A Procedural Approach to the Design of Voluntary Clubs: Negotiating the Responsible Care Global Charter

T. Conzelmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Web of Science)


The chemical industry's Responsible Care (RC) programme is an important example of a sector-wide Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative operating at the global level. RC spans chemical associations in over 50 industrialized and developing countries, which have chosen widely different models for the operationalization, implementation and communication of RC standards. Taking an institutional approach, this article discusses the development of the RC initiative and the more recent negotiation of a Responsible Care Global Charter, which seeks to streamline standards and implementation models around the globe. My argument shows how different national associations defend their interests in exporting certain regulatory models to the global level and in making commitments more or less binding. It turns out that a tension between safeguarding transparency to the external world and keeping RC membership attractive for a wide variety of industry interests divides the global chemical industry and hampers the development of a uniform CSR model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-214
Number of pages22
JournalSocio-Economic Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • chemical industry
  • corporate social responsibility
  • institutions
  • regulation
  • reputation

Cite this