The Definition of Corporate Social Responsibility

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1.0 Chapter 2 Literature Review

A literature review of research was carried out to put light into the definition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as this differs from country to country and different authors have modelled different definition for CSR. This makes the study of CSR more complex. Also factors influencing the strategic issues of CSR are also reviewed.

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Electronic database is used such as emerald to select appropriate  articles. This  review of literature is worked out on published research on CSR, CSR strategies and benefits. The first focal point is on the definition of CSR, then the strategies of CSR in business was reviewed and the benefits associated with the strategic management of CSR. The main aim of this review is to sum up the studies in relation to the integration of CSR in its core business to gain advantage to the target group that receive the CSR and also to the business in the long run to place the business at a competitive advantage. Findings on environment have also been taken into consideration.

1.1 2.1 Theoretical Review

1.1.1 Models, Concepts, Frameworks

In the book ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ by Crowther D and Aras G, 2008, Milton Friedman (1970) stated that “there is one and only one social responsibility of business- to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud” So we can understand that according to Friedman’s 1970 theory the sole responsibility of the business is to capitalise profit. According to Friedman (1970 cited in  Galbreath 2009, p.111  ), it is the firm responsibility to meet the economic needs and that only leads to the welfare of the society and it is the role of the government, service organizations, educational institution to meet the societal welfare. Galbreath, (2009) cited that after the publication of the thesis of Friedman, (1970)   there was much research on the social responsibilities of the firm. Galbreath, (2009) states that ‘In the late 1970s, Carroll (1979) offered one of the first – and perhaps still the most widely accepted conceptualisations of CSR (Matten and Crane, 2005).’ In Galbreath (2009), Carroll’s (1979) model conceptualises the responsibilities of the firm as:

  1. the economic responsibility to generate profits;
  2. the legal responsibility to comply by local, state, federal, and relevant international laws;
  3. the ethical responsibility to meet other social expectations, not written as law (e.g. avoiding harm or social injury, respecting moral rights of individuals, doing what is right, just, fair); and
  4. the discretionary responsibility to meet additional behaviours and activities that society finds desirable (e.g.

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