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By considering the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a business paradigm but also as a growing scepticism about it's outcomes, The True Value of CSR answers questions about true value behind this concept, motivations of firms embedding CSR in their core strategies and a capacity of CSR to make a real difference on the market.



The Meaning of Responsibility in Organizations: Some Reflections


1. CSR: What Does It Mean?

Is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) only a medication to remove the pain caused to business by current society, that is to say, simple symp¬tomatic medicine, or is it something more? Some specialists think that the manner in which CSR is managed today leads us to this response. Current CSR seems not to have taken into account the deep causes of the problems — but seeks only to remove the pains, the symptoms, and even these in a superficial manner. The purpose of this chapter is to try to find the explanation for this superficial CSR, which even at this level has already generated many good consequences for current society.

Rafael Alvira

2. Corporate Social Responsibility: Some Clarifications and Questions

What follows is an outsider’s view on the literature and discussions that use the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR). I have noticed how emotionally loaded and vague this expression is and against this background I propose some conceptual clarifications. Based on these I discuss three more substantive issues that are frequently discussed under the heading of CSR:What are the pros and cons regarding corporations’ sponsorship and philanthropy?What are the consequences of corporations’ environmental activism exceeding the legal requirements?What is the relationship between corporations’ CSR and their profits? Here, I take a sceptical view on the claims made under the heading of Creating Shared Value (CSV).

Leszek Balcerowicz

3. CSR: Between Management Strategy and a New Paradigm of Thought

In the light of the noticeably disproportionate relationship between the theoretical development of the concept of CSR and its significantly slower implementation in economic practice, it seems all the more important to analyse the causes of the imperfect or clearly delayed practical implementation of this developing theory. Within the framework of such an analysis, it seems necessary on the one hand to trace the historical development of the idea itself, that is, how it matured theoretically, while on the other hand tracing the substantive phenomena involved in its deployment, and thus establish the current level of its implementation.

Janina Filek

4. The Stakeholder Organization Theory and its Systemic Foundation Revisited

This chapter presents the main systemic arguments that support the so-called stakeholder theory. It starts with Bocheński’s contribution to the philosophy of an enterprise, and then refers to Midgley’s intervention theory in general and the boundary question of an organization, as well as to Friedman and Miles’s critical realist stakeholder theory. Next the issue of praxiological evaluation of human action enriched by ethicality shows the systemic approach to axiological analysis of human activity. Finally, the usefulness of the approach to the problem of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is reviewed and a systemic definition of a responsible company is given. The study then considers De George’s ‘myth of corporate social responsibility’, and links an organization systemically with Bunge’s systemic ethics.

Wojciech W. Gasparski

A Market for CSR: Forming Identities and Behaviours


5. Identity, Responsibility and Corporate Personhood

In this chapter we will look at one particular aspect of the idea of corporate identity, namely that of responsibility, and how far this might be explained in terms of personhood.

Paul Griseri

6. Dimensions of CSR Identity

While it has been previously suggested that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a dimension of the corporate identity concept (Barrone et al., 2007; David et al., 2005), we argue that CSR should be treated as a distinct form of identity in order to study how organizational members categorize corporate approaches to CSR and the power of these approaches to influence attitudes and behaviour among organizational members and other stakeholder groups. A separate concept will enable a detailed examination of the factors underpinning the concept as well as the significance of the concept in diverse organizational settings. It will also provide a framework for examining the ways in which CSR relates to the self-perception and behaviour of various stakeholder groups in the context of increasing scepticism among consumers and other constituents about CSR.

Nina Seppala, Barbara Fryzel

7. The Social Construction of CSR’s Identity in Management Consulting

This chapter examines the penetration of management consulting firms into the growing market of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR has come to represent one of the biggest business trends but also fiercest contested arenas of consulting activity. This trend is following the greater recognition of the social impact and responsibility corporations exercise towards people and the environment (Banerjee, 2001; Mackey et al., 2007). Consultants enter into CSR in order to help clients address social and ethical challenges/dilemmas/concerns (Windell, 2009). However, such entry creates new questions about the underlying methods and practices by which such market penetration happens. Exploring the social construction of CSR remains a useful metaphor for understanding the processes by which it is penetrating a targeted audience. This chapter argues that the social construction can be seen as an occurring process within three separate but also interrelated social domains. The first domain comprises the consultants’ association with the existing public discourse on CSR. Its popularity and growing prominence is founded on the grand proposition that organizations remain socially responsible for their actions and their consequences (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). In this domain consultants seek to become supporters of CSR ideology by focusing attention on the negative implications for companies not adhering to a CSR philosophy.

Stephanos Avakian

8. The Relationship between CSR Communication and Corporate Reputation in the Credit Lending Process: A Qualitative Study Based on Italian Banks

The overall objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication efforts and corporate reputation (CR) in the context of the credit lending process of Italian banks.

Rita Lamboglia, Giuseppe D’Onza

Capitalist Economy and CSR: Contradictions and Inconsistencies?


9. Fraud, Corruption and CSR: Hands-on Account of a Fraud Investigator

Being a fraud investigator discussing Corporate Social Responsibility is not an easy task. Having seen so much evidence of greed and malpractice in my professional career I sometimes struggle to understand what CSR may bring to the table to drive changes in the behaviour of corporates and individuals. However, it’s probably not a good place and time to be cynical — let’s tackle it. What about discussing CSR in the context of the fraud, corruption and corporate scandals that we have all witnessed recently.

Mariusz Witalis

10. Corporate Social Responsibility, Inequality and Corporate Governance

The phrase corporate social responsibility (CSR) is almost invariably used to suggest that corporations should pay significant attention to the impact their activities have upon their physical and social environments, usually going beyond the requirements of the law and any competitive pressures. It is often believed that CSR serves as a bulwark against unethical practices, facilitating a culture that encourages exemplary policies and ethical corporate governance. But this belief does not always hold true. For example, shortly before ENRON’s fraudulent accounting practices came under public scrutiny, the company had numerous CSR programmes in place. It received environmental awards and was involved in policies to curb climate change, promote human rights and endorse anti-corruption measures. ENRON’s CEO participated in conferences on ethics and emphasized the values of ‘communication, respect and integrity’. Just before its bankruptcy, the company invested in various social mutual funds (Kelly, 2002).

Peter Abell, Ofer Engel, Henry P. Wynn

11. Actions Speak Louder than Words: Competitive Conduct vs. CSR Policy

The chapter examines the extent to which the internally conceived competitive strategy of some of the world’s largest food and drink multi¬national corporations [MNCs] reflects Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles. The starting point is consideration of the findings of the on-going Oxfam ‘Behind the brands’ campaign. The campaign relies on publicly available information regarding the sourcing of agricultural commodities from developing countries to assess MNCs’ social and environmental policies. In spite of having significant global influence and power, all ten MNCs included in the study have had limited impact on facilitating a more just food system. MNCs claim that there are critical determining factors that lie outside their control. The competitive strategy provides an example of an area within MNC control. The focus of the discussion is on MNC competitive conduct and on evidence of price fixing and other actions aimed at restricting competition, which has led to fines and other sanctions being imposed by competition authorities. It is concluded that the inclusion of competitive conduct as an indicator results in very different MNC rankings from that produced using balanced scorecard methodology as applied in the Oxfam campaign. The rankings are almost completely reversed. It raises the wider question of the extent to which a firm’s public statements purporting to uphold values consistent with the promotion of CSR should be relied upon without supporting evidence.

A. Vindelyn Smith-Hillman

12. The Capitalist Economy and CSR: Contradictions and Inconsistencies: From CSR to Business in Development

In 1996, Life Magazine (Schanberg, 1996) carried a front cover showing a picture of a 12 year-old Pakistani boy called Tariq hand-stitching a Nike football. The article claimed that, for his work he would be paid the equivalent of 60 US cents. Over the followings months and years, more and more allegations came to light that manufacturing firms, especially in the clothing and apparel sector, were responsible for labour abuses in developing countries. For example, a 1997 survey of sports shoe manufacture in China (CorpWatch, 1997) found that, ‘all categories of the companies’ Codes of Conduct — health and safety, freedom of association, wages and benefits, hours of work, overtime compensation, non-discrimination, harassment and child labour are being violated’. The resulting public outcry, combined with legal and other threats led to the adoption of CSR policies and labour codes by many apparel and other companies. Nike, for example committed itself to ‘engage with civil society, governments, and the private sector to affect systemic change to labour and environmental conditions in countries where we operate’ (Nike, 2010).

Peter Davis

13. Regulatory Roadblocks to Environmental Sustainability

Although tackling climate change and environmental degradation are the common responsibility of the global community for averting catastrophic consequences and the likelihood of serious welfare losses on a global level, the majority of states are not willing to give up their short-term economic interests and to pool their sovereignty to make a comprehensive and coercive international environmental agreement. Therefore, the implementation and enforcement of a comprehensive and coercive international regulatory regime have been stalled in the international fora for a long time. At the same time, private regulations, voluntary environmental assessments and reporting frameworks initiated by business, civic and professional organizations have been proliferating since the beginning of the 1990s. The question is whether these private self-regulatory initiatives of assessing and monitoring environmental performances, especially, of the large corporations are an effective and proper substitute for mandatory multilateral environmental agreements; whether those in terms of global environmental outcomes can counterbalance the unwillingness of the majority of the states to comply with a stringent international regulatory regime.

László Fekete

14. The Dichotomy of Values vs. Rules in Anti-Corruption Law

Corruption (meaning the abuse of entrusted power for private gain) has been plaguing humanity for millennia. Although there have been many attempts to repress it with more or less success, it has never been entirely eradicated. Traditionally, these attempts were confined to states seeking to combat the bribing of their own public officials. This reflected the organizational framework of the nation state as it emerged in the 19th century, where most issues could be, and were, addressed at a national level and any extraterritorial reach of national law was considered anathema. However, in the second half of the 20th century the exponential development of communications made it increasingly evident that this approach could not be maintained.

Jean-Pierre Méan

Responsible Business and Behavioural Patterns


15. Business and Society: Collective and Individual Corporate Social Responsibility

The relationship between business and society is under-explored; and this lack of investigation extends to the responsibilities that business has, and those it ought to have to society overall. The purpose of this chapter is to indicate the key issues that ought to be addressed, and some of the crucial points of inquiry, in deciding and determining those collective and individual responsibilities.

Richard Pettinger

16. Standards: A Behavioural Approach to Management

The purpose of this chapter is to set out clearly the relationship between established standards of conduct and behaviour, and to draw the link between conduct and behaviour and organizational and managerial performance. This link in turn is a key issue in the determination of specific corporate social values and responsibilities; and so this link is, therefore, at the core of how everyone involved conducts and discharges every obligation that they have. This is a key part of management knowledge, understanding and education; and so a key part of the drive towards the creation and agreement of a professional body of management expertise.

Richard Pettinger

17. How Can Neuroeconomics Unravel CSR?

This chapter addresses Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with a neuroeconomic approach. CSR has an evolutionary argument, and it is addressed as an irrational disequilibrium rather than a rational economic equilibrium. Assumptions for economic interpretations are less relied upon for a better understanding of CSR due to the advancements of investigative tools and technology in neuroscience. The ‘black box’ above our shoulders can be looked without invasive means.

Jang Woo Park


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