Biographies Short Biography Semblanzas

Charbel Macdissi is Maître de Conférences (Associate Professor) of Economics at the university of Antilles Gyuane. Dr Macdissiís current research with relevance to the present topic includes:

-Le management stratégique dans des environnements socialement denses : le cas des entreprises dans les régions ultra périphériques  ;

-Le comportement managérial des firmes dans le cadre des politiques écologiques et environnementales : le cas de la Guadeloupe ;

-International R&D spillovers : An empirical study ;

>-Líavantage comparatif régional et la régionalisation des échanges ;

-Le rôle de la proximité dans les échanges régionaux ;

-Théories institutionnelles et particularités du développement des entreprises en Guadeloupe.

Résumé/ Summary/ Resumen



When one speaks about fairness in economics and in management, one is automatically drawn to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Indeed it is a rewarding intellectual activity as well as an insight provider in dimensions that matter in man kind activities. The depth of oneís involvement in the subject is probably proportional to oneís engagement in the ongoing broad discourse of fair management and sustainable economies and practices. During the last decade or so, we have witnessed an increased interest in the subject triggered by many reasons. The ever increasing "market mania", its subsequent harsh environment and unstable labour situation create a strong sense of uncertainty with regard to how firms are handling their social responsibility. Turbulence on the market places jeopardises jobs and leads to an increased awareness of the general public that CRS or lack of it can have tremendous social effects on the everyday lives of communities. Especially those communities with strong economic dependencies to locally established firms. Many reports of misdeeds have invaded the front pages of the newspapers lately. The amplitude of some of these misdeeds are of such shocking magnitude that the issue of firmís honesty and responsibility have become the focus of the general public as well as that of the controlling and legislating instances.

The governing ideas on CSR have acquired more and more acceptance and their manifestations are the subject of many studies. Furthermore, CRS seems to have become an integrated part of many firms everydayness. In many cases, accountable practices of CRS are likely to increase the chances of a firm to keep its position and competitiveness in the view of general public. What the public sees in the practices of CRS is the overall behavioural pattern of firms in terms of the businesses choices they make as well as in term of their societal attitude, or societality. The public, the governments of different countries and firms are today equally interested in developing and implementing CRS in the market economy. Despite the fact that interest in this issue varies widely across different countries due to political traditions and degrees of awareness, it appears important that a convergence is achieved.

However, this is not always the actuality. In fact, public institutions of different countries might be widely or hardly interventionist; consumers around the world might be interested in the solution of different social problems; businesses might be socially responsible for strategic or simply altruistic reasons or might totally exclude CSR from their activities. However, it is generally agreed that all these groups are becoming more interested in the development and implementation of CSR in the market economy. Furthermore, the dissimilarities that can be analysed in different areas have to be accurately examined and evaluated with particular focus on the consequences of globalisation that at the present time is increasingly a reality.

The notion of Fairness and Sustainability is connected to historically significant events, which were played out during the last decade. The ever increasing shift in values, the increasing immanence of information and knowledge and the ever emphasized ethical standards are all but acknowledged signs of the deep transformation of today's social development which, if adequately monitored, could be socially and environmentally sustainable.

The paradoxical frame of the ever more knowledge deepening and superficiality contentment marking the path of the post-modern man, are widely represented in our hyper-reality, where the artificial becomes more real than reality itself. The path is that of the demand for the extraordinary and the ecstatic, the fast and surprising. Normality is expelled as boring and insignificant. Surrealistic returns on short terms actions are acclaimed as heroic deeds.

Fairness in these transactions and interactions between people and the sustainability of their endeavour are seldom given a space, let alone noticed. The cry goes high for alternative view and betterment of this path. Thus, the conditions of possibility of developing an understanding of our actuality in context as well as a new sensitivity for fairness and sustainability are rooted in the path of the post-modern man.

The societality, that is corporate citizenship and responsibility, of people and organisations is perhaps more important today than ever before. In times of great inequalities and sufferings, in times of the dispersion of fundamental values of good ethics, equity and justice; in these times it is indeed justified to call on our societality. It seems vital for all of us to reconsider what this notion stands for in terms of values and practices in human affairs, in institutions, in firms and governments. It is important to sensitise our fellow men and women to theses meanings and to these practices. Especially those men and women who are in command of organisations, institutions and firms; those who are leading important activities and influencing by their decisions the everydayness of other people. What is at stake is the social responsibility, the ethical values embedded in economic transactions and a sense of equity and justice with regards to the distribution of resources.

The aims of this theme are to explore and claim territory which creates theory and action oriented efforts springing from a set of values related to the guiding spirit formulation "Fair Management, Sustainable Economies and societality".

The task therefore is to renew, broaden and develop the traditional discourse of economics and management and reshape its sense making and subsequent praxis. Current social debates are encouraging the desire to redefine the genealogy of the provinces of thoughts of social economics. Concepts such as morals, ethics, virtues, trust and care are very applicable in managerial and economic contexts. Yet, their practices are still very limited.

The challenge is to develop patterns which are perhaps difficult to capture at first glance, but which are even more fascinating in that they constitute the interface between art and science, between efficiency and sustainability, between effectiveness and fairness, and between economic rhetorics and societality.