Corporate Social Responsibility - Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an issue of much debate and discussion within modern business. There are those that argue that CSR efforts are vital if environmental and social challenges (such as climate change, labour exploitation and good governance) are to be effectively addressed. Others believe that the CSR agenda has been used by big multinational entities to maintain exploitative business models whilst still appearing to be responsible organisations.

This chapter will introduce and outline the key CSR concepts and theories. Both the perceived benefits and the stated criticisms will be discussed in order to help the reader develop the case both for and against CSR. In building a more comprehensive understanding of this contested concept, a critical review of business practices and their impact on the workplace, communities, the environment and wider markets can subsequently be undertaken.

Goals and objectives for this section

  • To be able to define corporate social responsibility
  • To be able to outline the CSR responsibilities of business and the theories applied.
  • To be able to understand a range of CSR methodologies.
  • To be able to present both the perceived benefits of CSR and the criticisms applied.

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