Corporate social responsibility: Views from the frontline [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 63 (3):279 - 296 (2006)
This paper offers an evaluation of corporate policy and practice in respect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) deriving from an analysis of qualitative data, obtained during semi-structured interviews with the representatives of 16 companies from a variety of UK sectors including retail, mining, financial services and mobile telephony. The findings of the empirical survey are presented in five sections that trace chronologically the process of CSR policy development. The first identifies the meaning attributed to CSR by the respondent companies followed in the second section by the factors that are driving them to implement the CSR agenda. The third examines the use of the language of CSR and the concept’s role as either a substantive concept or simple label. The fourth identifies the criteria used for determining CSR policies and the objectives underlying them. The fifth and final section offers an analysis of the respondents’ predictions as to the future development of CSR. On the basis of the findings of the survey, this paper argues that, despite genuine attempts on the part of those responsible for CSR policy development to address stakeholder concerns, the context within which CSR has been implemented hinders its potential to offer stakeholders sufficient information by which to evaluate corporate performance in respect of CSR and the ability of CSR to operate as a meaningful and systematic constraint on corporate behaviour.
Keywords corporate social responsibility  stakeholders  corporate charitable giving  civil regulation  corporate responsibility
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