Approaches to Social Responsibility

Kellie C. Liket and Pursey P.M.A.R. Heugens

in Management

ISBN: 9780199846740
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
Approaches to Social Responsibility

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In its most narrow sense, “social responsibility” (SR) refers to corporations going beyond their legal and economic obligations to better society. However, SR is used as an umbrella term to refer to many (inter)relating concepts such as corporate social responsibility, corporate social performance, corporate citizenship, and sustainability. The SR literature does not compose an autonomous field of theorizing. It relies on various disciplines to supply it with theories and methodologies, such as economics, psychology, sociology, and management. Therefore, it can best be understood as a field of application at the intersection of a variety of social–scientific approaches. The interdisciplinary nature of SR research harbors opportunities for cross-fertilization, but it also comes associated with several forms of “collateral damage,” including a lack of conceptual clarity and insufficient delineation of research paradigms. In the extant SR literature, two broad branches can be identified. First, there is an instrumental branch, which seeks to demonstrate how investments or expenditures on SR can contribute positively to corporate performance or other self-set corporate goals. Second, there is a normative branch, which seeks to identify the extralegal and extra-economic duties and obligations that rest on corporations.

Article.  12643 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

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