Crafting Socially Responsible Corporations: Exploring Etsy and the Concept of the B-Corp

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2016-11-09
Authors
Blanchflower, Tiffany
Hodges, Nancy
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Abstract

To address growing consumer demands regarding ethical practices some retailers, in the United States, Europe, and Africa, have adopted B-Corp certifications. The international growth of B-Corp certification signals that this is not simply a fad. Despite this growing trend, academic research on B-Corps is scant. Thus, the purpose of this study was to shed light on the use of B-Corps within the retail industry. To achieve this end, this study employed a combination of netnography and ethnography to investigate the business practices implemented to maintain the well-known B-Corp, Etsy. Etsy is an online retail site that provides consumers with a platform to buy and sell handmade products, craft goods, and vintage items. Implications and conclusions draw from this study sheds light on the strategies used to acquire and maintain a B-Corp certification, and provides more insight into the application of B-Corp certification within the retail industry.

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