Corporate Irresponsibility and Corporate Social Responsibility: Competing Realities

Topics: Corporate social responsibility, Business ethics, Social responsibility Pages: 21 (7000 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Social Responsibility Journal
Emerald Article: Corporate irresponsibility and corporate social responsibility: competing realities Brian Jones, Ryan Bowd, Ralph Tench

Article information:
To cite this document: Brian Jones, Ryan Bowd, Ralph Tench, (2009),"Corporate irresponsibility and corporate social responsibility: competing realities", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 5 Iss: 3 pp. 300 - 310 Permanent link to this document: Downloaded on: 14-10-2012 References: This document contains references to 45 other documents Citations: This document has been cited by 3 other documents To copy this document:

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Corporate irresponsibility and corporate social responsibility: competing realities Brian Jones, Ryan Bowd and Ralph Tench

Brian Jones is a Senior Lecturer, Ryan Bowd is a Senior Lecturer and Ralph Tench is Professor in Communications Education, all based at Leeds Business School, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK.

Abstract Purpose – Building on the work of Carroll this article attempts to unravel, explore and explain corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a theoretical construct that has implications and consequences for corporate governance in particular, and more generally for the economy, business and society. It aims to extend Carroll’s work on definitional constructs by re-examining some of the theoretical frameworks that underpin, inform and guide CSR. Design/methodology/approach – Carroll identified different levels, or a pyramid, of CSR and these are outlined and the advantages and disadvantages of a pyramid, levels-based approach discussed. The main contributions of this article lies is in its exploration of corporate social irresponsibility (CSI) as a concept in contrast to CSR. Bowd, Jones and Tench’s CSI-CSR model is described, explained, analysed and used as a conceptual tool to make the theoretical move from a pyramid or level-based approach to a more dynamic framework of analysis. Findings – The proposition that CSI is better suited to a shareholder business model and CSR sits more comfortably with a stakeholder business model is examined. It is contested that people often wrongly equate CSR with irresponsible corporate actions. The CSI-CSR model establishes a theoretical framework around which grounded empirical research can be undertaken, applied and on which it can be reported. Research limitations/implications – This is a new area of research that addresses a gap in the literature and puts forward innovative theoretical models. Discussing the concept of irresponsibility makes for an interesting theoretical move. It questions the idea that corporations and business per se are always or necessarily socially responsible. Originality/value – In looking at and developing existing theoretical models, concepts and frameworks and exploring their merits, shortcomings and...

Citations: business takes account of its economic, social and environmental impacts in the way it operates – maximising the benefits and minimising the downsides’’ (Crown copyright, 2004).
Carroll (1979, 1991) and Wood (1991) have contributed to building definitions of the different levels at which organisations respond to their corporate social responsibilities. These levels of responsibility are defined as follows:
It is clear from the list above that Carroll’s (1991) pyramid has at its base starting point the economy and economic performance
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