Haas Newsroom

October 7, 2010


Berkeley Haas Professor David Vogel to Receive Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award


Berkeley Haas Professor David Vogel will receive the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement on Oct. 27 in recognition of his seminal work in the field of corporate social responsibility. Vogel is the Solomon P. Lee Chair in Business Ethics and Editor, California Management Review, at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and Professor of Political Science. He was selected from 30 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. “We are thrilled to honor David Vogel as a trailblazer,” said Nancy McGaw, Deputy Director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program and Director of Aspen CBE. “He and his fellow Pioneers are the scholars and teachers leading the way to ensure that our future business leaders are ready to tackle the financial, social and environmental challenges they will face in their everyday business decisions.”


Three others are also being honored: Professor James Post, Boston University, Professor Mark Swilling, University of Stellenbosch, and Associate Professor Aaron K. Chatterji, Duke University.


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."


“David is a pioneer. Not only was he digging into the fields of CSR and ethics long before they were as popular as they are today, he has the instincts to question the status quo at just the right time. No wonder he's been so heavily cited and influential," says Rich Lyons, dean of Berkeley Haas.


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.


David Vogel Bio: http://www2.haas.berkeley.edu/Faculty/vogel_david.aspx