CSR As Social Obligation Analysis

Pages: 4 (1000 words) Published: February 21, 2016


CSR as Social Obligation
Over the last century, many scholars tried to conceptualise CSR and its management applications. Bowen (1953) was the first to launch the concept of CSR as a social obligation. According to him, CSR is a social obligation “to pursue those policies, to make those decision, or to follow those lines of action which are desirable in terms of objectives and values of our society”.

Carroll (1979), following Bowen’s thinking, identified four stages of CSR development: economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic. As argued by him, “these four categories are not mutually exclusive, nor are they intended to portray a continuum with economic concerns on one end and social concerns on the other”.
Economic entails that companies...

Sustainability and sustainable development
United Nations (1987) defined sustainable development as that development “that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
In order to include all the different aspects, sustainability has been defined by considering several dimensions: environmental, social and economic which are called the “triple bottom line”. These dimensions are recalled by Dyllick and Hockerts (2002) in the area of business strategy which takes sustainability at a business level.
The environmental dimension started to have a more important role at the beginning of 1980s when environmental issues became...

Thus, the sustainability matter is to find the right balance between societal “needs” and nature’s capacity of supporting human life and its activities. Although this perspective clearly reveals an issue between the interests of business and society, it turns out to be a win-win situation when companies are able to meet sustainability interests. Indeed, when firms can address sustainability issues, they are also indirectly addressing a broader level of societal topics which aim at increasing the quality of all our lives. In 1999, a worldwide research found out that two-thirds of consumers want companies to contribute to broader social goals (Isa, 2003).

In consequence of the recent economic crisis, Sheth et al. (2011) articulated a new economic dimension of sustainability from a consumer-centric perspective. It is articulated in two different aspects of the economic dimensions of sustainability: one regards the economic dimension while the other relates to “economic interests of external stakeholder, such as broad-based improvement in economic weep-being and standard...
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