4th Symposium on Ethics and Social Responsibility Research 2017 | Porto

Ethics and Social Responsibility – values and practices


In an unstable and volatile context, it is undeniably critical to reflect about new trends on business and society. As organizations encounter serious pressures from consumers, users, community groups, and NGOs, while, simultaneously, face intensive competition in the global economy, they are gradually compelled to recognize the demands of ethics and social responsibility.

Over the last decades, the question why organizations need to invest and to be attentive to ethics and social responsibility is subject to an ongoing debate. Nevertheless how organizations see the trade-offs between the diverse institutional and stakeholder pressures is still a very present question. Ethics and Social Responsibility are considered buzzwords among several sectors; and organizations seem determined to demonstrate their stakeholders that they have values and their practices are a path to perform responsibly. Previous research has confirmed that socially responsible actions improve corporate reputation and image, although not controversy-free as these actions may improve the interests of both internal and external stakeholders. At the same time, some researches defend that ethics and social responsibility can also be a commitment to excellence, facilitating innovation, increasing the effectiveness of organizations in the promotion of equal opportunities and social inclusion, creating shared value, and it is a tool to develop awareness to sustainability and transparency, among many other positive impacts.

Many organizations are nowadays emphasizing their ethical standards and social responsibility – not only in avoiding fraud or injustice, but also in promoting quality of life and sustainable use of resources in the societies they operate in. There is an urgent need to find a balance between the values they want to defend and the practices they are willing to implement. Several organizations’ practices are still largely market based and, currently, one of the most important question for organizations is how ethics and social responsibility can be integrated in decision-making processes. Therefore, it is necessary to promote a deeper scientific understanding of the current challenges in the CSR, ethics and sustainability domains as well as to identify and share best practices and innovative initiatives in order to inform, alert, sensitize and provide tools and methodologies to incorporate ethical and social responsible actions, aiming to make progress on the path towards sustainability.

This is the context of the 4th Symposium on Ethics and Social Responsibility Research. Researchers and academics are invited to submit their papers in English for the event, bringing their valuable contributions to the field.