Problem emergence and industry neglect
Problem-related pressures: (1) Social problems need to be articulated, as Blumer (1971: p. 301) highlights: “Social problems are not the result of an intrinsic malfunctioning of a society but are the result of a process of definition in which a given condition is picked out and identified as a social problem”. Early problem articulation tends to occur in civil society, e.g. by disadvantaged citizens,researchers or activists, who express concerns about a problem or situation. (2) The wider public, consumers, and policymakers remain unaware or indifferent to the issue.Industry responses: Firms pay limited attention to societal problems, because these do not affect their ‘primary’ or ‘secondary involvement arenas’ (Mahon and Waddock, 1992). When activists are small, scattered and relatively powerless, firms-in-industries tend to downplay their demands. “Corporations can easily ignore demands by a small number of ‘fringe’ activists whose views are not widely shared and who are without power” (Rivoli and Waddock, 2011: p. 90).
Geels and Penna, 2015: 70)