Center for Ethical Business Cultures
Date of this version
corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, stakeholders, ethics, Corning Incorporated and glass industry
This working paper explores the evolution of Corning Incorporated (never Corning Inc.) relating to corporate responsibility and the reasons behind that evolution in management and practice. Over the nearly 160 years of the company’s existence, Corning was not an unwavering paragon of responsible behavior in all aspects of what is traditionally termed CSR, but neither was it the kind of mimetic enterprise portrayed by institutional theorists relative to its industry and competitors. Corning’s leaders were becoming intentional in their attitudes toward some aspects of CSR even before World War One. How they became concerned and intentional when they did, and why they made the choices they made, is the substance of this account. Most of the policies Corning adopted were “age-appropriate” for the type of company it was at the time as the company grew from a small niche producer in upstate NY to a global corporation.
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