Contextualizing Individual Competencies for Managing the Corporate Social Responsibility Adaptation Process: The Apparent Influence of the Business Case Logic

Business and Society 58 (2):369-403 (2019)
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Companies committed to corporate social responsibility should ensure that their managers possess the appropriate competencies to effectively manage the CSR adaptation process. The literature provides insights into the individual competencies these managers need but fails to prioritize them and adequately contextualize them in a manner that makes them meaningful in practice. In this study, we contextualized the competencies within the different job roles CSR managers have in the CSR adaptation process. We interviewed 28 CSR managers, followed by a survey to explore the relative importance of the competencies within each job role. Based on our analysis, we identified six distinct managerial roles, including strategic, coordinating, and stimulating roles. Next, we identified per role key individual CSR-related competencies as prioritized by the respondents. Our results show that the context, as indicated in this study by CSR managers’ job roles, indeed influenced the importance of particular CSR-related competencies, because each role seems to require a different combination and prioritization of these competencies. Moreover, the results suggest that the relative importance of these competencies within each role may be driven by business logic rather than an idealistic logic. The results are presented as a competence profile which can serve as a reflection tool and as a frame of reference to further develop the competence profile for CSR managers.



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Vincent Blok
Wageningen University and Research