Social Issues in Management as a Distinct Field: Corporate Social Responsibility and Performance

Business and Society 58 (7):1334-1357 (2019)
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Abstract

This article focuses on the question of whether Social Issues in Management is a “field” and, if so, what kind, emphasizing specifically the recent literature on corporate social responsibility and performance. Fields are defined in part by coherent bodies of knowledge that serve as guideposts for current research, and so the authors construct a simple model of CSR/csp scholarship, illustrating the relevant categories with representative publications. The authors conclude that SIM is a “low-paradigm” field but is not recognized or accepted as a field by many scholars who write about CSR/csp from “outside” the field. This analysis points to the need for SIM scholars to continue to integrate useful ideas from other fields, and also to critique the work of scholars who address “failings” or “gaps” in SIM research without appropriately dealing with the existing SIM literature. The article concludes with some ideas for sustaining the institutional legitimacy of SIM and for challenging those who would “reinvent” a field with a long and fruitful history, including paying careful attention to journal review processes and the content of publications in prominent journals.

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