Faculty Pioneer

David Vogel honored for research on corporate social responsibility

Prof. David VogelProfessor David Vogel received the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement Oct. 27 in recognition of his seminal work in the field of corporate social responsibility.


Vogel was selected from more than 100 nominees for the award, which has been called the “Oscars of the business school world” by the Financial Times. The Aspen Institute is a Washington, DC-based educational and policy studies institute.


Vogel, the author of 14 books, has been at the forefront of research on corporate social responsibility throughout an academic career that spans nearly four decades. His first book, Lobbying the Corporation: Citizen Challenges to Business Authority (1978), examined the impact of shareholder activism and consumer boycotts on redefining the social role and responsibilities of business during the civil rights, anti-war, and anti-
apartheid movements.


Vogel says sweatshop abuses have been replaced with environmental and sustainability issues, but he is pleased that CSR has become a permanent part of management practice and institutionalized in corporations.


Vogel considers his 2005 book, The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limitations of Corporate Social Responsibility, to be his most important scholarly contribution to the study of business-society relations. In this book, Vogel presents a balanced, well-researched assessment of CSR’s accomplishments and limitations in improving labor conditions, human rights, and environmental conditions in the global economy. The Market for Virtue won the best book award from the Social Issues Division of the Academy of Management in 2008.


“I have tried to strike a balance between seeing the potential of CSR and also its structural limitations in terms of the constraints that markets impose on companies to behave responsibly,” says Vogel. “This is a controversial point. People who focus on CSR strongly believe in the business benefits of CSR, and that the more responsible firms are, the more profitable they will be. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that more responsible firms are more profitable. But what is encouraging is that neither are they less profitable.”


Vogel has been a faculty member at Berkeley’s business school since 1973 and editor of the school’s journal, California Management Review, since 1982.