Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
O. C. Ferrell
Colorado State University
This article introduces a conceptualization of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that emphasizes the role and potential contribution of the marketing discipline. The proposed framework first depicts CSR initiatives as the actions undertaken to display conformity to both organizational and stakeholder norms. Then, the article discusses the managerial processes needed to monitor, meet, and even exceed, stakeholder norms. Finally, the analysis explains how CSR initiatives can generate increased stakeholder support. Keywords: stakeholder theory; corporate social responsibility; market orientation; ethics; community
The past few years have witnessed the simultaneous development of the antiglobalization movement, of shareholder activism, and of corporate governance reform. This trend has cultivated a climate of defiance toward businesses, a climate that has only been exemplified by recent accounting scandals. Perhaps in response to this growing suspicion, some leading companies have openly profiled themselves as socially responsible. For instance, British Petroleum underlined its commitment to natural environment by changing its name to Beyond Petroleum. Similarly, Nike advertises its commitment to adopting "
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Volume 32, No. 1, pages 3-19. DOh 10.1177/0092070303258971 Copyright 9 2004 by Academy of Marketing Science.
responsible business practices that contribute to profitable and sustainable growth" (www.nike.com), and Coca-Cola has moved to expense stock options for top management as a part of its commitment to responsible governance. This enthusiasm for corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been echoed in the marketing literature. In particular, scholars have examined consumer responses to CSR initiatives (e.g., Brown and Dacin