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A logical response to corporate social responsibility

Robert Kowalski

Abstract

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is argued to be a flawed concept in the same way as sustainable development in that it seeks to combine two aspects which are incommensurable. Nevertheless CSR contains an expanding space for social and environmental concerns under the guise of stakeholder management which undoubtedly influences the commercial bottom line. It is proposed that the concept of corporate citizenship is separated from what is now termed corporate social responsiveness to encompass truly ethical and normative considerations which in business should be manifested by a wholehearted acceptance of the need for regulation, lobbying for the universality of that regulation and an avoidance of undue influence on government. Proper roles for the three partners in society, namely government, commerce and civil society are explored together with the nature of citizenship.

Keywords

corporate citizenship, environmental sustainability, ethics, oxymoron, stakeholder management

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/ESP.2016.02.001
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