Sharing vocabularies: towards horizontal alignment of values-driven business functions

Painter, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7846-7220, Hibbert, S., Pouryousefi, S. and Russon, J.-A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3013-8807, 2019. Sharing vocabularies: towards horizontal alignment of values-driven business functions. Journal of Business Ethics, 155 (4), pp. 965-979. ISSN 0167-4544

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This paper highlights the emergence of different ‘vocabularies’ that describe various values-driven business functions within large organisations and argues for improved horizontal alignment between them. We investigate two established functions that have long-standing organisational histories: Ethics and Compliance (E&C) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). By drawing upon research on organisational alignment, we explain both the need for and the potential benefit of greater alignment between these values-driven functions. We then examine the structural and socio-cultural dimensions of organisational systems through which E&C and CSR horizontal alignment can be coordinated to improve synergies, address tensions, and generate insight to inform future research and practice in the field of Business and Society. The paper concludes with research questions that can inform future scholarly research and a practical model to guide organizations’ efforts towards inter-functional, horizontal alignment of values-driven organizational practice.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Business Ethics
Creators: Painter, M., Hibbert, S., Pouryousefi, S. and Russon, J.-A.
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Date: 2019
Volume: 155
Number: 4
ISSN: 0167-4544
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 06 Feb 2018 14:30
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2023 15:03

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