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Cooperative Banks Values and CSR: a Lasting Change of Paradigm?

Catherine Karyotis * Neoma Business School.Contacts : et
Charles DAUSSY * Neoma Business School.Contacts : et

In the light of the financial crisis, we question the cooperative values to review the business model and the role of banks. To answer in the affirmative, it is necessary to question Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): is CSR able to bring about a reconciliation between Friedman's “shareholder value” and Freeman's “stakeholder value”? To answer this question, we join the current of thought of the neo-institutional theory to mobilize DiMaggio & Powell's three types of isomorphism - coercive, mimetic and normative; then we question the banking model through the institutionalization of CSR in cooperative banks. We then study the case of the Banques Populaires as they build their strategy upon social responsibility in cooperative firms, which can be understood as a performative discourse. The rapprochement - or the desire of rapprochement - of CSR with the cooperative identity allows "to operationalize [their] cooperative and CSR commitments in [their] internal practices". We conclude on the need to be more proactive in permanently normalizing responsible practices in banks and to be eventually able to talk of normative CSR.

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