Corporate social responsibility, descriptive stakeholder theory and global warming: a case study of Exxon-Mobil’s changing views on climate change
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Using stakeholder theory and the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility as a basis for discussion, this paper examines the marketing communications responses of the world’s biggest oil company, Exxon-Mobil, to the perceived threat of global warming. This paper uses descriptive stakeholder theory, looking at how Exxon-Mobil has actually dealt with and responded to various stakeholders’ views on the topic of climate change. While normative stakeholder theorists may argue that Exxon-Mobil should respond to stakeholders other than shareholders, this paper suggests that Exxon-Mobil has, in fact, continued to focus mainly on its shareholders, only changing its position on global warming when its shareholders have threatened action. This paper argues that, in Exxon-Mobil’s case at least, reputation and responsibility only have relevance when the bottom line is affected and shareholders care.
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