Bertrand Valiorgue – PhD Defense on middle managers and CSR

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Bertrand Valiorgue presented doctoral research focused on corporate social responsibility. His insight delves beneath moral and ethical issues in capitalism to surface concrete transformations leading firms to internalize the externalities they shed onto stakeholders. The analysis is focused on the role of middle managers, whose unique position in the business organization places them at the frontline in evolving and settling on an efficient frontier for internalizing externalities.

This doctoral research, conducted through a CIFRE industrial research agreement signed between the IFGE and Adecco Group’s Lab’Ho, featured empirical analyses on processes and initiatives helping cut workplace injuries to temping staff.

The study pinpointed several middle manager figured that could be profiled in terms of the input on internalizing externalities: the socially-responsible, the lone gun, the censor, and the market-driven.
This research also spotlighted how the main determinant governing how far middle managers will co-opt actions to improve how their companies internalize externality is the potential for leveraging economic room to manoeuvre.

This study also highlighted how there are limits to the possibilities for regulating negative externalities under corporate social responsibility, which at the end of the day is only a workaround solution for handling the recurrent problems of the ‘social costs’ that certain firms offload onto their stakeholders.