Academy of Management Perspectives
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Is the Socially Responsible Corporation a Myth? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Corporate Social Responsibility
by Timothy M. Devinney
Despite differences of opinion about the efficacy of corporate social responsibility, there is a general consensus among academics, policy makers, and practitioners that corporations operate with a social sanction that requires that they operate within the norms and mores of the societies in which they exist. In this article I argue that the notion of a socially responsible corporation is potentially an oxymoron because of the naturally conflicted nature of the corporation. This has profound implications for our understanding of corporate social responsibility, what we view as the relevant issues relating to it, and how we investigate its role and impact.
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it on a star. Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
t is a central tenet of advocates of the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that corporations receive a social sanction from society that requires that they, in return, contribute to the growth and development of that society. There is little argument as to the existence of this sanction but considerable debate as to whether it requires more of the corporation than the obvious: enhancing the society by creating and delivering products and services consumers want, providing
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(2010, 08). Is the Socially Responsible Corporation a Myth? the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Corporate Social Responsibility. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 08, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Is-The-Socially-Responsible-Corporation-A-382694.html
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"Is the Socially Responsible Corporation a Myth? the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Corporate Social Responsibility." StudyMode.com. 08, 2010. Accessed 08, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Is-The-Socially-Responsible-Corporation-A-382694.html.