Importance of Civil Society Organisations:

“By organising together into a CSO, individual stakeholders of whatever kind can gain greater voice and influence than they have alone. … Hence, another potential CSO role is representing the interests of non-human stakeholders. … Corporations tend not to deal with civil society as a group of innumerable invidividual citizens, but asa more discrete collection of representative CSOs. As such, CSOs form part of the license to operate for companies. By this, we mean that CSOs shape the extent to which a company ‘is seen as having the ongoing approval and broad acceptance of society to conduct its activities’ (Prno and Slocombe 2012:346)” (Crane and Matten, 2016: 443-444).

 Relevant ethical issues:

  • CSO accountability
  • Power imbalances interacting with businesses and public sector organisations
  • CSO independence
  • Unequal distribution of benefits
  • Lack of partnership impacts
  • Questionable moral legitimacy of CSOs