overshadow less known but more effective behaviors

Approximate reading time: 4-5 minutes

The production, purchase, maintenance, and disposal of clothing carry a heavy environmental burden. To reduce this burden, we need to change our clothing consumption behavior. An increasing number of consumers accept this notion, but what does it actually imply …

Seeing Like a Standard: Sustainable Palm Oil and the Coasian Challenge

By Kristjan Jespersen & Caleb Gallemore.

Approximate reading time: 3-4 minutes.

Go to any supermarket and you’ll see labels, so many labels. Some of them seem reputable: the Marine Stewardship Council, the Forest Stewardship Council. Some of them seem less so, such as Bob’s House of Sustainability standard, which we just created five minutes ago.

One challenge – countless standards
Credible or not, these standards, developed mostly by the private sector and civil society, are growing in number. In Jessica Green’s 2014 book, Rethinking Private Authority, she counts 119 such environmental standards as of 2009, 90% of …

Behavioral Insights All Over the World: A New Study from cbsCSR, CBS GRB and Harvard University

By Cass R. Sunstein & Lucia Reisch.

Worldwide, officials are employing behavioral insights to improve policies in areas that include health, finance, highway safety, employment, discrimination, the environment, and consumer protection. Some of these policies take the form of mandates, incentives, and bans, but a prominent set of behaviorally informed tools involves information, warnings, reminders, social norms, and default rules. Insofar as they steer people in certain directions without imposing significant costs, tools of this kind are called “nudges”, a term coined by Cass R. Sunstein (a CBS Honorary Professor) and Richard Thaler, one of the leading