سرمایه گذاری اجتماعی: سوبژکتیویسم، تغییر شکل و رشد اخلاقی موفقیت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|14732||2006||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 17, Issue 8, December 2006, Pages 989–1005
Investment products that deploy ethical values and social considerations in portfolio construction have persisted since the 1980s. Pitting Habermasian discourse ethics against Foucauldian power relations and radical institutionalism, the paper argues that socially directed mutual funds ascribe capital markets with validities of high moral magnitude, work up extant tendencies toward financial hegemony and stymie criticism of the political–economic order. Institutional pressures do not permit the exercise of an ethic stronger than an aesthetic care of the self. The balance struck between economic and social priorities is investigated by interviewing investment managers, reviewing archival material and surveying the attitudes of unit holders in retail social mutual funds.
Investment managers claiming to deploy social considerations in mutual fund portfolios describe their practices variously as ‘ethical’, ‘green’, ‘mission-directed’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘socially responsible’. It is as convenient to use the term social funds. Social funds claim four objectives: to reform corporate behaviour by influencing corporations’ cost of capital, thus affecting their capital expenditure plans; to outperform mainstream investments by pre-empting the pricing of economic externalities (Abelson, 2002Abelson, 2002, p. 159)1; to supply evidence that practitioners can use to lobby for self-regulation; and, loudest of all, to provide a mechanism by which unit holders can connect financial objectives with moral principles (Haigh and Hazelton, 2004). The latter objective demands an examination of the methods by which these mutual funds select and apply social considerations, and in particular on the influence of institutional pressures. The contribution of this paper is its investigation of moral and practical challenges encountered in this style of managed investment. The paper divides into five sections. Section 1 outlines relevant literature and the distinguishing characteristics of social funds. An ‘ideal’ social investment portfolio is described. Section 2, using radical institutional theory and Foucauldian power relations, argues that social funds collectively prop up the political–economic status of financial institutions. Section 3 examines institutional pressures that constrain the meaningful application of ethics in equity investment portfolios. The interplay between economic and social considerations is investigated by analysing the discourses of social funds. Three discursive sources are used: semi-structured interviews with managers of selected Australian social funds, a survey of unit holders and interested consumers in North American, European and Australasian markets, and archival marketing material appearing in those markets. Section 4 identifies meta-ethical positions from which managers of social funds would select and apply social considerations. The paper offers an alternate account of practical moral reasoning that, while impartial on ethical content, would require managers to justify investment decisions on moral grounds. When prevailing institutional forces are considered, however, the model appears infeasible. Finally, Section 5 considers if social funds, despite their manifest inabilities to adopt strong forms of ethics, might be valuable to unit holders from a subjectivist perspective.