Last updateTue, 20 Apr 2010 7pm

CSR in France

A comparative approach to CSR based on legal status

France This article aims to examine how the banks apprehend CSR according to their legal status: the case of cooperative banks and solidarity actions in France.
Is the concept of CSR an opportunity for French banks of the mutuality type sector? Do the banks have a tendency to copy and trivialize the concept?

In introduction, the authors attempt to recall the history of mutualism and its evolution, and to examine the paradox establishments under mutuality status are facing today.
The tension between economic performance and solidarity is put forward.
What is then remaining from the original mutualism philosophy? Is CSR really a source of competitive advantage for banks oriented solidarity?
In a second part, the authors look at the responsible practices of French banks. Can the societal logic succeed against the dominant economic logic? Do they simply mimic or do they try to differentiate in terms of CSR?
In a last chapter, future of cooperative banks is considered in regards to the challenges raised by CSR. Will all banks be part of solidarity actions or will those concerns remain only in the field of the “vocation” stakeholders ? Can we make solidarity a differentiating factor?

Table of content:

  • Mutualism: myth or reality
    • The foundations of mutualism
    • Historical Perspective and characteristics of cooperative banks
    • The differentiating factors of cooperative banks to face the current challenges
  • Banks and CSR
  • Cooperative banks facing the CSR mimetic
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography


Source: part of an article published in "Management et Avenir", special issue on HERMES-OSR findings and results, by Fabrice Mauléon and Jean-Yves Saulquin from ESCEM (Tours and Poitiers, France).

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