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Blanca Grey

Thesis topic

The impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Corporate Openness


Little attention has been paid to the reasons why corporate openness is becoming more apparent, what factors influence this trend and what part corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays in that process. This deficit will be redressed in the present study through utilizing the concept of CSR and its evolution to identify different degrees of corporate openness at organisational level, particularly when interacting with third parties. First, borrowing from Whelan et al (2013), I note that public arenas of citizenship are constructed by individual businesses in order to try and address social and environmental issues specific to the company as identified by its key stakeholders and the public at large. Second, I highlight that the way in which CSR has evolved throughout its living academic years from just covering the philanthropic dimension to encompassing the broader remit of sustainable development, has meant a shift in what CSR means to corporations. This shift refers to a move from focusing on the business case for CSR to highlighting innovation, long-term investment in new markets and developing new ways of engaging with third parties. Building on theories of corporate citizenship and stakeholder engagement, this study aims at gaining a deeper understanding of the reasons why corporate openness is becoming more prevalent, what factors affect corporate openness and what influence CSR exerts on this trend.

Research interests / research methods used

My research interests include to what extent corporate social responsibility strategies and initiatives impact on corporate openness. Corporate openness being defined as the level of corporate public reporting and disclosing either through the traditional CSR/Annual Reports or through the way in which companies interact with key stakeholders, including citizens.

Within that and building on the corporate citizenship concept, I'm interested in exploring the political role that businesses can play and are playing in our society. Furthermore, I'm interested in understanding how this corporate position affects business-society relations in regards to corporates becoming more open to processes of participation and democratic control by citizens and ultimately becoming more accountable to society.

  • Qualitative research methods - building theory from case studies


Corporate responsibility and sustainability professional with seven years of experience in the field, helping companies integrate social and environmental issues into core business strategies using smart internal engagement and compelling external communications. I hold a BSc in Geography from Birkbeck University and a MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from University College London.


I've contributed to the write-up and publication of the CR Index 2014 insight report which outlines the key trends and key emerging themes on corporate responsibility using companies CR Index submissions to the 2014 Index cycle.

PhD Supervisors

  • Professor Daniele Archibugi, Department of Management
  • Dr Ioanna Boulouta, Department of Management

Blanca Grey

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