Knowledge in the Development of Economies

Knowledge in the Development of Economies

Institutional Choices Under Globalisation

New Perspectives on the Modern Corporation series

Edited by Silvia Sacchetti and Roger Sugden

This innovative book offers a critical perspective on the state of the current global economy, making sense of knowledge-related issues by critically assessing existing institutional choices, as well as pointing to new ways forward.

Chapter 7: A Theoretical Analysis of the Relationship between Social Capital and Corporate Social Responsibility: Concepts and Definitions

Lorenzo Sacconi and Giacomo Degli Antoni

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, institutional economics, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Lorenzo Sacconi and Giacomo Degli Antoni INTRODUCTION 1. Trust, trustworthiness and ethical norms of reciprocity and cooperation have been receiving more and more attention in economic analysis. In particular, two concepts have been widely used in order to study the socioeconomic effects of these factors: the concept of social capital (hereafter SC) and of corporate social responsibility (hereafter CSR). After the seminal work by Putnam et al. (1993) that revealed the effect of SC on economic and government performance, many definitions of social capital have been introduced in the literature and have been considered in order to analyse the role of interpersonal relations in affecting economic activity by favouring cooperation.1 Different approaches characterize also the notion of CSR. If we look at the stakeholder approach (Freeman, 1984, 2000; Freeman and Evan, 1990) or at the contractarian approach to CSR (Sacconi, 2004, 2006, 2007 a,b), relational aspects, in terms of trust, trustworthiness and spirit of cooperation, may have a key role in promoting the coordination processes between firm and stakeholders that are essential in order to implement the CSR practices.2 Even though SC and CSR seem to be linked by many common elements related to the quality and quantity of social relations between agents, their relationship has not been deeply investigated yet. This chapter is aimed at shedding light on some aspects of this relationship, in particular, by investigating the idea of a virtuous circle, between the level of SC and the implementation of CSR practices, that fosters socio-economic development...

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