In this article, we examine voluntary oversight programs for nanotechnology in the context of corporate social performance (CSP) in order to better understand the drivers, barriers, and forms of company participation in such programs. At the theoretical level, we use the management framework of CSP to understand the voluntary behavior of companies. At the empirical level, we investigate nanotech industry participation in the Environmental Protection Agency's Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) as an example of CSP, in order to examine the effects of company characteristics on CSP outcomes. The analysis demonstrates that, on the average, older and larger companies for which nanotech is one of the many business activities demonstrate greater CSP as judged by company actions, declarations, and self-evaluations. Such companies tended to submit more of the requested information to the NMSP, including specific information about health and safety, and to claim fewer of the submitted items as confidential business information. They were also more likely to have on-line statements of generic and nano-specific corporate social responsibility principles, policies, and achievements. The article suggests a need to encourage smaller and younger companies to participate in voluntary oversight programs for nanotechnology and presents options for better design of these programs.
- Corporate social responsibility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Modelling and Simulation
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics