Appraising the relation between Corporate Responsibility Research and Practice

This paper offers a critical analysis of the relationship between CSR theory and practice, finding that there is generally little overlap between the two. instead, CSR theory tends to be dominated by either conceptual work from a perspective of ethical idealism (largely ignoring the fundamental economic basis of the institution of the business firm, at least in anglo-saxon societies), or empirical work examining the statistical relationship between CSR and economic performance (which invariably prove to be inconclusive given endemic problems of lack of robustness and validity). CSR practice, on the other hand, turns out to amount to little more than enlightened self-interest on the part of managers and firms, with concepts like corporate responsibility and stakeholder management being subsumed under the general notion of risk management.

Jones, M. & Haigh, M. (2007) Appraising the relation between Corporate Responsibility Research and Practice, Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organisation Studies, Winter