Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The problem with a narrow-minded interpretation of CSR. Why CSR has nothing to do with philantropy

Nick Lin-Hi


In recent years, the responsibility of corporations has been
widely discussed. However, there is no general agreement as regards what CSR is exactly. Due to the indefinite nature of CSR, the term actually embraces several ideas and different contents. A very widespread understanding of CSR defines the subject as (strategic) corporate philanthropy, including operations such as corporate giving, corporate volunteering, corporate foundations, etc. The philanthropic approach to CSR implies that corporations must take responsibility beyond their
core business activities. This article argues that a philanthropic approach to CSR is problematic. Moreover, such a conceptualisation strengthens the perception that making profits is immoral; therefore, it endangers the basis of corporations’ licence-to-operate in the long run.

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