Home > Economics, Politics > What is Corporate Social Responsibility Now?

What is Corporate Social Responsibility Now?

Stephen Dune writes in ephemera:

The majority of today’s Fortune 250 organizations are actively pursuing Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives (CSR) (KPMG 2005). Surely we can allow ourselves to be impressed by the fact that larger corporations are sitting up and taking notice of their critics? Finally, can’t we be pleased by the scenario wherein those with the greatest means are currently setting a progressive example for all to follow? Perhaps, but with the likes of Joel Bakan (2004) (see also http://www.thecorporation.com), Charles Handy (reviewed here), Al Gore (see http://www.climatecrisis.net), David Cameron (2006), and Philip Kotler (reviewed here) all singing from the same hymn sheet, one cannot but wonder whether things have gone somewhat awry somewhere along the way. In any case, whether or not things do in fact add up is to a large extent beside the point. The critic may grumble ‘oxymoron’ to their hearts content (Crane, 2005); such an assertion has fallen upon so many deaf ears so long ago. CSR today “means something, but not always the same thing, to everybody” (Votaw, 1972: 25) and wayward path or not, it is making its presence felt. The very lack of clarity regarding what CSR means has perhaps become its single greatest strength: without any formal determination or widely accepted definition, CSR has come to mean so very much.

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Categories: Economics, Politics
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