Organizational Responsibility

Stephanie R. Klein

in Management

ISBN: 9780199846740
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
Organizational Responsibility


There are nearly as many frameworks for organizing the topics that comprise organizational responsibility as there are sources, in part because of the overlap within the literature; for example, positive organizational outcomes of acting responsibly are often presented as reasons to do so. Organizational responsibility covers a range of closely related—even virtually synonymous—areas of research and practice, including social responsibility, organizational citizenship, sustainable business, and social performance. This leads to a similar plethora of definitions for organizational responsibility (and social and other types of responsibility). This bibliography ascribes to the definition of organizations’ ethical obligation to consider social, environmental, and economic outcomes of conducting business. In addition, the many authors who have reviewed organizational responsibility literature and research have a variety of perspectives, but the one thing they agree on is the remarkable lack of synthesis and cohesion in theory, definitions, and research results. This bibliography attempts to provide a solid sampling of perspectives, including theoretical and empirical research reviews and specific investigations and examples. Moving forward, researchers are strongly encouraged to be clear in the definitions, theories, and frameworks driving their work. In addition, this field is one that lends itself to synthesis of science and practice, with researchers mindful of practical applicability and practitioners accepting guidance from science. Organizational responsibility and organizational attention to environmental sustainability can provide positive outcomes for organizations and the societies in which they function. As such, research that helps guide organizations’ understanding and action is extremely important. A few notes on terminology are in order here. “Organizational responsibility” is typically treated as synonymous with “social responsibility.” This might be accurate if “social” is interpreted to mean all of society, but it is important not to overlook the other topics and types. In addition, “organizational” and “corporate” are often used interchangeably, although “corporate” if taken literally would exclude government organizations and smaller private-sector or international businesses that are not legal corporate entities—although authors do not generally appear to intend to exclude noncorporate organizations. Annotations will use the same terminology as the referenced article; please note that CSR is the common acronym for “corporate social responsibility.” Researchers are encouraged to use the more specific terms only when appropriate—for example, using “corporate” when the intent is to limit the discussion to legal corporate entities and to exclude other types of organizations.

Article.  11223 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management

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