This chapter presents the research area and research questions and introduces the remaining chapters of the book. It is argued that while there are quite a few works on how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is practiced in various contexts, there is a need for more research on how CSR should be practiced by organizations in various generalized contexts, and, thus, that there is a need for a contingency model of CSR. A broad, general definition – based on Jeremy Moon’s work – in terms of seven aspects is introduced, and this definition is used as a common starting point for the book, in which the relevance of each aspect is examined for organizations in various generalized contexts. The chapter also presents the research questions for the book, which are to pay attention to and acknowledge the need for examining the relevance of CSR for organizations in different generalized contexts as an emerging research field, to explore the universality of CSR, to offer knowledge (as well as support for further knowledge-seeking) on how the general model of CSR needs to be adapted to become relevant to organizations within particular generalized contexts, and to begin the work on constructing a contingency model of the relevance of CSR for organizations in various generalized contexts.
This chapter is the final and concluding chapter of the book. The research questions that were presented in Chapter 1 are discussed and answered. The beginning of a contingency model for corporate social responsibility (CSR) is presented on the basis of the chapters in the book that dealt with examining the relevance of the seven aspects model of CSR for organizations in various particular generalized contexts. In some cases the original CSR model (that is, all seven aspects) is fully relevant, while in other cases the model has to be somewhat adapted to fit perfectly. Thus it is concluded that CSR is an idea that is universal in a contingent (or inspirational) sense, but not in an absolute sense. Suggestions for further research are also outlined. For instance, there is a need for studies on the relevance of the seven aspects model for organizations in generalized contexts other than those dealt with in this book, to add to the contingency model. In such studies there may be reason to address different stakeholder perspectives and interests more explicitly, and a suggestion for how such studies could take place – in terms of 10 steps (‘Corporate Social Responsibility Contextualization Research Advice Instrument’ (CSR-CRAI)) – is outlined. There is also a need for further discussion about the seven aspects model of CSR and whether it is the ideal definition for studies of CSR and its relevance for organizations in various generalized contexts.