Title: Potty-training companies: applying Erik H. Erikson's stages of psychosocial development to CSR

Authors: Tarja Ketola

Addresses: University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, 65101 Vaasa, Finland

Abstract: Point out a company that never violates any human or labour rights, never exploits the poor in societies and never dumps waste, carbon dioxide or other harmful substances! That is hard. Yet, people all over the world share the understanding that companies should not have such irresponsible practices. Legislation has not stopped them. Companies need to be socialised so that they would not hurt humans, damage human relations in/between societies, or soil the environment that we all depend on. It is possible to apply Erik H. Erikson|s stages of individual psychosocial development to companies. This paper shows how companies can be |potty-trained| to act clean by taking them through the eight sequential stages of psychosocial development towards genuine CSR. After completing these stages, companies will have learnt hope, will, purpose, competence, fidelity, love, caring and wisdom. These virtues give companies mental strength to take on all the responsibilities that life brings.

Keywords: potty training; Erik Erikson; psychosocial development; individual development; corporate social responsibility; CSR; corporate personality types; ethics; trust; autonomy; initiative; industry; identity; intimacy; irresponsible practices; generativity; ego integrity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2009.023331

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2009 Vol.4 No.3, pp.250 - 263

Published online: 19 Feb 2009 *

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